EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Nov. 7, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- A history-making demonstration of a method to reduce the intensity of sonic booms has been selected by the editors of Popular Science magazine as one of the magazine's "Best of What's New" awards for 2003. The Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, conducted by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) in cooperation with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and NASA, was nominated in the Aviation and Space category.
On Aug. 27, the Northrop Grumman-led sonic boom team demonstrated for the first time in flight that modifying an aircraft's shape can lower the intensity of its sonic boom. The tests were conducted on the same supersonic test range where Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier nearly 56 years earlier. The flight tests validated a technology that could lead to unrestricted supersonic flight over land.
This is the second year in a row that Northrop Grumman has won a "Best of What's New" award. In 2002, the company's experimental X-47A Pegasus unmanned air vehicle was honored in the Aviation and Space category.
Northrop Grumman conducted the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. An F-5E aircraft with a specially modified nose section flew supersonically through the test range while sensors on the ground and in other aircraft measured intensity of the shock waves created by the plane. Shortly thereafter, an unmodified F-5E flew supersonically through the same airspace. The data comparison of the two aircraft signatures clearly showed a reduction in intensity of the sonic boom produced by the modified F-5E. An identical test performed later that day confirmed the original results.
Each year, the editors at Popular Science review thousands of new products, technology developments and scientific achievements to select 100 "Best of What's New" awardees. The Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, along with the rest of the winners, is listed in the December issue of Popular Science, which is now available on newsstands. The 2003 award winners are also featured at the magazine's Web site, http://www.popsci.com .
Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration enterprise. Headquartered in El Segundo, it designs, develops, produces and supports network-enabled integrated systems and subsystems for government and civil customers worldwide. Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services that support military and homeland defense missions in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; battle management command and control; and integrated strike warfare.
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