Noise control in a one-dimensional duct is analyzed. This problem is of practical interest and is also simple enough that a complete theoretical analysis is possible. It is shown that the optimal controller leads to an unstable closed loop. The noise reduction level achievable with a stable closed loop is calculated for arbitrary choices of sensor and actuator locations. This enables the best placement of sensors and actuators to be determined. Also, the analysis indicates that a “spatial waterbed” effect exists in some configurations of active noise control: i.e., that noise levels are increased for points outside of the region over which the design is done.

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