Secondary sonic boom predictions for U.S. coastlines

Kimberly A. Riegel, Victor W. Sparrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines the behavior of secondary sonic booms on United States (U.S.) coastlines to have a more complete understanding of the impact of supersonic travel on communities. Secondary sonic booms occur when the atmospheric conditions are such that the atmospheric refraction causes the sound that would ordinarily not reach the ground to bend toward the ground. NASA's PCBoom software is a preferred simulation tool to predict the location and pressure signatures of sonic booms. It was expanded to include secondary boom propagation but has not yet been rigorously used for secondary sonic booms in a variety of conditions. This study looks at how secondary sonic booms change throughout the year and how they behave at different U.S. coastline locations. A detailed analysis of the variability of the atmospheric conditions and how they affect the arrival locations of secondary sonic booms is provided. Good agreement is found between PCBoom and previous work for the arrival locations of secondary sonic booms, which are shown to affect the U.S. east coast predominantly during the summer months and the U.S. west coast during the winter months for projected U.S. inbound supersonic flight scenarios of potential overseas travel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2816-2827
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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