Mark Pestana Art 5

Solar Sonic
NASA is using a modern version of a photographic technique first developed in 1864 by German physicist August Toepler, schlieren imagery, which visualizes supersonic airflow on full size aircraft. Utilizing various aircraft at Edwards AFB, California – here, an Air Force Test Pilot School T-38C chased by a NASA F-18 – sunlight is refracted by the denser air, revealing multiple shock waves and their points of origin based on aircraft design features (e.g. canopy, engine intakes, leading edges, etc.). The research reveals that new aircraft design features may reduce or even eliminate sonic booms, essential for minimizing public disturbance by transcontinental supersonic transports.