The Sigma Series Lectures, presented by NASA Langley Research Center and hosted at the Virginia Air & Space Science Center in downtown Hampton, provide an opportunity to the general public to learn more about science and technology subjects. Lectures are the first Tuesday of every month and, unless otherwise indicated, the starting time for all lectures is 7:30 pm.
Sigma Series lectures are open to the general public at no charge.
For more information on Sigma Series please visit their website at: colloqsigma.larc.nasa.gov
In-person events are currently on hold due to COVID-19, however, virtual lectures have taken place since December 2020. Please check back here for updates or subscribe to email reminders. Thank you for your support and patience during this time.
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October 4, 2022: 7:30 p.m. Breaking the Sound Barrier: Achieving Quiet Supersonic Flight Over Land by Mr. Peter Coen
Seventy-five years ago this month, Charles “Chuck” Yeager and the Bell X-1 aircraft “broke” the fictitious sound barrier by flying faster than the speed of sound. The rapid development of supersonic aircraft uncovered a real barrier to commercial supersonic flight: the unacceptably annoying sonic booms which led to restrictions on supersonic flight over land and relegated the Concorde to technological success, but only flying supersonic over water. After decades of research leadership, NASA has developed technology that reduces the sonic boom to a soft “thump”. Now NASA’s Quesst Mission is poised to demonstrate this technology with the X-59: a purpose built supersonic experimental aircraft. Quesst will use the X-59 to collect data defining community response to this thump sound. This data will help replace current prohibitions on supersonic flight over land with a new international certification standard based on acceptable sound levels. The presentation will describe the history, technology, and research plans behind the Quesst Mission.
Co-sponsored by: NASA Langley Research Center and