Monday, 16 July, 2018

NASA plans to conduct public tests of its quiet supersonic technology

NASA tests ‘quiet’ supersonic jet which will go from London to New York in three hours The plane is known as the X-59
Theresa Hayes | 05 July, 2018, 02:17

NASA has been working on improving air travel for over four decades now and numerous flight designs, airport and runway innovations, and engine and control systems can be traced back to NASA research.

By performing dives at the speed of sound, the jets will produce two types of sonic boom in order to truly determine the sound they produce on the ground.

"Instead of getting a loud boom-boom, you're going to get at least two quiet thump-thump sounds, if you even hear them at all", Haering said. The Gulf Coast city was chosen because it was next to the Gulf of Mexico, which enables the F/A-18 to keep its louder sonic booms (near the dive point) out to sea, while throwing the quieter sonic thumps (far forward of the dive point) at Galveston.

The tests aim to see how well the public manages to notice softer sounds, unlike the usual ones generated by supersonic flights, which produce shockwaves that result in booming noises once they pass Mach 1 speeds.

According to the report, from November onwards, F/A-18 Hornets will be create regular sonic booms over the water near Galveston, a town in Texas, as well as quieter sonic "thumps" directly over the town. It's a fluid dynamics thing: When an aircraft traveling through the air - the fluid - moves at increasingly fast speeds, the molecules of air at its nose get increasingly compressed.

There will be audio sensors to provide absolute readings of the sound during the test. however, at least 500 volunteers will provide feedback on what they hear.

NASA's team leader for sonic boom community response research at Langley, Alexandra Loubeau, said, "We never know what everyone has heard".

The X-59 QueSST supersonic plane was included in the White House's 2019 budget request for NASA earlier this year as part of a $633.9 million funding proposal for aeronautics research. There will no instrument for monitoring the noise on their shoulder inside our house.

However, the new plane is only expected to launch by the end of 2021, and flights over communities are only expected to happen from 2023.

Formerly known as "Low-Flight Flight Demonstrator", the project has been renamed X-59 QueSST. "While construction continues on the X-59, we can use that diving maneuver to generate quiet sonic thumps over a specific area".

You'd only hear the sonic boom when the shockwaves reach your tiny little ears.