Since the retirement of Concorde in 2003, the aeronautical industry has sought to exploit the advantages of supersonic flight without the disadvantages of this technology. In particular the very loud “sonic boom”.
The sonic boom generates such sound energy (110 decibels) that the Concorde, although capable of going up to Mach 2.04, was not authorized to fly over the territories at this speed. No one wants to be woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of a huge explosion! To solve this puzzle, NASA is developing a promising technology called Quiet SuperSonic Technology (QueSST).
Measure aircraft noise
This experimental technology, used on the X-59 jet, produces a much muffled sound described as a ” sound clap by John Wolter who oversees this development. ” With the X-59 we want to demonstrate that we can reduce those annoying sonic booms to something much quieter. “, he explains.
And NASA is well on its way to getting there. The US space agency conducted extensive testing of a miniature 2.4 x 1.8 meter version. The Glenn Research Center performed measurements in a “supersonic wind tunnel” to validate the computer simulations that helped fine-tune the aircraft’s aerodynamics. After several weeks of testing, victory: the computer models proved to be correct.
This is a significant step in the development of the full-size version of the X-59. But the tests are not over. The miniature version will now travel to Japan, where engineers from NASA, Boeing and the Japanese space agency will conduct a new round of measurements.
” The aim is to provide data to regulators, which could lead to new rules for supersonic flights on land hopes John Wolter. The test proved that NASA had not only come up with a quieter aircraft design, but also developed accurate tools to predict future aircraft noise.