A Field-Deployable Wireless Data Acquisition System for Ground-Test Arrays – AIAA Jun 2023

This paper describes the development, characterization, and deployment of a field-deployable wireless data acquisition system for ground-test arrays, applicable in noise-source localization or beamforming measurements such as those encountered during airframe noise flyover measurement tests. The system design is enabled by commercially available, low-power Internet of Things (IoT) processors and Wi-Fi communication components. Time is synchronized across the array wirelessly by leveraging the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) provided by the Global Positioning System (GPS). Initial laboratory characterization of the system demonstrated its ability to meet acoustic bandwidth, dynamic range, time synchronization, environmental, and battery life requirements for typical ground-test array deployments. A successful system deployment at NASA Langley was performed that included measurement of a suspended elevated static noise source, and Uncrewed Aerial System (UAS) vehicle measurements using a quadcopter operated both in hover mode and forward flight. Beamform analysis of the acquired data showed an excellent ability of the array to extract accurate sound pressure levels from the suspended source. Synchronization of the array and vehicle GPS timecodes allowed the ability to extract acoustic signatures from the UAS vehicle during hover and forward flight maneuvers over the array. These results validate the use of high-channel count wireless arrays in airframe noise flyover test campaigns.

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