Drone noise level and their noise signature are an important feature of social acceptance. It is an emerging topic, and undoubtedly we will continue to see progress from UAS manufacturers in an effort to become “quiet(er) by design”.
In this context, EASA opened a consultation on their proposed guidelines on Noise Measurement of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Lighter than 600 kg Operating in the Specific Category (Low and Medium Risk).
Introductory comments - extract
“This method can be applied on various UA designs (multicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, powered-lift aircraft and more) and caters for two procedures: a level-flight, and for the UA designs that allow stationary flight, a hover flight. The proposed method is the outcome of several years of UA noise studies conducted by the Agency, with consideration for practical aspects as well as human perception of UA noise (psychoacoustics). The noise measurement method is designed to provide repeatable and accurate noise measurements and noise levels allowing for fair comparison between various UA designs. They are intended to be relevant to the regular envisioned UA operations, while remaining proportionate (in complexity and cost) to the design of UA’s. These guidelines can be used for instance by UAS manufacturers, operators or noise measurement organisations, on a voluntary basis, to establish noise levels associated to particular designs and operations. It is recommended that the resulting noise levels be reported to the Agency, who later intends to build an online public repository available to the operator for the statement of compliance of the UAS with the Union and national rules related to environmental protection and to the competent authority in order to assess this statement.”