The Airbus Noise Technology Centre has been launched at the University of Southampton in the UK.

The centre, which has annual running costs of more than £100,000 ($159,500), will see millions of pounds of research investment in future, says Airbus.

Focused on exterior noise sources Southampton has previously carried out research for Airbus on an ad hoc basis. "This is the first university-based centre for Airbus. We are talking to the [UK government's] Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council about the value of these centres," says Airbus UK national representative for research and technology Jenny Body.

The centre's initial research will be on examining landing gear and wing, engine noise interaction. Southampton University is also the location for a Rolls-Royce technology centre and that was also a consideration in the choice.

"We were inspired by what Rolls-Royce has achieved. This has taken two years preparation," says Airbus senior acoustics expert Pierre Lempereur, citing the opportunity for the two centres to co-operate. Documents establishing the centre were signed in January.

Body also says that the centre framework provides a longer-term commitment that would be more cost effective than piecemeal research purchases. Because of changed UK university accounting and funding practices the application of the "full economic cost" principle has meant an increase in academic research prices.

Source: Flight International