Using the Ground-to-Air Schlieren Photography System (GASPS) NASA was able to capture the following amazing images of fighter jets as they hit supersonic speeds. As you can see though these are not your ordinary images of fighter jets…
The images that you see above are actually special images that NASA has been using to study the effect that a jet has on the air around it at supersonic speeds. The special GASPS technology, which utilizes digital cameras and telescopes, allows us to actually see the effect that the Jet is having on the air.
According to Aviation Week, this photography technique could prove to be more accurate and informative than traditional wind tunnel testing. It also gives us a visual and very clear look at how sonic booms really work, which could be instrumental in developing technology to reduce or limit them over land so that commercial airliners could implement supersonic airplanes and decrease flight times.
All of that is interesting and all, but I am amazed by the photography more than anything else. I mean how cool is it that we are able to take pictures of air flow from the ground. Check out this video that gives us a pretty good look at how this tech works and how the images were taken.
What are your thoughts on this? Can you see any more neat uses for photographic tech like this? Let us know in a comment below.