Lightweight panels could reduce aircraft noise

Researchers at the University of Twente are developing lightweight panels for aircraft that could help to reduce noise levels.

The panels rely on actuators made of a piezoelectric material to measure the sound approaching them. They then convert changes in pressure into electricity to cancel it out.

The researchers believe the panels could replace the heavy insulation materials currently used in aircraft fuselages, leading to a significant reduction in fuel consumption.

Although still at the prototype stage now, the team expects them to be deployed in aircraft in the next five years. Other anticipated uses are in home sound systems, as extremely thin subwoofers that can be integrated into walls.

Laura Hopperton

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