The consumer today places greater demands upon the vehicle acoustical engineer than in the past. Product quality has always been associated with a quiet ride. Automotive engineers recognize that the predominant sources of vehicle interior noise are wind, tire-road or rolling noise, and the powertrain. This paper suggests a test protocol for measuring wind and rolling noise using a chassis rolls dynamometer and road tests. Automotive engineers are frequently confronted by customer complaints concerning wind noise. Usually, engineers resort to using wind tunnels to address these concerns and to conduct diagnostic studies to remedy wind noise problems. Unfortunately, wind tunnels are expensive to rent and difficult to schedule. As an alternative, the engineer can learn a great deal about the wind noise of a vehicle by using a chassis rolls dynamometer along with road tests [1,2]. If the chassis rolls surface texture closely matches that of the road surface, the tire-road or rolling noise signal in both situations can be assumed to be equivalent. The powertrain noise source can be minimized by shifting the vehicle into neutral and coasting. Wind noise is a source for the road measurements, but not for the chassis rolls. Hence, the wind noise can be calculated by measuring the cab interior noise for both operating conditions, and subtracting the rolling noise measured on the chassis rolls. The two vehicles tested in this study included a pickup truck and a sport utility vehicle. The acoustical data revealed significantly different rolling and wind noise characteristics. The pickup truck had significantly louder rolling noise, and the wind noise was dominated by low frequency sound. The sport utility vehicle was much quieter overall and was significantly quieter for rolling noise than the pickup. The wind noise of the sport utility vehicle also was dominated by high frequency components. Both vehicles showed that rolling and wind noise trends increase linearly with speed. However, the slope of wind noise data for the sport utility vehicle was much steeper than the pickup, which suggested that it was more sensitive to wind noise as speed increased. Exterior noise data from both vehicles showed that the tire-road signal from the road differed significantly from that of the chassis rolls dynamometer. Rolling & wind noises will become even more critical as the motor vehicle industry adopts hybrid electric and, in the future electric fuel cell vehicles, because powertrain noise sources in the vehicle will likely be reduced. The procedure suggested here provides an inexpensive simple approach to assessing rolling and wind noise in the vehicle.

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