The Future of Hypersonic Wind Tunnels, 37th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting & Exhibit, January 11-14, 1999/Reno, NV
AMERICAN INST OF AERONAUTICS AND ASTRONAUTICS NEW YORK
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Aerospace plays a key role in the United States economy and national security. The recent Gulf War is a good example of the importance of aerospace systems. In the commercial sector, air travel continues to thrive. Aerospace technology and systems development capabilities existing in the United States today can be linked to the significant infrastructure investments between 1945 to 1975. These investments were made not only for subsonic and supersonic research and development, but also for a test and evaluation TE infrastructure. This infrastructure consisted of wind tunnels, propulsion test cells, and trained personnel to operate them. These facilities have been crucial for reducing technical risk during the system development process. By identifying design problems early in the development cycle, huge costs for redesign or fixes have been avoided. Aerospace, no doubt, has played a significant role in the United States becoming a Super Power. Aerospace systems development will continue to play a key role in the 21st century. The desire to get to a target quicker global engagement and take payloads into space cheaper is now driving us towards the need for hypersonic systems. These hypersonic systems, like the subsonic and supersonic systems of the present, will require wind tunnels and propulsion test facilities to reduce development risk. The technical and financial challenges in acquiring and sustaining future hypersonic TE facilities are impacted by the current environment of downsizing, partnering, and privatizing. This paper will address the system requirements that are driving us towards hypersonic systems and the issues associated with building hypersonic wind tunnels or aeropropulsion TE facilities suitable for system development.
- Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods
- Information Science