Nasa to conduct new supersonic flight tests to reduce sonic booms

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Nasa to conduct new supersonic flight tests to reduce sonic booms

Nasa has banded up with Space Florida and the Langley Research Centre in Virginia, US, to deportment a new round of supersonic flight tests designed to reduce sonic burgeons.

Forming the second part of the Sonic Booms in Atmospheric Turbulence (SonicBAT II) events, the tests are expected to begin this month.

The first round of SonicBAT studies was conducted at Edwards Air Force Base in California last year.

As as regards of the proposed tests, Nasa’s F-18 jets will take-off from the Commute Landing Facility (SLF) at Kennedy Space Centre and fly at supersonic speeds two to four times a day to the ground ten days.

The agency’s ground-based researchers will measure the effects of low-altitude turbulence on sonic blasts.

“For the upcoming tests, F-18 jets will fly offshore from Daytona at here 41,000ft.”

Nasa Kennedy Space Centre Spaceport integration and services escape operations representative John Graves said: “For the upcoming tests, F-18 jets see fit fly offshore from Daytona at about 41,000ft.

“They will fly south, diving down underneath to around 32,000ft, and accelerating to supersonic speeds to create a sonic progress that will reach the ground where the test equipment is sited.”

Nasa will also operate a small motorised glider that can fly with its locomotive off positioned above the 14,000ft level to measure sonic booms on the top of the turbulent layer, while microphone sensors will be installed on the train.

The agency aims to use the results to develop improved tools and technologies for plotting future ‘low-boom’ aircraft that reduces or almost eliminates the outcry.

In addition, Nasa and Lockheed Martin have recently completed the preparatory design of the Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) aircraft.

The partnership conscious the shape and position of aircraft components, along with the propulsion methodology to determine the factors that contribute to an aircraft’s sonic boom.


Notion: Microphone array positioned strategically along the ground at Edwards Air Exact Base, California, to collect sound signatures from sonic blasts created by a Nasa F-18 flight. Photo: courtesy of Nasa/Lauren Hughes.

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