KENNEDY SPACE CENTER: The humid Florida climate has brought a team of NASA researchers to Kennedy Space Center in August to measure how a sonic boom will propagate in humid atmosphere. The team is in the midst of an eight-year project to modify the shape of future super-sonic aircraft to lessen noise from sonic booms. The result of the research could lead to a new line of super-fast business jets in the 2040’s.
Ed Haering is the principal investigator for Sonic Books in Atmospheric Turbulence (SonicBAT). His team brought a pair of F-18 jets to KSC in order to generate 33 sonic booms from August 21-31, 2018. We Report Space had a chance to ask Haering about the sonic booms heard each time the Falcon 9 lands at LZ-1 at CCAFS.
Any Aircraft Flying Faster than Mach 1 Generates a Continuous Carpet of Sonic Booms
Haering explained that there is not one single sonic boom when the aircraft breaks the sound barrier. Every aircraft traveling faster than Mach 1 generates a continuous shock wave that will lay down a carpet of sonic booms. That carpet can be fifty miles wide. On the ground, we only hear the double-sonic boom once ...