X-15 rocket-powered research aircraft, with nose air data boom

An air data boom provides air pressure, temperature, and airflow direction data to data acquisition systems for the computation of air, ground, and water vehicle orientation, speed, altitude/depth, and related information. Air data booms can be used as primary sensors or as a "measurement standard" of which primary sensors and instruments are compared to.

Purpose and overview

An air data boom is used to collect source data during the testing of air vehicles, ground vehicles, and water-borne vessels. The air data boom is mounted on the vehicle in a location that allows for relatively undisturbed air to be measured. To attain such undisturbed air, mounting is usually done on the nose, wing, or upper horizontal stabilizer of the vehicle.

Diagram of 100600-style air data boom.
High-speed air data boom mounted on F-15 derivative aircraft.
Two wing-mounted subminiature air data booms on NASA S2 1/24-scale L-1011 model aircraft.

Typical components

Air data booms may measure one, some, or all of these capabilities:

Specialized air data booms may also contain mission-specific sensors such as humidity sensors, ice detectors, accelerometers, strain gages, and the like.


An air data boom may be referred to by a variety of names, including:


Most air data booms are either procured from niche manufacturers such as SpaceAge Control,[1] Goodrich,[i],[2] or created by vehicle manufacturers, R&D facilities, and test organizations.

See also


  1. ^ SpaceAge Control
  2. ^ "Model 0092BH or 0092BJ Air Data Flight Test Boom" (PDF). Goodrich. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-03-17.


  1. ^ Since 2012, part of UTC Aerospace Systems