NASA and the Air Force are looking for university and industry partners to advance hypersonic research.
The NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington and the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Office of Science Research at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, released a broad agency announcement.
It details their intent to establish three national hypersonic science centers.
Hypersonic speed is defined as Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound, and faster.
NASA’s Fundamental Aeronautics Program and the Air Force Office of Science Research plan to set aside as much as $30 million to fund the centers over five years. The maximum grant will be approximately $2 million a year. The jointly funded program will support university-level basic science or engineering research that provides improved understanding of hypersonic flight.
"We have identified three critical research areas: air-breathing propulsion, materials and structures, and boundary layer control," said James Pittman, principal investigator for NASA’s Fundamental Aeronautics Program’s Hypersonics Project at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. "These three areas are the biggest hurdles to successful hypersonic flight and low-cost space access using an air-breathing engine."