NASA, Air Force Designate National Hypersonic Science Centers
NASA and the United States Air Force have designated three university and industry partners in California, Texas and Virginia as national hypersonic science centers.
The new centers will advance research in air-breathing propulsion, materials and structures, and boundary layer control for aircraft that can travel at Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound, and faster.
NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington and the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Office of Scientific Research in Arlington, Va., selected the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Texas A&M University in College Station and Teledyne Scientific & Imaging LLC of Thousand Oaks, Calif., from more than 60 respondents to a broad agency announcement.
“NASA and the Air Force Research Laboratory have made a major commitment to advancing foundational hypersonic research and training the next generation of hypersonic researchers,” said James Pittman, principal investigator for the Hypersonics Project of NASA’s Fundamental Aeronautics Program at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. “Our joint investment of $30 million over five years will support basic science and applied research that improves our understanding of hypersonic flight.”
The University of Virginia is designated the National Center for Hypersonic Combined Cycle Propulsion. It will lead a team specializing in air-breathing propulsion research. Team members include researchers from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania; George Washington University in Washington; Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.; Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.; Michigan State University in East Lansing; the State University of New York at Buffalo; North Carolina State University in Raleigh; ATK GASL Inc. in Ronkonkoma, N.Y.; the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md.; and The Boeing Company in Huntington Beach, Calif.
Teledyne Scientific & Imaging LLC is designated the National Hypersonic Science Center for Hypersonic Materials and Structures. Team members include researchers from the University of California at Santa Barbara, the University of Colorado in Boulder, the University of Miami in Florida, Princeton University in New Jersey, Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla; the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Texas at Arlington.
Texas A&M University is designated the National Center for Hypersonic Laminar-Turbulent Transition. It will specialize in boundary layer control research. Team members include researchers from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena; the University of Arizona in Tucson; the University of California at Los Angeles; and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
NASA and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research previously teamed to review each other’s technology portfolios and develop a plan for foundational hypersonic research. “The Air Force Office of Scientific Research is very excited to continue our partnership with NASA,” said John Schmisseur, manager for the Air Force Office of Scientific Research’s Hypersonics and Turbulence Program. “The centers represent our first effort to sponsor research jointly.”
NASA’s Fundamental Aeronautics Program and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research each set aside as much as $15 million to fund the centers. Each center will receive $2 million per year and as much as $10 million if all renewal options are exercised.
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