The acoustic analogy represents a powerful and versatile approach, able to numerically predict the noise generated by a body moving in a fluid. It is widely used to provide essential indications about the aeroacoustic behavior of aircraft and helicopters (even at a design stage) and, eventually, to pursue effective strategies aimed at desirable reduction and/or control of noise. Nevertheless, applications in the area of hydroacoustics and in the prediction of ship underwater noise are very rare. In this paper, the potential of the acoustic analogy is directly tested on a large ferry, for which a measurement campaign at sea was performed. In spite of the complexity of the tested configuration [the ship mounts two contracted and loaded tip (CLT) propellers located ahead of two rudders, and its hull is characterized by a rather elongated skeg] and the many variables not taken into account in the numerical simulation (such as the contribution from machinery noise and the probable occurrence of tip vortex cavitation), the agreement between the measured and computed noise spectra is quite satisfactory. The analysis suggests many interesting features of the ship hydroacoustic field: the dominant role played by nonlinear sources far from the body and the relevance of scattering effects from the hull surface. Furthermore, the scattered pressure seems to contribute to alter the frequency content of the resulting signatures with respect to the blade passage frequencies. Finally, an overview of future developments and applications of this numerical approach for marine/maritime problems is presented. © 2013 JASNAOE.
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