The Engadget article NASA will publicly test quiet supersonic technology in November says:
The administration plans to conduct a series of public tests around the coastal city of Galveston in November. The F/A-18 Hornet aircraft at the heart of the tests will perform dive maneuvers that produce louder sonic booms out at sea, while quieter sonic "thumps" will take place over Galveston proper. After that, "at least" 500 local volunteers will provide feedback on what they heard, while audio sensors will provide more definitive noise readings.
and links to the NASA YouTube video NASA Social: Low-Boom Maneuver:
This footage is from a NASA Social event at Armstrong Flight Research Center during which the F/A-18 was flown to produce a regular sonic boom and then a low “boom” by performing the dive maneuver described in this story. The normal sonic double boom occurs at 0:43. The low “boom” occurs at 02:34. The rest of the footage includes a flyby, planes on the ground with NASA Social participants, a visit to the Ikhana UAS and a pilot signing.
Question: What would be a simple way to understand what a "low-boom maneuver" is, and how would an F/A-18 execute it? In this case would it require any modification of the Hornet's configuration?
Is producing the boom during a dive of particular relevance to the reduction in sound level, or is this just a convenient way to do this particular experiment? Since the sound level as well as the reduction of the level for the low-boom maneuver at ground level may have a directional dependence, I'm wondering if the direction of the dive needed to be carefully planned to be representative of how the reduction would work for civilian air travel boom reduction, where dives are (thankfully) less frequent.