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NASA captures unprecedented images of supersonic shockwaves

NASA has captured unsurpassed images of the interaction of shockwaves from two supersonic jetsNASA has captured unparalleled images of the interaction between shockwaves from two supersonic aircraft, part of its research on developing planes that can fly faster than sounds without "sonic booms". When an aircraft crosses that threshold around 1 ,225 km (760 miles) per hour at sea level – it produces waves from the pressure it puts on the air around it, merging to cause the ear splitting sound. In an intricate maneuvering of "rock star" pilots at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, two supersonic T-38s flew just 30 meters (9 meters) apart under another plane waiting to photograph them with one advanced high-speed camera, the agency said. The rendezvous at a height of about 30,000 feet gave outstanding hypnotic images of shockwaves coming from both planes. With a jet flight just behind the other, "the shocks will be shaped differently," said Neal Smith, AerospaceComputing Inc, a NASA engineering company, in a post on the agency's website. "These data will really help us deepen our understanding of how these shocks interact." Sonic Booms can be a major nuisance, which not only can house people on the ground, but also cause damage like shattered windows – and this has led to strong restrictions on supersonic flight over land in jurisdictions such as the United States. The images were produced by an advanced camera carrying another aircraft flying over the two supersonic jetsThe ability to capture such detailed…

NASA has captured unsurpassed images of the interaction of shockwaves from two supersonic jets

NASA has captured unparalleled images of the interaction between shockwaves from two supersonic aircraft, part of its research on developing planes that can fly faster than sounds without “sonic booms”.

When an aircraft crosses that threshold around 1

,225 km (760 miles) per hour at sea level – it produces waves from the pressure it puts on the air around it, merging to cause the ear splitting sound.

In an intricate maneuvering of “rock star” pilots at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, two supersonic T-38s flew just 30 meters (9 meters) apart under another plane waiting to photograph them with one advanced high-speed camera, the agency said.

The rendezvous at a height of about 30,000 feet gave outstanding hypnotic images of shockwaves coming from both planes.

With a jet flight just behind the other, “the shocks will be shaped differently,” said Neal Smith, AerospaceComputing Inc, a NASA engineering company, in a post on the agency’s website.

“These data will really help us deepen our understanding of how these shocks interact.” Sonic Booms can be a major nuisance, which not only can house people on the ground, but also cause damage like shattered windows – and this has led to strong restrictions on supersonic flight over land in jurisdictions such as the United States.



The images were produced by an advanced camera carrying another aircraft flying over the two supersonic jets

The ability to capture such detailed images of shockwaves will be “crucial” to NASA’s development of X-59, the agency said, an experimental supersonic plan that it hopes will break the sound barrier with just a whine instead of a sonic boom. .

A breakthrough that could lead to the flight restrictions being solved and that commercial supersonic aircraft would return for the first time since Concorde retired in 2003.

Some countries and cities banned the French-British airline from their airspace at because of their sonic bars.



The fascinating images will help increase research on planes that can fly faster than sound without causing ear splitting “sonic bar


Explore further:
Picture: See an X-plane’s Sonic Boom

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