Leading edge serrations as a noise reducing high-lift device for owls

Owls are stealthy fliers. They reduce the noise level and prevent prey from hearing them. An understanding of the mechanisms underlying silent flight may be an inspiration for the development of engineering solutions where stealth mode or noise reduction is required. Owls reduce aerodynamic noise in an efficient manner. One of the prominent mechanisms is the leading-edge serrations that radiate from the leading-edge and identified by many as the primary noise reducer. These serrations turn the flow over the wing at the leading-edge into the spanwise direction toward the wingtip, thus producing a stationary leading-edge vortex (LEV) that delays flow separation about the owl’s wing. The proposed research will study this unique noise reduction phenomenon resulting from the owl’s leading-edge serrations through both numerical simulations and experiments.