1aNS1. Validation of launch vehicle sonic boom predictions.

Session: Monday Morning, December 2

Time: 10:15

Author: J. Micah Downing
Location: USAF Armstrong Lab., Wright--Patterson AFB, OH 45433
Author: Kenneth Plotkin
Location: Wyle Labs., Inc., Arlington, VA 22202


Concern has been raised about the sonic boom levels generated by launch vehicle operations. To address this concern the USAF recently monitored the sonic boom generated by the launch of a Titan IV rocket and the reaction of the local wildlife. The sonic boom generated by this launch intersected the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California. The sonic booms were recorded by the USAF Boom Event Analyzer Recorder and by DATs with low-frequency microphones on San Miguel, Santa Rosa, and Santa Cruz islands. Before the launch, predictions were made to assess the sonic boom impact on the islands. The prediction model used in this comparison was PCBoom3, a single-event sonic boom model developed by the USAF. This model has been updated to model sonic booms generated by launch vehicles and includes the effect of the rocket plume on the generation of the sonic boom. The measured sonic boom signatures are compared to predictions.

ASA 132nd meeting - Hawaii, December 1996