Researchers at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, CA, US, recently captured images of supersonic shockwaves streaming from two research aircraft.
MetroLaser, Inc. developed a new high-tech Schlieren imaging system – known as the Ground-to-Air Schlieren Photography System (GASPS) – under a Small Business Innovation Research Program contract. The system employs telescopes, digital cameras, and specialized image-processing software to record images of airflow density.
In this case, the system recorded the density of shockwaves as F-15 and F/A-18 aircraft passed between the cameras and the sun. By providing a clearer understanding of the location and relative strength of supersonic shockwaves, Schlieren imaging becomes another tool in NASA’s growing research toolbox for characterizing sonic booms.
- Amber Harmon