Sonic Boom Research
Flight tests in support of the Lift and Nozzle Change Effects on Tail Shock, or LaNCETS, project are being conducted at Dryden. The goal of the project is to develop and validate computational prediction tools to be used in the design of civilian supersonic aircraft that can fly over land without generating unacceptable sonic booms.
The flight portion of the LaNCETS project consists of measuring the aft-shockwave structure of a modified F-15 test aircraft using another F-15 as the probing aircraft. The aft shockwave includes those shock waves emanating from the lead F-15's tail surfaces, exhaust plume and wake.
The effort is funded through the supersonics office of NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. The supersonics office is directing fundamental research that will lead to reduction of sonic-boom noise as part of its overall goal of eliminating barriers to development of practical civil supersonic aircraft.
LaNCETS is the latest in a series of research efforts that have examined aircraft shaping effects on sonic boom and the transmission of shock waves through the atmosphere. NASA previously teamed with Northrop Grumman Corp. on the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstrator project and with Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. on the Quiet Spike project. Both projects successfully validated design tools for aircraft forebody shaping.