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The impact of a thermal bubble produced by energy deposition on the near-field pressure over a Mach 1.7 free-flight model was experimentally investigated using an aeroballistic range. A laser pulse from a transversely excited atmospheric (TEA) CO laser was sent into a test chamber with 68 kPa ambient pressure, focused 10 mm below the flight path of a conically nosed cylinder with a diameter of 10 mm. The pressure history, which was measured 150 mm below the flight path along the acoustic ray past the bubble, exhibited precursory pressure rise and round-off peak pressure, thereby demonstrating the proof-of-concept of sonic boom alleviation using energy deposition.


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