Sonic Boom Data

Supersonic flights over land have been banned for decades due to the unpleasant sonic boom that shakes the ground, rattles the windows, and hurts the ears. Yet business travel, medical emergencies, and family crises warrant reaching destinations as soon as possible. This need for speed has prompted researchers at NASA to find ways to lower the boom using new supersonic aircraft designs. The new technology effectively reduces the level of noise produced by the aircraft. Testing of new designs has begun, not only with actual aircraft, but also with noise simulators in research laboratories. Communities near airports and those along the future supersonic jet flight paths will want to know ahead of time what to expect from a low boom aircraft.

The five files below contain sonic boom waveforms measured or predicted at the ground level for cruise flight of supersonic aircraft. The sounds represent the sonic booms for a fighter jet (f1.wav) and for aircraft designs shaped to reduce the sonic boom loudness (d1.wav, n1.wav, n2.wav, n3.wav). Supersonic flight of the fighter jet results in a ground wave form that is referred to as an "N-wave" due to the shape of the waveform. The pressure amplitude is high, and the two shockwaves exhibit a very rapid increase in pressure. In contrast, the shaped, the shaped aircraft result in ground waveforms that are reduced in amplitude and have a smoother shape. These differences lead to a sound which is much less annoying than the sonic boom from a fighter jet.

The file format *.wav is a standard format for uncompressed, high-quality audio files and can be read by most computer systems. The sampling frequency used to store the data is 12 kHz.

More resources on NASA's supersonic flights appear below:

The Stark Beauty of Supersonic Shockwave

Quiet Supersonic X-Plane to be Designed (video)

Eagle Aero Probe


Data POC Elizabeth Ward
Contact Email
Publisher National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Program Code 026:024
Keywords supersonic, sonic, flynasa, low boom

Sonic Boom Waveform Test Data Files

Download URL File Format
d1 Test Data​ application/x-wav
f1 Test Data​ application/x-wav
n1 Test Data​ application/x-wav
n2 Test Data​ application/x-wav
n3 Test Data​ application/x-wav
seal or photo

Owner: Elizabeth Ward

Created At: Fri MAR 25 2016 08:09:26 GMT-0700 (PDT)

Last Updated At: Fri MAR 25 2016 08:09:28 GMT-0700 (PDT)