Hypersonic Aerodynamics, Heat Transfer and Materials
The Hypersonic Aerodynamics program explores the impact of boundary layer transition on unsteady heating and loading in shock-boundary layer interactions; the capabilities that high enthalpy test facilities can provide; and novel methods for fabricating hypersonic vehicle configurations.
Hypersonic flight (Mach 5 or higher) provides an unprecedented capability by simultaneously extending range and reducing transit time—enabling rapid reach and global targeting. Future high-speed weapons demand efficient aerodynamic designs that deploy lightweight, durable control surfaces and are capable of enduring the extreme exposure associated with hypersonic flight across a wide range of conditions.
Research Challenges and Opportunities
- Boundary layer physics in shock-wave-dominated flows around highly swept or slender bodies
- Aero-thermo-elastic and/or aero-servo-elastic effects arising from control surface deflections at high-speeds
- Descriptions of high-speed boundary layer transition that unify theories across disparate external conditions
- Novel strategies for extending regions of laminar flow
- Advanced hypersonic aerodynamic design tools that incorporate modern predictions of transition pathways, freestream noise contributions, time/ heating-dependent surface finish effects and unsteady aerodynamics
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