Sound and vibration transmission modeling methods are important to the design process for high quality automotive vehicles. Statistical Energy Analysis (SEA) is an emerging design tool for the automotive industry that was initially developed in the 1960’s to estimate root-mean-square sound and vibration levels in structures and interior spaces. Although developed to estimate statistical mean values, automotive design application of SEA needs the additional ability to predict statistical variances of the predicted mean values of sound and vibration. This analytical ability would allow analysis of vehicle sound and vibration response sensitivity to changes in vehicle design specifications and their statistical distributions.

This paper will present an algorithm to extend the design application of the SEA method through prediction of the variances of RMS responses of vibro-acoustic automobile structures and interior spaces from variances in SEA automotive model physical parameters. The variance analysis is applied to both a simple, complete illustrative example and a more complex automotive vehicle example. Example variance results are verified through comparison with a Monte Carlo test of 2,000 SEA responses whose physical parameters were given Gaussian distributions with means at design values. Analytical predictions of the response statistics agree with the statistics generated by the Monte Carlo method but only require about 1/300 of the computational effort.

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