The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) today announced that the first drop test conducted as part of its second phase of the “Drop test for Simplified Evaluation of Non-symmetrically Distributed sonic boom” (D-SEND#2) at the Esrange Space Center, Sweden, on August 16th, 2013 (Sweden Standard Time), was unsuccessful.
After its separation from a balloon, the supersonic airplane model deviated from the expected flight path about 12 kilometers short of the targeted boom measurement area, and reached the ground about 8 kilometers short of the target area. Although JAXA’s sonic boom measurement system worked properly and captured the sonic boom, it was confirmed that the pressure waveform measured was not from the expected nominal flight.
As of today, the cause of the flight deviation remains under investigation by a team led by the director of the Program Management and Integration Department of the Institute of Aeronautical Technology. Therefore, JAXA decided to postpone its second drop test of D-SEND#2 by taking the remaining test window until August 24 into account.
JAXA will make a further decision as to whether to continue carrying out the second test of the D-SEND#2 or not upon completion of a full analysis and investigation into the cause.