In order to evaluate the interior noise caused by the flow around automobiles, it is necessary to clarify the nature of the pressure fluctuations on the surface of vehicle body. The pressure fluctuations around the vehicle which are caused by the fluid motion can be solved by unsteady-compressible Navier-Stokes equation. However, the differences between the scales and intensity of the pressure fluctuations related to the hydrodynamic pressure fluctuation (HPF) of the flow field and the aerodynamic sound (acoustic pressure fluctuation APF) are quite large, these phenomena can be considered separately as two different phenomena. This assumption can help us to understand the contributions of these two components of pressure fluctuations to the structural vibration and interior sound of automobiles. Since both the HPF and the APF are pressure fluctuations, they cannot be separated only by measuring with a single pressure sensor.
In this study, we divided these pressure fluctuations by using wavenumber-frequency spectrum analysis. Wind tunnel experiment showed that the HPF and the APF have different wavenumber fields in the wake of a rear-view mirror, and the intensity and wavenumber of the HPF are larger than that of the APF. Flow field was also investigated by using the incompressible flow simulation. As a result of wavenumber-frequency spectrum analysis based on the pressure fields around the vehicle body, the HPF and the APF have different wavenumbers in the case of a boundary layer flow field with no separation such as boundary layer on the vehicle roof. On the other hand, very small wavenumber components of the HPF were observed in the recirculation flow around the rear-view mirror downstream, despite incompressible simulation was done. This is probably due to the flow fields excite the vehicle body in the direction close to the vertical with respect to the vehicle body surface (side shield) in the separated flow region, and the wavenumber vector project on the shield surface apparently become smaller. The wavenumber vector becomes short but the frequency is constant, which leads the speed of pressure propagation apparently increases.
In the reverse flow region, even if the uniform flow velocity is smaller than the speed of sound, the HPF may still contribute to vibration and sound generation. At the same time, since the flow velocity is actually slowed in the reverse flow region, large wavenumber components were also observed. Therefore, the wavenumber spectrum was observed in a wide range of the wavelength region.
In conclusion, by investigating the wavenumber frequency spectrum, it is possible to estimate the flow field contributing to the interior noise of automobiles.