NASA Captured Stunning Images of Crossing Shockwaves from Two Supersonic Aircrafts

As the name suggests, a supersonic plane travels faster than the speed of sound. A fantastic series of images trapped the waves released by the superfast plane. It includes the moment two supersonic jets break the speed of sound to generate parallel sonic booms with interacting shockwaves. According to NASA, it is the first time the stunning effect is captured. Such innovations take many years to take place. Besides, the space agency depends on high-tech air-to-air photographic technology. It used the collected data to create its so-called quiet supersonic plane. NASA intends to develop a supersonic aircraft that does not make a big sonic boom.

Thus the space agency requires to know the internal details regarding the working of supersonic shockwaves. SO the set of outstanding images reveal the association of shockwaves in flight for the first time. But the photos look like a painting; they do not seem like a real one. On Tuesday, NASA unrolled a series of images showing a pair of T-38 supersonic jetliners. Both are moving forward by tearing through the layer of gases surrounding Earth, forming sonic shock waves. NASA’s B-200 King Aircraft played a vital role to capture the images. It carried an advanced camera imaging system at the height of about 30,000 feet. At that time, both jets flew at an altitude of 28,000. NASA B-200 King plane snapped the event by using the sound barrier at a rate of 1,400 fpm. (frames per second).

Although, the test planes, i.e., a pair of T-38 aircraft were flying just 30 feet away from each other, and the altitude difference between them was only 10 feet. The images reveal that shockwaves mix with the atmosphere and merge tighter. Neal Smith, a research scientist at NASA, said the exciting thing in the pictures is the structure of shockwaves. In the case of the T-38 present at the backside, one can see these shocks kind of interact in a curve. Neal added this data is really going to help them for a deep understanding of the interaction of shock waves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *