7/5/2007 - Experiments scheduled by NASA's Dryden
Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in
coming weeks will examine the structural response of
modern housing construction to both normal and
low-amplitude sonic booms.
Called the Housing Structural Response to Sonic Booms
Test, the effort is scheduled to occur at Edwards from
July 11 to July 20, between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on test
The experiment consists of NASA F-18 research
aircraft flying unique profiles in order to present
sonic booms to an Edwards base house instrumented to
measure both pressure and vibration. These flight
profiles are designed to keep focused sonic booms away
from surrounding communities.
Four low boom and two normal intensity boom missions
are scheduled, with up to six sonic booms on each
mission. Booms may occur six minutes apart. No more
than two missions will be flown on one day.
The primary goal of the test is to quantify the
difference, if any, between a 2006 test using an older
Edwards base house slated for demolition due to age,
and a much newer base house that is representative of
modern construction methods and materials.
Engineers from NASA's Langley Research Center in
Hampton, Va., are providing and operating more than
100 sensors inside and outside the house, including a
microphone 250 feet from the house.
NASA Dryden will mount microphones on a 35-foot tower
in a field adjacent to the house, with additional
microphones on the ground up to 35 feet from the
tower. A Boom Amplitude and Direction Sensor, or BADS,
and a ground weather station will also be operated by
An Air Force Test Pilot School L-23 Blanik sailplane
outfitted with NASA Dryden microphone equipment will
also fly during the experiments in order to gather
airborne sonic boom data.
The sailplane records the sonic booms before the
booms enter the more turbulent air that exists a few
thousand feet above the ground, as turbulence can
greatly influence sonic boom intensity.
Recent advances in sonic boom mitigation, such as the
successful demonstration of the propagation of a
shaped sonic boom to the ground in the F-5 Shaped
Sonic Boom Demonstrator and Quiet Spike projects, have
contributed to a renewed interest in supersonic cruise
flight over land. Sonic boom reduction technology may
make overland supersonic cruise a reality in the
future, so NASA, along with industry partners,
continues efforts to reduce the impact of sonic booms.
The test is a Supersonics project managed by NASA's
Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.
Source: NASA Dryden Press Release