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Origins and Overview of the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration ProgramThe goal of the DARPA Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration (SSBD) Program was to demonstrate for the first time in flight that sonic booms can be substantially reduced by incorporating specialized aircraft shaping techniques. Although mitigation of the sonic boom via specialized shaping techniques was theorized decades ago, until now, this theory had never been tested with a flight vehicle subjected to actual flight conditions in a real atmosphere. The demonstrative success, which occurred on 27 August 2003 with repeat flights in the supersonic corridor at Edwards Air Force Base, is a critical milestone in the development of next generation supersonic aircraft that could one day fly unrestricted over land and help usher in a new era of time-critical air transport. Pressure measurements obtained on the ground and in the air confirmed that the specific modifications made to a Northrop Grumman F-5E aircraft not only changed the shape of the shock wave signature emanating from the aircraft, but also produced a flat-top signature whose shape persisted, as predicted, as the pressure waves propagated through the atmosphere to the ground. This accomplishment represents a major advance towards reducing the startling and potentially damaging noise of a sonic boom. This paper describes the evolution of the SSBD program, including the rationale for test article selection, and provides an overview of the history making accomplishments achieved during the SSBD effort, as well as, the follow-on NASA Shaped Sonic Boom Experiment (SSBE) Program, whose goal was to further evaluate the characteristics and robustness of shaped boom signatures.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Langley Research Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Pawlowski, Joseph W.
(Northrop Grumman Corp. El Segundo, CA, United States)
Graham, David H.
(Northrop Grumman Corp. El Segundo, CA, United States)
Boccadoro, Charles H.
(Northrop Grumman Corp. El Segundo, CA, United States)
Coen, Peter G.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Maglieri, Domenic J.
(Eagle Aeronautics, Inc. Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2005
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
AIAA Paper 2005-0005
Meeting Information
Meeting: 43rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and exhibit
Location: Reno, NV
Country: United States
Start Date: January 10, 2005
End Date: January 13, 2005
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Funding Number(s)
OTHER: 23-062-20-00
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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