Reducing the Sonic Boom
Reducing the Sonic Boom

When an airplane flies supersonically, or at a speed greater than the speed of sound, a sonic boom is produced. When this sonic boom is produced over land, it can cause a noise disturbance. This disturbance is a major roadblock in developing civilian supersonic aircraft.

New research is being performed at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland that could help alleviate the sonic boom produced by supersonic aircraft.

Testing was recently completed of the Large-Scale Low-Boom supersonic inlet model with micro-array flow control, in Glenn's 8' x 6' Supersonic Wind Tunnel. The inlet supplies airflow to the engine of an aircraft. The micro-array flow control devices were intended to improve the inlet's performance. Wind tunnel testing measured how the inlet performed when the air flowed through the duct.

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation and the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign partnered with Glenn for this testing. Rod Chima, a NASA aerospace engineer, is pictured here in the wind tunnel with the Large-Scale Low-Boom supersonic inlet model.

-Image Credit: NASA
Photographer: Bridget R. Caswell (Wyle Information Systems LLC)

Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator