Kent Gee Recognized by AIAA

Kent Gee
Dr. Kent Gee

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) recently announced that Kent Gee was selected to their Class of 2023 Associate Fellows, for “contributions to the understanding of noise from full-scale supersonic jets.” The AIAA citation for the selection reads:

“Dr. Kent Gee’s contributions to aeronautics and astronautics primarily lie within the field of jet aeroacoustics and the mentoring of dozens of undergraduate and graduate students. After a Master’s thesis optimizing global active control of cooling fan noise, Kent’s PhD dissertation dealt with developing a numerical model for atmospheric nonlinear propagation of jet noise. Its culminating test case showed shock formation, propagation, and high-frequency energy cascading for the newly deployed F-22. That research was not only foundational for others’ work into nonlinear propagation from supersonic jets, it has been subsequently used by Kent and colleagues to develop the nonlinear modeling capability in the Department of Transportation’s Advanced Acoustic Model software.   

The dissertation work spawned other investigations by Kent into nonlinear jet aeroacoustics, including nonlinear modeling of rocket noise, quantitative understanding of physical measures of nonlinearity, studies of shock wave formation and propagation, meteorological effects, and focused studies on the phenomenon of jet crackle. In this last area, Kent has taken numerous steps to develop physical and psychoacoustic models of a phenomenon first described in the 1970s. Kent has studied crackle and other nonlinear acoustic phenomena using full-scale military jet aircraft platforms of importance: F/A-18E/F, F-22A, F-35, and T-7A. These have included static and flyover studies, as well as F-35B vertical landings.  

Kent’s full-scale military jet aeroacoustics work spans more than nonlinear propagation studies. With students and colleagues, he has developed, studied, and applied acoustic source localization techniques to full-scale tactical aircraft. Acoustical holography methods were first developed for the F-22A and then applied to the F-35, to afterburner-like large-eddy simulation, and the T-7A. Holography, beamforming, and vector intensity-based methods have also been used to develop different reduced-order wavepacket modeling frameworks for the noise radiation. 

A unique aspect of Kent’s full-scale supersonic jet noise research is his focus on understanding both military jet aircraft and rockets. Relatively few researchers have studied acoustical characteristics of launch vehicle noise, but Kent has measured and analyzed the noise from multiple static full-scale rockets (Shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket Motor and GEM-boosters) and space vehicle launches (Falcon 9, Atlas V, Falcon Heavy, Delta IV Heavy, and the upcoming SLS). These analyses have improved understanding of sound power radiation, acoustic efficiency, peak radiation angle, and spectral characteristics – and found an error embedded in a decades-old empirical rocket noise model for rocket noise. 

Other aeroacoustics-related contributions include studying wind noise contamination at screened microphones, developing measurement techniques and analysis of quiet sonic booms in support of the X-59 program, and different aspects of volcano sound production and propagation.  

We congratulate Kent Gee and we greatly appreciate your support of their AIAA activities that contributed to this significant achievement. Kent now stands with some of the greats in our profession’s history and will no doubt do much more throughout their career to shape the future of aerospace.”

We are fortunate to have Kent in our department.

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