From NASA Armstrong: “Schlieren Images Reveal Supersonic Shock Waves”

Science Springs

NASA

NASA

NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center

Aug. 25, 2015
Peter Merlin, Public Affairs
NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center

1This schlieren image dramatically displays the shock wave of a supersonic jet flying over the Mojave Desert. Researchers used NASA-developed image processing software to remove the desert background, then combined and averaged multiple frames to produce a clear picture of the shock waves.
Credits: NASA Photo

NASA is using a 21st century version of schlieren imagery, invented by a German physicist in 1864, to visualize supersonic flow phenomena with full-scale aircraft in flight.
Credits: NASA Photo

NASA researchers in California are using a modern version of a 150-year-old German photography technique to capture images of shock waves created by supersonic airplanes. Over the past five years scientists from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base and Ames Research Center at Moffett Field have teamed up to demonstrate how schlieren imagery, invented in 1864 by…

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