NASA set to herald back age of supersonic passenger travel
NASA's efforts to define a new standard for low sonic booms could help bring back supersonic passenger travel.
Several NASA aeronautics researchers will present their work in Atlanta this week at Aviation 2014, an annual event of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
The research generates data crucial for developing a low-boom standard for the civil aviation industry. NASA works closely with the Federal Aviation Administration and the international aerospace community, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, to gather data and develop new procedures and requirements that may help in a reconsideration of the current ban on supersonic flight over land.
Peter Coen, head of the High Speed Project in NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate at the agency's Headquarters in Washington, said lessening sonic booms - shock waves caused by an aircraft flying faster than the speed of sound - is the most significant hurdle to reintroducing commercial supersonic flight.
He said other barriers include high altitude emissions, fuel efficiency and community noise around airports.
Engineers at NASA centers in California, Ohio and Virginia that conduct aviation research are tackling sonic booms from a number of angles, including how to design a low-boom aircraft and characterize the noise. NASA researchers have studied how to quantify the loudness and annoyance of the boom by asking people to listen to the sounds in a specially designed noise test chamber.
(Posted on 18-06-2014)