DLR PR — Can new types of engine make spaceflight easier and more economical? This question is being investigated by researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) using one of Europe’s leading hypersonic wind tunnels, located in Göttingen. The engine is being tested for an Australian Scramjet-based Access-to-Space Systems (SCRAMSPACE) experimental spacecraft – SCRAMSPACE I – scheduled for launch in 2013.
DoD PR — Today the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command conducted the first test flight of the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) concept. At 6:30 a.m. EST (1:30 a.m. Hawaii-Aleutian Time) Nov. 17, a first-of-its-kind glide vehicle, designed to fly within the earth’s atmosphere at hypersonic speed and long range, was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii to the Reagan Test Site, U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll.
The objective of the test is to collect data on hypersonic boost-glide technologies and test range performance for long-range atmospheric flight. Mission emphasis is aerodynamics; navigation, guidance, and control; and thermal protection technologies.
A three-stage booster system launched the AHW glide vehicle and successfully deployed it on the desired flight trajectory. The vehicle flew a non-ballistic glide trajectory at hypersonic speed to the planned impact location at the Reagan Test Site. Space, air, sea, and ground platforms collected vehicle performance data during all phases of flight. The data collected will be used by the Department of Defense to model and develop future hypersonic boost-glide capabilities.
DARPA’s August 11, 2011, second flight of the HTV-2 hypersonic glider – which ended prematurely after only 9min of a planned 30min flight across the Pacific – was captured on handheld video camera by a crewmember of one of the ships tracking the vehicle’s telemetry as it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere at 20 times the speed of sound. DARPA does not yet know while the flight ended prematurely. The first HTV-2 flight, on April 22, 2010, also ended after just 9 min.
Despite losing contact with its second HTV-2 vehicle, DARPA says the flight was an improvement over the inaugural test last year:
“According to a preliminary review of the data collected prior to the anomaly encountered by the HTV-2 during its second test flight,” said DARPA Director Regina Dugan, “HTV-2 demonstrated stable aerodynamically controlled Mach 20 hypersonic flight for approximately three minutes. It appears that the engineering changes put into place following the vehicle’s first flight test in April 2010 were effective. We do not yet know the cause of the anomaly for Flight 2.”
DARPA PR — How do you learn to fly at 13,000 miles per hour—a speed at which it would take less than 12 minutes to get from New York to Los Angeles? Or, how do you know whether a vehicle can maintain a long-duration flight while experiencing temperatures in excess of 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit—hotter than a blast furnace that can melt steel? And if you can fly, and withstand the extreme heat, how do you know if the vehicle can be controlled as it rips apart the air? How? You try it.
DARPA’s second flight test of the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 is scheduled to launch Wednesday. The flight window is between 7:00am – 1:00 pm PDT from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., aboard an Air Force Minotaur IV rocket.
ESA PR — A spacecraft control flap designed for the super-heated hypersonic fall through Earth’s atmosphere has come through testing in the world’s largest plasma wind tunnel to be ready for its first flight next year.
This flap and its advanced sensors are destined to fly on ESA’s Expert – the European Experimental Reentry Testbed – a blunt-nosed capsule being shot up to the edge of space next spring on a Russian Volna rocket to gather data on atmospheric reentry at 5 km/s.
Aerojet Unveils Novel Hypersonics Plan Aviation Week
Aerojet is proposing development of a novel combined-cycle propulsion system for reusable hypersonic vehicles which packages current technology to achieve a seamless transition from a standing start to Mach 7 plus.
DRDO likely to test fly hypersonic plane by early next year Brahmand.com
DRDO expects to test fly Indiaâ€™s indigenous hypersonic technology demonstrator vehicle (HSDTV) by early next year, the defence agencyâ€™s Chief V K Saraswat said Friday.
â€œWe have conducted ground testing of the vehicle for nearly 20 seconds. It has performed well. We are hopeful to flight test it by early next year at Mach 6-7 speed,â€ Saraswat told reporters during Aero India 2011…
BrahMos Aerospace to make cryogenic engines for Indian rockets Mangalorean.com
Missile makers BrahMos Aerospace will manufacture the cryogenic engine once the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) perfects the technology, said a senior official Sunday.
The company is also hoping to induct its supersonic cruise missile into the Indian Air Force and develop hypersonic missile in six years’ time, chief executive and managing director A.Sivathanu Pillai told reporters here.
USAF Revives Blackswift Hypersonic-Like Plan Aviation Week
The U.S. Air Force is studying a hypersonic road map that calls for development of ambitious high-speed weapons and a high-speed reusable flight research vehicle (HSRFRV), slightly larger than the Darpa-led Blackswift Mach 6 demonstrator canceled in 2008.
Wired has more about the X-34s from Dave Huntsman, an engineer with NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, who spearheaded the effort to pull the hypersonic vehicles out of storage:
â€œThe real idea didnâ€™t come from me, or my Dryden buddies, or from Orbital Sciences who built them [the X-34s],â€ Huntsman wrote. â€œIt came during a week in October 2009, simultaneously, at a workshop in Dayton, Ohio (where the Air Force Research Lab is based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base), from two different entrepreneurial space companies.â€
Brahmand.com takes a look at India’s step-by-step approach to developing reusable hypersonic launch vehicles:
The RLV will loft a satellite into orbit and immediately re-enter the atmosphere and glide back for a conventional landing. The RLV and the rocket booster will be recovered separately, with the former making a conventional landing on a runway and booster making a parachute landing.
A Wednesday call to Orbital Sciences, the original manufacturers of the X-34, resulted in a brief conversation with a bemused company official. Barry Berneski, Orbitalâ€™s communications director, said he had read the X-34 news, but had heard nothing on the subject from inside the firm. â€œThey might be just trying get it out of Edwardsâ€™ valuable real estate,â€ Berneski said of the 59-foot-long space planes, only one of which ever flew â€” and just once â€” before the program was canceled on cost grounds in 2001…
The idea to ship the X-34s to Mojave and inspect them originated with a Dryden-based NASA engineer, Brown said. â€œWhen he found out this thing stillÂ existed â€¦ he decided people should take a look to see if it could be refurbished and made flightworthy.â€ Thatâ€™s when the contractors came to retrieve the two neglected spacecraft, pictured above en route to the Mojave.
But that doesnâ€™t mean NASA has formal plans to operate the X-34s under its own auspices, now or ever, Brown stressed. Provided theyâ€™re in flyable shape, itâ€™s far more likely the space agency will make the X-34s available to private industry. â€œThere are a number of firms interested in these things, developing communications and other technologies,â€ Brown said. â€œIt would be helpful if they had a vehicle.â€
Hampton Universityâ€™s School of Engineering and Technology was awarded a research contract from Lockheed Martin for $93,000. Dr. Morris H. Morgan, III, professor in the Department of Engineering and principal investigator of the contract, and Vitali Khaikine, a researcher in the Department of Engineering, will work in the HU Aeropropulsion Center ( HU-APC ), at the HU Olin engineering building, researching designs to allow aircraft to fly at super and hypersonic speeds.
DRDO to invest in Rs1,000-crore defence avionics facility domain-b.com
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) plans to invest around Rs1,000 crore [$220 million] in Hyderabad over the next five years to boost missile production and build a world-class hypersonic wind tunnel facility to serve the growing demands of strategic systems.
While a sum of Rs600 crore [$132 million] would be invested on expansion of missile production which is being taken up in collaboration with Bharat Dynamics Limited, another Rs350 crore [$77 million] would be made available towards the setting up of the wind tunnel.
The wind tunnel would be used to test systems for missiles, aircraft and re-entry vehicles flying at hypersonic speed â€“ (above Mach 5) as against the present facilities to test vehicles of speed up to Mach 5.