Galveston, Texas, Gets a Piece of NASA’s ‘Quiet’ Sonic Booms

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Scientists found a way to travel fast in the sky, but now NASA wants to deal with the noise made from the aircraft. They plan to test and reduce sonic booms, and they’re using Galveston, Texas as the place for testing.

Until now, NASA has been working on a way to make their supersonic aircraft fly without shattering windows or terrifying people. And it’s time they tested to see how loud will be their new “quiet” supersonic technology. Then, they will compare the sounds to a traditional sonic boom to see the difference.

When an aircraft travels over the speed of sound, it produces shockwaves. Factors like the size of the aircraft and the shape can contribute to the loudness of a boom. NASA hopes to lower the noise created by high-speed air travel to better the lives of people living under their routes.

Supersonic jet, The Concorde, has been discontinued for the exact issue: loudness caused beneath the land it passed over. Airlines had to place a speed restriction over some areas, and fast air travel (for an extra price) was used less.

NASA Will Also Test Residents’ Reactions to the Noise

The tests performed by NASA will include an F/A-18 aircraft to dive above Galveston. It will produce traditional sonic booms. The, NASA hopes to achieve quiet booms with the experimental X-59 jet. The test has also recruited citizen observers to give feedback on the difference of the booms. NASA explains more about their tests and the next steps afterward:

“Once fully tested and pronounced safe to fly within the National Airspace, the X-59 in late 2022 will begin making supersonic flights over select communities to measure residents’ reactions to any noise they might hear. The scientifically valid data gathered from these community overflights will be presented to U.S. and international regulators, who will use the information to help them come up with rules based on noise levels that enable new commercial markets for supersonic flight over land.”

Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.