J. Micah Downing
Robert A. Lee
Noise Effects Branch, Armstrong Lab., Wright--Patterson AFB, OH 45433-6573
Two methods of sonic boom predictions are used to compare predicted overpressures to measured sonic booms to quantify the effects of weather and flight variability on the lateral propagation of the booms. The sonic boom measurements were collected by the US Air Force at Edwards AFB, CA using a variety of supersonic aircraft. The testing included 43 flights from eight different aircraft at several Mach number and altitude combinations. The flights were planned for steady and level operation but some maneuvering of the aircraft caused focusing of the propagated booms at several measurement locations. The comparison of measured to predicted peak overpressures uses both Carlson and Full ray-tracing algorithms. The comparison examines the lateral spread of the boom and the effects on local weather profiles and variability of the flight profile on the propagated boom. This analysis demonstrates that, in general, predictions are in good agreement with the measured values but tend to overestimate the peak overpressures near the lateral cutoff.