The space agency on Monday began testing "quiet sonic booms" near the island community using F/A-18 jets as part of its Quiet Supersonic Flights 2018, or QSF18, campaign. The jets are flying over the Gulf of Mexico in a unique maneuver as part of a two-week project to assess public reactions to the noise.
"QSF18 is a big step in NASA's efforts to understand what is required for acceptable supersonic overland flight," said Peter Coen, NASA's commercial supersonic technology project manager, in a statement.
"This is the first time in decades that we have reached out to a large community as part of our supersonic research," Coen said. "NASA has performed similar tests at our Armstrong Flight Research Center, using similar sounds created by the same F/A-18. We've measured the noise levels and the impact on structures, as well as surveyed people for annoyance, to make certain that these tests are safe and well-planned. We greatly appreciate Galveston's interest and support."