Using data generated by actual flight tests conducted at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center and data collected from NASA noise laboratories, app developers should construct a visualization of low boom as it compares to normal sonic boom. Currently noise data is either illustrated with ‘contours’ around airport runways and surrounding areas or presented numerically in decibels. Can an app be developed that allows people to ‘see’ the difference between low boom and normal sonic boom over their geographical area? Such an app would help visual learners to grasp the difference more rapidly than traditional data displays.
Supersonic flights over land have been banned for decades due to the unpleasant sonic boom that shakes the ground, rattles the windows, and hurts the ears. Yet business travel, medical emergencies, and family crises warrant reaching destinations as soon as possible. This need for speed has prompted researchers at NASA to find ways to lower the boom using new supersonic aircraft designs. The new technology effectively reduces the level of noise produced by the aircraft. Testing of new designs has begun, not only with actual aircraft, but also with noise simulators in research laboratories. Communities near airports and those along the future supersonic jet flight paths will want to know ahead of time what to expect from a low boom aircraft.
The app should give an accurate visual representation of the level of low boom noise compared to the level of normal sonic boom noise. Ideally, the app would use a US map to compare the low-boom as it would be ‘heard’ and ‘felt’ on the ground by an aircraft cruising at Mach 1.5 at an altitude of 40,000 ft. between New York and San Francisco with a normal sonic boom over the same flight path.