Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration
The SSBE (Shaped Sonic Boom Experiment) was formerly known as the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, or SSBD, and is part of DARPA's Quiet Supersonic Platform (QSP) program. On August 27, 2003, a Northrop Grumman - modified U.S. Navy F-5E aircraft demonstrated a method to reduce the intensity of sonic booms. NASA's F-15B research testbed jet from Dryden flew in the supersonic shockwave of the F-5E in support of the test.
The F-15 was designed as a single-seat, twin-engine air superiority fighter by McDonnell Aircraft Co., McDonnell Douglas Corporation, St. Louis, Missouri. The F-15 is normally powered by two Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-100 or 220 engines, depending on the model. The NASA F-15 was equipped with advanced versions of the F100 -- F100 EMD (engine model derivative).
The aircraft was capable of flying more than twice the speed of sound. The F-15 is 63.75 feet long and has a wingspan of 42.83 feet. This NASA F-15 was extensively modified for research activities and did not carry any armament.
The project is an effort to lessen sonic booms.
During the recent demonstration, the F-15B flew behind the modified F-5E sonic boom demonstrator aircraft in order to measure the aircraft's sonic boom characteristics.
Flying behind and below the F-5E, and using its specially-instrumented nose boom, the F-15B recorded many shockwave patterns from the F-5E at various distances and orientations from the aircraft.