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WSMR RANGE-WIDE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT Space System Vehicles. The primary and potentially worst-case space vehicle
noise source at WSMR would be the NASA Space Shuttle sonic boom(s) during an orbiter
reentry recovery at WSSH. Reentry of the Space Shuttle would produce sonic booms over
populated areas. Normal Space Shuttle overpressures during reentry should not exceed 24 Pa
(0.5 psf) until the Space Shuttle is within 900 km (500 nautical miles) of a landing site.
Overpressures would not exceed 48 Pa (1 psf) until the Space Shuttle is about 167 km (90
nautical miles) from a landing site, and the minimum overpressure for any reentry will not
exceed 101 Pa (2.1 psf). The area that experiences overpressures between 9.8 and 10.2 kg
per square meter Pa (2 psf and 2.1 psf) is small (generally 259 km2 [100 rni2]) and would be
located no further than approximately 44 km (24 nm) from a landing site (NASA 1978).

During reentry, the sonic boom from a Space Shuttle would reach a maximum value of 101
Pa (2.1 psi). This corresponds to an impulse sound pressure level of 134 dB, which is well
below the Committee on Hearing, Bioacoustics, and Biomechanics damage limit of 145 dB.
At this level, startle reactions would occur in some people, but no extreme reex body
movements would occur (NASA 1978).

Additional noise sources associated with Space System Vehicles are generated by rocket
engine (propulsion system) testing periodically conducted at NASA WSTF and are
anticipated to result from X-33 RLV testing. Noise levels generated from the ring of large
scale-hydrogen oxygen explosions have been measured at an Lmax of 104.3 dBC (114-dB
peak) (Rossow, pers. corn. 1992a). Noise levels generated from Cell 844 burst-disk testing
have been measured at an Lmax of 123.8 dB (140-dB peak) (Rossow, pers. com. 1992b).
Noise levels generated from Area 300, Test Stand 301, ring procedures for the Aft Reaction
Control Subsystem Fleet Lead 7-Day Mission Cycle (direction squib ignition) have been
measured at an Lmax of 124.9 dB (138-dB peak) (Rossow, pers. com. 1992c). X-33 RLV
testing would produce noise levels similar to current single stage rocket technology testing. Aircraft Operations. General military aircraft ight operations conducted on

WSMR can be categorized as test program support or tactical training. In both cases, aircraft
ying in the restricted airspace areas of the range are military jets that operate supersonic and
subsonic, from surface to unlimited altitudes, and y in all of the range airspace areas.

Light military and general aviation propeller aircraft occasionally transit the range enroute to
on-range airelds for landings. Light aircraft ying on range are normally at or above 914 m
(3,000 ft) above ground level (AGL) and are anticipated to produce noise Sound Exposure
Levels (SELs) lower than those produced by range helicopter ights at similar altitudes (see
Section The U.S. Army C-12 propeller aircraft when operating at takeoff thrust and
airspeed produces a SEL of 79.3 dBA at approximately 300 m (1,000 ft). At 305 to 366 m
(1,000 to 1,200 ft) AGL, the C-12 produces a maximum noise level of 71.8 dBA. This is
below the average 88 dBA for all propeller aircraft at 305 m (1,000 ft) AGL (U.S. Air Force

Tactical training ight operations are generated primarily by the U.S. Air Force from
Holloman AFB or from U.S. Air Force bases in proximity to the range. U.S. Navy and U.S.
Marine aircraft ight activities on WSMR also may operate from these U.S. Air Force bases
and from off range. Aircraft familiarization, basic fighter maneuver, and air combat tactics
training operations are conducted in range special-designated airspace training areas. These
training areas are the Mesa, Lava, Casa, and Yonder and are used from 152 m (300 ft) AGL
to 15,200 m (50,000 MSL (Figure 3-34). Red Rio and Oscura training areas are used as

air-to-ground ranges and are used as low as 30 m (100 ft) AGL. Tactical training supersonic
ight operations are conducted in the 49th Fighter Wing (49FW) Designated Supersonic