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Vigilant Aerospace’s FlightHorizonX product was successfully used by NASA to complete its Quiet Supersonic Flight campaign (QSF18) near Galveston, Texas this week. The flights are a part of NASA’s Commercial Supersonic Technology program. FlightHorizonX was used to monitor supersonic flights taking place offshore by a NASA F-18 aircraft.

The QSF18 flights were conducted to test new supersonic boom mitigation techniques to help re-introduce supersonic transportation aircraft into the US national airspace and secondarily to test a new supersonic aircraft transponder.

The NASA QSF18 flights included up to eight flights per day with the flight operations occurring over a two week period which began November 5 and concluded last week. More info about the QSF18 program.

The Vigilant Aerospace FlightHorizonX software provided the NASA flight team and researchers with real-time situational awareness of their aircraft and other aircraft in the region, display of the geofenced flight area, warnings about other aircraft entering the flight area and airspace logging for later analysis.

FlightHorizonX is a special, supersonic version of FlightHorizon which has been modified to receive and display data from a new supersonic transponder prototype being tested on both supersonic aircraft and spacecraft in the US.

The software was active on a small computer connected to a large display for monitoring by the flight team in a hanger building at Ellington Field.

The software was also installed and running on a tablet computer on a knee-board attached to the pilot of the aircraft.

The NASA Commercial Supersonic Technology program is the premier supersonic research program in the US. Vigilant Aerospace was selected to provide FlightHorizon GCS to the program for 2018-2019 test flights. Read more here.


Pictured: NASA QSF18 team members monitoring flights with FlightHorizon showing the designated operating area for the flights with an  orange “geofence” in FlightHorizonX on the large display.

Media Coverage:

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NASA creating ‘quiet’ sonic booms over Galveston

NASA Prepares for Future of Supersonic Experimental Flight

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