Kevin P. Shepherd
NASA---Langley Res. Ctr., M.S. 463, Hampton, VA 23665
Louis C. Sutherl
Wyle Labs., El Segundo, CA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, in conjunction with major aerospace companies, is investigating the technical and economic feasibility of a new generation of supersonic transport airplanes. Efforts are being devoted to an examination of the feasibility of designing and operating a supersonic transport that will yield a sonic boom acceptable to the affected population. This work is focused on sonic boom signatures that differ from the classical N wave. The presentation will discuss the results of a series of studies conducted using a sonic boom simulator at the NASA---Langley Research Center in which human subjects assessed a wide range of shapes of sonic boom signatures. Various psychophysical scaling techniques were employed and the results were examined in terms of their relationship with several calculated noise measures. For the situation in which people are exposed to sonic booms while indoors, building vibration and rattle are potentially important factors in need of consideration. Structural response to sonic boom is reviewed and compared with human vibration response criteria. A review of existing data is used to determine the acceleration required to induce rattle of wall-mounted objects.