Drone technology continues to evolve apace, but one barrier to their widespread use is public opinion, not least a dislike of the noise they make. Callum Tennant reports on a project that may be about to change that
Researchers in Australia have come up with a new propeller design that could make drones around 15dB quieter than they are at present. The team, including specialists from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and XROTOR, an aerial surveillance and intelligence company, used machine learning to create several designs before 3D printing them at RMIT’s Advanced Manufacturing Precinct. The designs then underwent acoustic testing at a specialised ‘echo-free’ chamber belonging to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Canberra.