SRM University was one of the finalists at the Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2013. Team AVAS discuss their concept of reducing propulsion noise of aircraft.

How was the idea conceived?

Balakrishnan had initially come up with the idea of incorporating temperature difference to generate electricity, a concept called thermoelectricity.

During our initial meetings, we realised that this alone would not suffice. So, Anita and Michael worked upon the idea of active control of noise from the jet exhaust.

We sat through numerous meetings to club these two ideas into one synergistic, autonomous system.

Can you briefly describe your project’s concept?

We generate electricity from the exhaust gases in the nozzle using thermoelectric materials. These are energy-converting materials. We then use this energy to alter the shape of the Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) positioned on the nozzle. This allows colder air to flow into the exhaust and cool it down a bit. This causes a reduction in noise.

How significant is this change in the aviation industry?

The industry is currently under a lot of pressure due to various environmental concerns, and noise is one of the key issues.

It can be expected that in the near future many existing engines would have to go out of commission because of even more stringent noise level norms.

Our idea provides them an easy way out, as in they do not have to design an entirely new engine. This modification to every engine would reduce the noise levels.

Can you comment on your experience during FYI?

We worked for nearly six months on our project. The most important lessons we learnt were team work and punctuality.

When doing a project for an organisation as competent as Airbus, they expect a level of expertise from us. Our main objective was to satisfy this requirement.

Can you discuss what you've learnt from your mentors?

Our academic mentor, Mr. K. Sakthivel, Assistant Professor at SRM, learnt topics outside his areas of research to help us. He instilled in us the foundations of certain technical topics that will surely benefit us. Our Airbus mentor, Mr. Özgen Kaan understood the psyche of us young students. He was thousands of miles away, yet he supervised our project efficiently.

The students are pursuing Aerospace Engineering at SRM University.