Sound field reproduction applied to flight

vehicles sound environments
C´ edric Camier
1
, Philippe-Aubert Gauthier
1
, Yann Pasco
1
, and Alain Berry
1
1
Universit´ e de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Qu´ ebec, J1K 2R1, Canada
Correspondence should be addressed to C´ edric Camier (Cedric.Camier@USherbrooke.ca)
ABSTRACT
This paper proposes a preliminary theoretical study for sound field and sound environment reproduction in
flight vehicles. A fully-coupled cavity, cylindrical shell and exterior radiation model approximates an aircraft
cabin mock-up. Material and geometry charateristics are inspired by measurements perfomed on a cabin
mock-up. The sound field reproduction is based on reproduction error minimization at a microphone array
positionned in the cavity. Two reproduction systems, based on actuators or loudspeakers are simulated in
order to compare their feasability and performance. The model linking excitator strength with the sound
pressure on the spatially extended array region is developped in a matricial form. The promising results
obtained in terms of reproduced pressure in the array region in both cases presume the reliability of such
dedicated systems.
1. INTRODUCTION
Since the first spatial sound experiments [1], [2], interest
in spatial audio had continuously increased over the past
century [3]. Beside applications to music reproduction
and film presentation, spatial sound has recently gained
the attention fromthe transport industry for flight simula-
tors and as a potential sound quality evaluation or design
tool. This paper presents a preliminary theoretical study
for sound field and sound environment reproduction in
mock-ups of aircraft cabins.
Since the 1970s, several works have been devoted to the
reproduction or synthesis of exterior and interior noises
of flight vehicles [4]-[7]. Most of these works are primar-
ily devoted to the evaluation of sound quality and annoy-
ance of vehicle noises without any in-depth consideration
of the spatial distribution of sound. However, it is known
that the spatial distribution of sound sources plays an im-
portant role in auditory stream segregation. Indeed, spa-
tial separation of sources reduces masking. Hence, the
spatial distribution of sound should be addressed in cur-
rent work on sound environment reproduction for sound
quality testing or virtual rendering of flight scenarios in
flight vehicle mock-ups and flight simulators. Recent re-
search works go in that direction [8], [9].
1.1. Spatial audio and sound environment re-
production
Most of the recent research works on spatial audio using
multichannel systems are based on few dominant tech-
nologies: stereophonic sound fundamentals extended to
”Surround sound” systems [2], Ambisonics [10] and
wave field synthesis (WFS) [11]. Each of which re-
lies on different perceptual and technological hypothe-
sis. Among these technologies, Ambisonics and WFS
are perhaps the twos that have the greatest potential for
psychophysically valid sound environment reproduction.
Ambisonics have already been use for soundscape re-
production [12]. Since these types of sound field repro-
duction systems are normally used in more or less well
controlled listening rooms, it has been argued that room
response may degrade the sound field reproduction sys-
tem ability to physically recreate and approach the tar-
get sound field [13], [14]. Several researchers have then
addressed the spatial room compensation problem [15]-
[22]. The great challenge behind these room compen-
sation methods stands in the requirement that the real
acoustic of the listening room must be replaced by a vir-
tual or target acoustic which have been computed or mea-
sured in an acoustic space different from the listening
room.
1.2. Sound rendering of interior vehicle noise
in vehicle mock-ups
In contrast with generic applications mentioned above,
sound environment or sound field reproduction in ve-
hicle mock-ups brings different challenges and some-
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Camier et al. Sound field reproduction in aircraft
how simplifies the room compensation issues. Firstly,
the highest quality vehicle sound environment reproduc-
tion system would not only involve a sound system, but
a vehicle mock-up which is visually, mechanically and
geometrically very similar to the real vehicle. More-
over, reproduction sources (either acoustical or vibra-
tional) should be invisible to the listener. Accordingly,
it is expected that the original vehicle and corresponding
mock-up should have a similar, or at least a similar type
of, vibroacoustical behavior. Therefore, room compen-
sation could be more easily applied to that practical case
since the difference between the two systems are greatly
diminished. This have the potential to diminish residual
artifact. Secondly, since many transport applications of
spatial sound are concerned by the physically valid re-
construction of sound field, a closed-loop room compen-
sation is mandatory to ensure and physically certify that
the reproduced sound field is a physical reconstruction
of the original sound field. Indeed, such spatial sound
systems could not rely on the illusory creation of an au-
ditory scene such as achieved in the audio industry since
it might have to be certified by various agencies, such as
for flight simulators or aircraft sales. Thirdly, most of the
major interior noises are stationary or nearly stationary
(turbulent boundary layer, engine, jet, etc. [23]) so that
any room compensation residual artifact such as pre- and
post-echoes should be inaudible. These three prelimi-
nary hypothesis motivate the interest of room compensa-
tion for flight vehicles sound environment reproduction.
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the feasibility
of sound field reproduction based on room compensa-
tion using a simplified theoretical model of an aircraft
cabin and mock-up. Several scenarios are compared on
the basis of different reproduction source types: vibra-
tional sources on the cabin structure or acoustical sources
located in the cabin cavity.
1.3. Paper outline
Section 1 introduces the general problem and formu-
lates the main research question addressed in this paper.
Section 2 describes the fully-coupled cavity, cylindri-
cal shell and exterior radiation model that approximates
an aircraft cabin and mock-up. The spatially-extended
sound field reproduction method based on reproduction
error minimization is presented in Sec. 3. Simulations
and numerical results are presented and discussed in
Sec. 4. Section 6 gathers the main concluding remarks
and presents future research avenues.
2. CAVITY, SHELL AND EXTERNAL SOUND
FIELD COUPLED MODEL
The vibroacoustic model developped in the following
will be used both for simulating the image pressure field
and establishing the inverse model used in reproduction.
It considers a baffled closed cylindrical shell radiating to
interior and exterior spaces. The coupling between the
movement of the shell and the resulting external radia-
tion is taken into account as well as the internal coupling
with the closed acoustic cavity. For the sake of concise-
ness, key points of the model are presented in the sequel.
Full expressions of calculous will be detailed in a future
paper.
2.1. Geometry of the system
As shown in Fig. 1, the 3-component vector displace-
ment u of the cylindrical shell at a given point Q of co-
ordinates (r =a, θ, z) is described by its longitudinal, cir-
cumferential and radial displacements, u, v and w respec-
tively, along the surface S of the shell. At an other point
B which could be situated in the internal volume V
i
or in
the external volume V
e
, both filled by air of density ρ
0
and characterized by the sound phase speed c, the acous-
tic pressure is noted p.
2.2. Vibroacoustic model
The dynamic of the thin cylindrical shell closed by shear
diaphragms at both ends is governed by the Donnell-
Mushtari theory, referred in [24]. The shell displace-
ment vector discretized onto its in vacuo natural modes
Φ
n
writes:
u(θ, z) =


n=1
A
n
Φ
n
(θ, z) (1)
where A
n
is the n
th
shell modal amplitude and n the set
of modal indexes which refers to nodes in the radial
and circumferential directions and to symmetry type.
Each shell mode shape is normalized with respect to the
modal mass m
n
and is associated to non-dimensional
natural pulsation ω
n
which is given by Leissa [24].
The vibrating shell, immersed into an air-filled open
space, creates an acoustical radiation which interacts
with its own movement. This coupling could be de-
scribed as an intermodal coupling impedance between
the shell modes [25]. Thanks to an assumption of
infinite-long cylinder, the radiation could be expressed
analytically and then the projection on the finite-long
surface leads to analytical coupling coefficients of the
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Camier et al. Sound field reproduction in aircraft
impedance. This useful approximation has been dis-
cussed and justified for similar configurations [26]-[28].
Expression of this impedance is not given here but the
coupling would be represented in matrix form in the fol-
lowing.
The shell internal volume V
i
, also air-filled, is the seat
of an internal coupling between the shell and the closed
acoustical cavity. Besides, it is our region of interest
since the interior sound field would be the target of repro-
duction. Inside the internal volume, the complex sound
pressure field p(r, θ, z) is expressed as a linear combina-
tion of real rigid-wall cavity modes Ψ
m
(r, θ, z) [27].
p(r, θ, z) =


m=1
P
m
Ψ
m
(r, θ, z) (2)
where P
m
is the m
th
complex cavity modal amplitude and
m a set of modal indexes which refers to the 3 direc-
tions of space and to the symmetry type. The cavity
mode shapes are normalized with respect to the modal
volume V
m
and associated to ω
m
which are analytically
expressed in [27]. The expressions of coupling coeffi-
cients between shell modes and cavity modes are also
analytically known [27]; nevertheless, as the previous
mentionned coupling, one will expressed them in matrix
form only.
Thus, the complete vibroacoustic model written for har-
monic excitations in terms of modal co-ordinates is:
[
C
(cav)
D
(cav,sh)
D
(sh,cav)
C
(sh)
]

C
[
P
(cav)
A
(sh)
]
=
[
F
(cav)
F
(sh)
]
(3)
where A
(sh)
and P
(cav)
are composed of the co-ordinates
A
n
and P
m
of the truncated mode families {Φ
n
}
n∈[1,N]
and

m
}
m∈[1,M]
, respectively. The diagonal matrix C
(cav)
is populated by the squared rigid-wall cavity natural
pulsations (where the imaginary part gives the modal
damping) substracted from the squared excitating pul-
sation ω
2
, D
(sh,cav)
and D
(cav,sh)
express the internal vi-
broacoustic coupling described above whereas the non-
diagonal matrix C
(sh)
compiles the orthogonal movement
of the shell only plus the external intermodal coupling
via radiation. F
(cav)
and F
(sh)
are the generalized force
expanded onto the cavity mode shapes {Ψ
m
}
m∈[1,M]
and
onto the shell mode shapes {Φ
n
}
n∈[1,N]
respectively. For
the particular case of harmonic monopole sources char-
acterized by their source strength q
(cav)
i
(ω, r
i
, θ
i
, z
i
), and
harmonic ponctual forces defined by surface force den-
sity q
(sh)
l
(ω, θ
l
, z
l
), each element n and m of the twofold
generalized force vector writes:
F
(cav)
m
=

i
c
2
V
i
jωρ
0
q
(cav)
i
Ψ
m
(r
i
, θ
i
, z
i
) (4)
and
F
(sh)
n
=

l
q
(sh)
l
Φ
(r)
n

l
, z
l
)
m
n
(5)
with j the imaginary number and Φ
(r)
n
the radial compo-
nent of Φ
n
.
Considering a virtual array of N
(m)
microphones measur-
ing the acoustic pressure p
(rep)
at the x
(m)
spatial points
in V
i
produced by a serie q
(rep)
of N
(ac)
acoustic and
N
(st)
structural excitators such as described before, the
response of the complete system is resumed by the fol-
lowing equation:
p
(rep)
=
[
Ψ 0
][
C
−1
]
[
P1 0
0 P2
]

Z
(ma)
[
q
(rep)
]
(6)
where P1 and P2 denote the matricial expressions of
Eq. (4) and (5) respectively.
3. SOUND FIELD CONTROL
The sound field reproduction system is posed as an error
minimization task. The reproduction error at the micro-
phone array is given by
e(x
(m)
, ω) = p
(im)
(x
(m)
, ω) −p
(rep)
(x
(m)
, ω) (7)
where p
(im)
components are the target or measured com-
plex sound pressures at the error microphones in x
(m)
,
p
(rep)
components are the complex reproduced sound
pressures at the microphones, these vectors are N
(m)
×1
vectors for a reproduction system made of the N
(m)
er-
ror microphones. The reproduced sound field is resumed
from Eq. (6) in
p
(rep)
= Z
(ma)
(x
(m)
, x
(a)
, ω)
N
(m)
×(N
(ac)
+N
(st)
)
q
(rep)
(8)
where the reproduction system frequency response func-
tions from reproduction sources (point forces on the shell
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Camier et al. Sound field reproduction in aircraft
Fig. 1: Geometrical convention for the cavity and thin
shell model.
and monopole inside the cylindrical cavity) to error mi-
crophones are stored in Z
(ma)
). This complex trans-
fer matrix includes the shell, the cavity, their coupling
and the external coupling dynamics. The reproduction
source amplitudes (force or acoustical source strength)
are stored in q
(rep)
, a (N
(ac)
+N
(st)
) ×1 vector. Sub-
scripts indicate matrix dimensions. A cost function with
Tikhonov regularization is introduced to summarize the
reproduction task for which the reproduction errors e
(m)
(Eq. (7)) should be minimized [30], [31]
J = e
(m)
H
e
(m)

2
q
(rep)
H
q
(rep)
(9)
where
H
denotes Hermitian transposition, λ is the pe-
nalization parameter. The optimal reproduction source
complex amplitudes q
(rep)
that will minimize J is given
by [31]
q
(rep)
opt
=
Z
(ma)
H
p
(im)
[
Z
(ma)
H
Z
(ma)

2
I
] (10)
where I is the identity matrix. In the following section,
these equations are used for the simulation of stationary
and harmonic sound field reproduction in a specific cav-
ity and shell configuration which corresponds to a real
cabin mock-up at our laboratory.
4. SIMULATIONS AND RESULTS
The aim of the following simulations is to draw the out-
lines of the feasibility and the evalutation of reproduc-
20 40 60 80 100
0
200
400
600
800
N
a
t
u
r
a
l

f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

[
H
z
]
No
Fig. 2: Natural frequency [Hz] (), sorted in ascending
order, of the rigid-wall cavity and of the coupled system
(•). Schroeder frequency [29] of the rigid-wall cavity is
represented by a horizontal dash-dot line and excitation
frequencies of the two simulations presented (98 Hz and
300 Hz) are plotted in plain lines.
tion systems of a stationary external noise source includ-
ing structural actuators or acoustic excitators close to the
trim panel (here modeled by the shell). Typical simula-
tions will thus involve an exterior plane wave excitating
the dynamic model described in Sec. 2 and virtual mea-
surements of the interior sound field by a microphone ar-
ray located in the listening plane of the simplified mock-
up. With the help of the control method presented in
Sec. 3 performed on the virtual measurements, complex
amplitudes of excitators are deduced to reproduce the tar-
get sound field. Then, the error between image sound
field (virtually defined in this paper) and reproduction er-
ror is evaluated.
One considers a unitary plane wave of pulsation ω im-
pinging perpendicularly on the shell. The total sound
pressure results in the sum of the incident and the scat-
tered wave field [32]. Similarly to the case of ponctual
structural forces in Sec. 2, the total pressure on the shell
surface is projected onto the shell modes to be injected
as F
(sh)
in Eq. (3), then in Eq. (2), in order to obtain the
target image pressure p
(im)
at the microphone array.
Mechanical characteristics and geometrical dimensions
are inspired from measurements performed in a real
mock-up. Particularly, structural damping is computed
from the measured reverberation times. Configuration
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Camier et al. Sound field reproduction in aircraft
of the microphone array, actuator positions and speaker
positions have been choosen with respect to fabrication
considerations and in anticipation of the experimental
set-up constraints. Futhermore, one opts for the num-
ber of microphones to be equal to the number of repro-
duction sources in order to have a determined system.
Thus, the microphone array is a a/6 side-length square
composed of 8×8 regularly distributed microphones, the
64-actuator system will denote 2 rows of 2×32 equally-
spaced structural excitators placed on the intersection of
the cylinder with the mid-height plane or with the lis-
tening plane. The listening plane 64-speaker system will
denote 34 equally-spaced radiating monopoles on the lat-
eral edges of the plane combined with 30 equally spaced
monopoles at the ends, see Figs 4, 5, 7 and 8.
Typical Z
(ma)
response is computed for one geometrical
and mechanical configuration of the mock-up. Following
results in terms of inside pressure field correspond to two
simulations computed for the same excitating plane wave
except from the selected pulsation. Three factors have
governed our choice of excitation frequency: truncations
of modal bases (to avoid prohibited computation cost),
eigen-frequencies of the coupled system (which guide
the response of the system in low frequency range) and
Schroeder frequency (which is an estimation of the tran-
sition from modal behavior to a diffuse behavior (more
than 3 excited modes for a single frequency)). As shown
in Fig. 2, the first excitation frequency is chosen to corre-
spond to one of the first eigen-value of the coupled sys-
tem, below the Schroeder frequency. The second one is
situated just above the Schroeder frequency. In fact, to
choose a higher frequency imposes a higher truncation
order in modal bases to insure the convergence of the
solution and so a higher computational cost [31]. The
compromise is arbitrary made to be around 100 modes
for N as well as for M.
Fig. 3 and Fig. 6 show the image sound field produced
by an exterior harmonic scattering plane wave of fre-
quency f = 98 Hz and f = 300 Hz, respectively, im-
pinging on the shell in the x
2
axis direction. The printed
sound field is thus the complex interior acoustic response
of the vibro-acoustic system which consists in the trun-
cated summation of real modal shapes weighted by the
complex cavity modal amplitudes. As the whole sys-
tem is linear and the excitation is unitary, the visualized
sound field could be directly scaled with any excitation
amplitude.
For each two cases of excitation, Figs. 4, 5, 7 and 8
present the results of the sound field reproduced by the
two excitator configurations. In order to evaluate the
quality of reproduction at microphone array location, rel-
ative quadratic errors defined by
e
(m)
q
=
e
(m)
H
e
(m)
p
(m)
H
p
(m)
, (11)
where p
(m)
= p
(im)
(x
(m)
, ω), is computed. Similarly to
this expression, the quadratic error e
(LP)
q
computed on the
whole listening plane will be given.
5. DISCUSSION OF THE RESULTS
The first general remark which has to be made is on the
dimension of the image pressure fields in the cavity. Due
to the unitary exterior acoustical excitation, the sound
amplitude inside the system is very low. It shows the
large-scale relation between exterior and interior sound
for a model dimensionned on measurements on a real
mock-up. Nevertheless, as the complete system is linear,
the physical phenomena of reproduction are well repre-
sented. Secondly, the choice of parameter of regulariza-
tion λ is not motivated here, this study being not the pur-
pose of this paper. One has just to note that for each case,
λ has been adjusted to reproduce correctly both the pres-
sure at the microphone array and the pressure field in the
listening plane. A future publication will provide a study
dedicated to this parameter.
For this particular study, one observes that the inverse
method is capable of global reproduction by minimiza-
tion of the error on a discrete local area. In spite of small
differences in the pressure field shapes, the two systems
of reproduction provide similar performances in terms of
relative quadratic errors. Nonetheless, the speaker con-
figuration produce generally rougher field shape (with
higher slopes) than the actuator configuration. Contrary
to structural excitations of whom the amplitudes result
in the projection on smoother mode shapes in this range
of frequencies, the acoustical excitations involve more
rough acoustic mode shapes because of the strong cou-
pling with rigid-wall cavity modes which are numerous
in the considered frequency range. Because of the mode-
coupling involved in the inverse method, the global shape
of the contributions of the acoustical excitators and con-
sequently the global shape of the reproduced pressure
field will show more spatial variations compared to the
actuator configuration for a given truncation.
Preliminary, these first feasability results including the
two specific reproduction systems dedicated to simplified
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Camier et al. Sound field reproduction in aircraft
Fig. 3: Image sound field P
(im)
created inside the sys-
tem with a unitary scattering harmonic plane wave of
frequency 98 Hz. Grey surface plotted according to the
x
1
axis in the cylinder represents the scaled pressure in
the listening plane. Pression at the microphone array ()
is also scaled. The pressure scaling factor is equal to
2.09∗10
−13
Pa.
Fig. 4: Sound field P
(rep)
reproduced by the 64-actuator
system for an exterior harmonic plane wave of frequency
98 Hz. An acoustical response of actuators on the shell
is given by Eqs. (5) and (6). Origins of stems indicate
the 2-row locations of actuators. Their positive (•) or
negative (◦) amplitudes q
(rep)
oriented towards x
1
for the
top-row and towards −x
1
for the bottom-row are scaled
by 0.7035 N to fit in the graph. The scaling factor is
the same as the respective image field. Quadratic error
computations give e
(m)
q
= 0.067 and e
(LP)
q
= 0.41.
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Camier et al. Sound field reproduction in aircraft
Fig. 5: Sound field P
(rep)
reproduced by the 64-speaker
system for an exterior harmonic plane wave of frequency
98 Hz. Radiation of speakers is modelized by acoustical
reproduction sources (see Eqs. (4) and (6)). Origins of
stems indicate locations of speakers. Their amplitudes
(⋄) q
(rep)
are scaled by 5.3179∗10
−16
m.s
−1
to fit in the
graph. The pressure scaling factor is the same as the re-
spective image field plot. Quadratic error computations
give e
(m)
q
= 0.044 and e
(LP)
q
= 0.54.
Fig. 6: Image sound field P
(im)
created inside the sys-
tem with a unitary scattering harmonic plane wave of fre-
quency 300 Hz. Grey surface plotted according to the x
1
axis in the cylinder represents the scaled pressure in the
listening plane. Pression at the microphone array () is
also scaled. The sound pressure scaling factor is equal to
1.906∗10
−14
Pa.
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Camier et al. Sound field reproduction in aircraft
Fig. 7: Sound field P
(rep)
reproduced by a 64-actuator
system for an exterior harmonic plane wave of frequency
300 Hz. Acoustical response of actuators on the shell
is given by Eqs. (5) and (6). Origins of stems indicate
the 2-row locations of actuators. Their positive (•) or
negative (◦) amplitudes q
(rep)
oriented towards x
1
for the
top-row and towards −x
1
for the bottom-row are scaled
by 0.338 N to fit in the graph. The pressure scaling factor
is the same as the respective image field plot. Quadratic
error computations give e
(m)
q
= 0.030 and e
(LP)
q
= 0.41.
Fig. 8: Sound field P
(rep)
reproduced by a 64-speaker
system for an exterior harmonic plane wave of frequency
300 Hz. Radiation of speakers is modelized by acoustical
monopoles (see Eqs. (4) and (6)). Origins of stems indi-
cate locations of speakers. Their amplitudes (⋄) q
(rep)
are
scaled by 3.1918 ∗ 10
−17
m.s
−1
to fit in the graph. The
sound pressure scaling factor is the same as the respec-
tive image field plot. Quadratic error computations give
e
(m)
q
= 0.021 and e
(LP)
q
= 2.75.
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Camier et al. Sound field reproduction in aircraft
aircraft space are encouraging. Without any optimization
work, they provide good local reproduction results for
the two examplified excitation frequencies: 1) below the
Schroeder frequency where the cavity response is dom-
inated by a modal behavior and 2) above the Schroeder
frequency.
6. CONCLUSION
Considering the recent gain of interest of transport in-
dustry for spatial sound, the present paper has proposed
a theoretical formulation of a dedicated sound field re-
produced system applied to a simplified model of flight
aircraft space dimensionned on basis of measurements
in a real mock-up. A complete vibroacoustic model in-
cluding external and internal coupling expanded on the
shell and the rigid-wall cavity modes is used in the in-
verse problem. The spatially-extended sound field re-
production method using Tikhonov regularization mini-
mizes the λ-dependent cost function. Two specific repro-
duction systems have been simulated in order to evaluate
their efficiency. The first represented lateral trim-panel
actuator system and the second represented enclosing
loudspeaker system. Both of which show good perfor-
mance for the local reproduction and are capable of quite
good global reproduction by ajusting the regularization
parameter.
Recasting these results within the framework of the
project, they provide good expectations for the pratical
method we will use for the reproduction of external-noise
induced sound field in the cabin. Indeed, the Z
(ma)
ma-
trix characterizing the vibroacoustic model will be later
computed from measurements in the real system submit-
ted to reproduction excitation and obtained with a mi-
crophone array (presently under construction at GAUS
laboratory). The microphone array would then be re-
moved and the image pressure field would be reproduced
by the method described in Sec. 3 for a chosen reproduc-
tion source set-up . The approach using inverse method
is in our case justified by the type of source signals we
want to reproduce. In fact, for nearly stationary sounds
such as most of the flying aircraft noises, room compen-
sation and equalization residual artifact such as pre- or
post-echoes should be inaudible.
This preliminary study raises some expectations which
will be questionned in a near future. As a first prospec-
tive, effect of λ on reproduction error at the microphone
array and in the listening plane should be the object of a
parametric study. More generally, an optimization of the
excitator positions, a more refined vibroacoustic model
computed on a broadband fitting responses of real cabin
mock-up should be the main lines of future work.
7. ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The authors would like to aknowledge
´
Eric Chambatte
for the measurement of mock-up reverberation times.
This work is part of a project involving: Consortium for
Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Qu´ ebec, Bom-
bardier A´ eronautique, CAE, Universit´ e de Sherbrooke
and McGill University, supported by a Natural Sciences
and Engineering Research Council of Canada grant.
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