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NASA Prepares Navigation System for Future Supersonic Flight Tests

1 min read
X-59
X-59 NASA

NASA has test-flied a system that would help aircraft get into precise positions during supersonic flight.

The space agency said Wednesday it tested the Airborne Location Integrating Geospatial Navigation System in preparation for future demonstrations of the Lockheed Martin-made X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology or QueSST plane.

Lockheed designed QueSST to lessen the sonic boom sound emitted during supersonic flight. The aircraft will undergo demonstrations beginning in 2024.

NASA first has to test X-59's quietness through acoustic validation. An F-15 aircraft equipped with a shock-sensing probe will gather needed information by measuring QueSST's shock waves. 

ALIGNS will facilitate the distancing between the two aircraft during the acoustic validation test.

"The pilots will get directional cues on the ALIGNS display to help them steer the F-15 to that specific point in space,” said Troy Robillos, principal investigator for ALIGNS.

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