DARPA/Boeing X-51A WaveRider

bobbymike

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Put Your Thinking Caps On

The Air Force Scientific Advisory Board will formally kick off its Fiscal 2014 studies on Tuesday during its quarterly meeting. The board will convene in Arlington, Va. Air Force spokesman Ed Gulick confirmed to the Daily Report on Jan. 6 that the meeting was on; notice of it appeared in the Federal Register on Dec. 23. The board, tasked with informing the Air Force Secretary and Chief of Staff on matters of science and technology, intends to study three topics in this fiscal year. Defense of Air Force Forward Bases will examine how installations in areas, such as the Asia-Pacific region, will be able to deal with threats like advanced cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, mortars, improvised explosive devices, and remotely piloted aircraft. Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications will explore the capabilities and vulnerabilities of the nation's NC3 system, which is a hybrid of older and newer elements. Technology Readiness for Hypersonic Vehicles will identify operating regimes for air-breathing hypersonic systems designed for information gathering or strike, and will identify system concepts for them. (Terms of reference for Fiscal 2014 studies) (See also On Tap for 2013.)

--------------------------------------------

See bolded item
USAF Scientific Advisory Board
Technology Readiness for Hypersonic Vehicles
Terms of Reference

Background
Recent successes with the X-51 Program and an increasing focus on access to denied airspace have renewed interest in pursuing hypersonic weapon systems. Previous studies identified as a shortfall the lack of the light-weight, high temperature, and high strength materials needed for such a vehicle, both on its aerodynamic surfaces and in its propulsion system. Additionally, recent hypersonic testing has experienced anomalies in propulsion flow-path predictability and flight control effectiveness. To evaluate the eventual military utility of air-breathing hypersonics technology, the Air Force needs to identify overall system concepts that provide that utility, develop confidence in the requisite materials, propulsion, and flight control technologies for the vehicle, address the sensors, communications, and other auxiliary sub-systems needed for the overall concept, and effectively integrate all those technologies.

Charter
The study will:
  • Identify the relevant operating regimes, in particular the flight speeds and altitudes, based on projected USAF concepts of operations for hypersonic systems including ISR and strike.
  • Examine overall system concepts for hypersonic weapon systems for those missions and flight regimes. Evaluate the military utility of those systems and identify technologies needed to achieve that utility. Compare the value of those systems to similar non-hypersonic systems.
  • Assess the maturity of the modeling and sub-system testing capabilities needed to understand the material and structural requirements, aerodynamic performance, propulsion, and control requirements for flight in the relevant operating regimes.
  • Evaluate existing and emerging materials, structural concepts, propulsion systems, flight control designs, sensors, communications systems, and operator control architectures to determine their readiness to enter a development program with a clear path to future military utility.
  • Assess existing test facilities and capabilities and highlight potential gaps which would impact system development.
  • Identify technology gaps and recommend R&D efforts to address those gaps including roadmaps and expected maturity timelines.
Study Products
Briefing to SAF/OS & AF/CC in July 2014. Publish report in May 2015
 

bobbymike

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Air Force Scientific Advisory Board Hypersonic application briefing slides.
 

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quellish

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bobbymike said:
Air Force Scientific Advisory Board Hypersonic application briefing slides.

Do you Have some Space?
 

Orionblamblam

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bobbymike said:
quellish said:
bobbymike said:
Air Force Scientific Advisory Board Hypersonic application briefing slides.

Do you Have some Space?

Don't understand your question

i_dont_even_cat.jpg
 

jjnodice

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Thanks for the file bobbymike. Do you have a link to the original source?
 

bobbymike

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jjnodice said:
Thanks for the file bobbymike. Do you have a link to the original source?

I got it from Insidedefense Newsstand - Unfortunately it cost $ to download. I often try searching at the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board website but for some reason I could not find it there. Sometimes Insidedefense gets these reports before public dissemination.
 

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bobbymike: Thanks again. You seem to always be on top of things in this area and I just wanted to let you know it is appreciated.
 

bobbymike

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jjnodice said:
bobbymike: Thanks again. You seem to always be on top of things in this area and I just wanted to let you know it is appreciated.

Thank you much appreciated. I try to contribute as much as I can and really appreciate the knowledge that can be found amongst the members here as SP.
 

bobbymike

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Advisory Board To Recommend 'Next Step' In Hypersonics Research


Posted: Jun. 26, 2014

......................The Air Force Scientific Advisory Board is preparing to recommend a "next step" toward developing a hypersonic weapon capability, a SAB official said this week. "From what I've seen of where the hypersonics team is at, they're probably going to recommend some kind of next step with respect to hypersonic weapons," SAB Deputy Executive Director Lt. Col. Darren Edmonds said in a June 24 interview with Inside the Air Force, during which he discussed the status of the three studies.

In a statement to ITAF in May, Air Force spokesman Ed Gulick said the service is pursuing two main hypersonic science and technology concepts through the Air Force Research Laboratory's High Speed Strike Weapon (HSSW) program. Those concepts include tactical-boost-glide and air-breathing hypersonic weapons. "The current plan is to conduct demonstrations of the HSSW concepts in the 2018-2020 time frame," Gulick said.

Through its study, SAB is working to make a series of recommendations to the Air Force relating to advancing hypersonic weapon system concepts, and to establish a way forward for research and development efforts beyond the X-51 WaiveRider program, which ended in 2013 after some success. According to Edmonds, Air Force leadership, including Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh, has expressed a desire to make a "hard push" to progress hypersonic weapon technology using boost-glide or air-breathing scramjet concepts. "The SAB has been looking hard at those two things and there will be a lot of debate on this," he said.......

-- James Drew
 

bobbymike

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Air Force Research Laboratory is bundling hypersonic research, engineering, and testing together into a cohesive new team at Arnold AFB, Tenn. AFRL's new High Speed Experimentation Branch will open shop at Arnold Engineering Development Complex' Von Karman test facility in October, according to a July 7 release. "The multi-disciplinary test facilities and teams at AEDC will give the Air Force a never-before-realized advantage of having everything the nation needs to move hypersonics to the warfighter co-located and moving in one direction," said AEDC's hypervelocity wind-tunnel manager Dan Marren.

AFRL has partnered with AEDC on hypersonic research for several years. The formal partnership aims to "bring together the research talent of AFRL, the test and engineering expertise and facilities of AEDC, and the academic linkages ... to form a national center of gravity in hypersonics," added former AEDC Executive Director Douglas Blake.
 

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DSE said:
AFRL commander describes Air Force’s technology vision

Maj. Gen. Tom Masiello reported that AFRL is working to weaponize hypersonic technology and make it available by the 2020-plus timeframe, which will provide a rapid strike capability and assist with more technical air strikes or possibly be used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Haven't they already cancelled everything X-51 related/derived?
 

sferrin

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DSE said:
sferrin said:
Haven't they already cancelled everything X-51 related/derived?

No.

What *is* still active? They cancelled the HSSW before the ink was dry on the press release. There's been no word recently about any activity on the X-51. What's left?
 

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From Amy Butler's twits from AFA ASC2014
#AerojetRocketdyne says it can field "3rd-gen" hypersonic weapon in 24-28 mod with #X51 being 1st gen. #ASC14
#AerojetRocketdyne announces new advanced development arm called the Rocket Shop. #ASC14 (more dramatic music). http://t.co/WcWj5z8X7k
 

flateric

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http://www.dvidshub.net/video/361105/air-force-research-labs-game-changers#.VBrOD3rHkm8
 

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sferrin

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flateric said:

Unfortunately HSSW was cancelled practically the day after it was announced and there doesn't appear to be any evidence that either of the other two in that slide are anything more than artists concepts on a slide.

"#AerojetRocketdyne says it can field "3rd-gen" hypersonic weapon in 24-28 mod with #X51 being 1st gen. #ASC14
#AerojetRocketdyne announces new advanced development arm called the Rocket Shop. #ASC14 "

Companies say they can do lots of stuff. I just don't think there are any ACTUAL hypersonic weapons programs being worked. (Not by the US anyway.)
 

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dark sidius said:
You are realy pessimist, its just a problem of budget

A realist. There is very little reason to believe we'll have hypersonic air-breathing anything, outside of a lab, in the next 20 years. One only has to look at the long, LONG, string of cancellations (usually before it's even got further than the Powerpoint stage) over the last 20 years to see it.
 

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How about the SR-72? hypersonic reconnaissance and strike aircraft?
 

sublight is back

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sferrin said:
A realist. There is very little reason to believe we'll have hypersonic air-breathing anything, outside of a lab, in the next 20 years. One only has to look at the long, LONG, string of cancellations (usually before it's even got further than the Powerpoint stage) over the last 20 years to see it.

WHAT IF we are dragging our feet because we know that production of such technologies will enable (through espionage) the Russians and Chinese to produce their own?
 

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sublight is back said:
sferrin said:
A realist. There is very little reason to believe we'll have hypersonic air-breathing anything, outside of a lab, in the next 20 years. One only has to look at the long, LONG, string of cancellations (usually before it's even got further than the Powerpoint stage) over the last 20 years to see it.

WHAT IF we are dragging our feet because we know that production of such technologies will enable (through espionage) the Russians and Chinese to produce their own?

It would be difficult to think of a worse reason NOT to do something. Because they're going to keep moving forward on it anyway.
 

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Scott, slide is from AFRL PowerPoint shown at ASC on very this Tuesday
 

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flateric said:
Scott, slide is from AFRL PowerPoint shown at ASC on very this Tuesday
I don't doubt it. But I have many similar slides from similar symposia - all cancelled. Needless to say, at this point I am beyond skeptical. Thing is I don't think it's technical so much as just giving up at the first sign of difficulty.

Here's one right here (seems to be missing HyFly, but that okay, it was cancelled too):
 

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sublight is back

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sferrin said:
sublight is back said:
sferrin said:
A realist. There is very little reason to believe we'll have hypersonic air-breathing anything, outside of a lab, in the next 20 years. One only has to look at the long, LONG, string of cancellations (usually before it's even got further than the Powerpoint stage) over the last 20 years to see it.

WHAT IF we are dragging our feet because we know that production of such technologies will enable (through espionage) the Russians and Chinese to produce their own?

It would be difficult to think of a worse reason NOT to do something. Because they're going to keep moving forward on it anyway.

But I have to wonder, if the ATF had been a classified program, and was still classified, would the T-50 even exist right now?
 

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sferrin said:
flateric said:
Scott, slide is from AFRL PowerPoint shown at ASC on very this Tuesday
I don't doubt it. But I have many similar slides from similar symposia - all cancelled. Needless to say, at this point I am beyond skeptical. Thing is I don't think it's technical so much as just giving up at the first sign of difficulty.

Here's one right here (seems to be missing HyFly, but that okay, it was cancelled too):

Sferrin - you don't have this full report as a PDF do you?
 

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bobbymike said:
sferrin said:
flateric said:
Scott, slide is from AFRL PowerPoint shown at ASC on very this Tuesday
I don't doubt it. But I have many similar slides from similar symposia - all cancelled. Needless to say, at this point I am beyond skeptical. Thing is I don't think it's technical so much as just giving up at the first sign of difficulty.

Here's one right here (seems to be missing HyFly, but that okay, it was cancelled too):

Sferrin - you don't have this full report as a PDF do you?

I have the powerpoint at home. (It's on the net but I don't recall what I was looking for when I found it.)
 

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DSE said:
sferrin said:
DSE said:
sferrin said:
Haven't they already cancelled everything X-51 related/derived?

No.

What *is* still active? They cancelled the HSSW before the ink was dry on the press release. There's been no word recently about any activity on the X-51. What's left?


If they cancelled HSSW then what did Dr Weber talk about in his overview presentation in High Speed Workshop at TETS last week? Suggest you look at some of the other AFRL presentations as well. There is work going on at some level.

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,22769.msg230769.html#msg230769
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM
High Speed Strike Weapon Program Overview
Presenter: Dr James Weber - USAF AFRL
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,10296.msg188857.html#msg188857

" AMENDMENT 4 TO HSSWDEMO-INDUSTRY-DAY-1
21 May 2013
The High Speed Strike Weapon (HSSW) Demonstration requirement, BAA-RWK-2013-0002, at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Munitions Directorate, Contracting Division (AFRL/RWK), Eglin AFB, FL, has been Cancelled."
 

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Well that's good news (though $3 million is chump change really). I wonder what was up with the original cancellation notice I posted. ???
 

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sferrin said:
Well that's good news (though $3 million is chump change really). I wonder what was up with the original cancellation notice I posted. ???
The Air Force was going to host an industry day for companies interested in HSSW-Demonstrator work to showcase their concepts for the program ahead of the program's solicitation. The plug was pulled on the event during the artificial budget crisis last year.
 

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Wasn't the HSSW BAA cancellation directly related to a transfer of the project management from AFRL to DARPA? (along with a new name : HAWC)
 

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HSSW is operational weapon that the Air Force wants at the end of the process, the HAWC is a demonstration vehicle like Waverider, HyFly, etc.
 

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USAF Scientific Advisory Board
Technology Readiness for Hypersonic Vehicles
Terms of Reference

Background
Recent successes with the X-51 Program and an increasing focus on access to denied airspace have renewed interest in pursuing hypersonic weapon systems. Previous studies identified as a shortfall the lack of the light-weight, high temperature, and high strength materials needed for such a vehicle, both on its aerodynamic surfaces and in its propulsion system. Additionally, recent hypersonic testing has experienced anomalies in propulsion flow-path predictability and flight control effectiveness. To evaluate the eventual military utility of air-breathing hypersonics technology, the Air Force needs to identify overall system concepts that provide that utility, develop confidence in the requisite materials, propulsion, and flight control technologies for the vehicle, address the sensors, communications, and other auxiliary sub-systems needed for the overall concept, and effectively integrate all those technologies.

Charter
The study will:
  • Identify the relevant operating regimes, in particular the flight speeds and altitudes, based on projected USAF concepts of operations for hypersonic systems including ISR and strike.
  • Examine overall system concepts for hypersonic weapon systems for those missions and flight regimes. Evaluate the military utility of those systems and identify technologies needed to achieve that utility. Compare the value of those systems to similar non-hypersonic systems.
  • Assess the maturity of the modeling and sub-system testing capabilities needed to understand the material and structural requirements, aerodynamic performance, propulsion, and control requirements for flight in the relevant operating regimes.
  • Evaluate existing and emerging materials, structural concepts, propulsion systems, flight control designs, sensors, communications systems, and operator control architectures to determine their readiness to enter a development program with a clear path to future military utility.
  • Assess existing test facilities and capabilities and highlight potential gaps which would impact system development.
  • Identify technology gaps and recommend R&D efforts to address those gaps including roadmaps and expected maturity timelines.
Study Products
Briefing to SAF/OS & AF/CC in July 2014. Publish report in May 2015
 

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The study abstract is available here :
http://www.sab.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-140728-026.pdf

"Based on the present state of hypersonic technology readiness and DoD plans for further advancement of these capabilities, the Study found that an air-launched tactical range hypersonic strike weapon has substantial operational utility in projected anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) environments and can be fielded for use in the 2025 timeframe. Specifically:

1. Tactical-range hypersonic weapons provide key A2/AD strike capabilities that place defensive challenges on any potential adversary.

2. Hypersonic technology research/demonstration efforts over the past 10 years have advanced many core vehicle technologies to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5+ and current technology maturation efforts and flight demonstrations are structured to bring remaining critical weapons subsystems to TRL 6+ by 2020.

3. Terminal seeker and seeker integration are the highest priority technology maturation aspects of hypersonic weapon advancement.

4. Sustainment and planned enhancements of current hypersonic propulsion ground test facilities (i.e., the NASA 8-foot High Temperature Tunnel (HTT) and Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) Aerodynamic and Propulsion Test Unit (APTU)) are required to support advancing hypersonic weapon systems to TRL 6 by 2020.

5. High terminal speed provides pathways to enhanced weapon lethality and can also enable new target lethality mechanisms beyond those of conventional blast-fragmentation warheads.

6. Current technology readiness does not support development and fielding of a hypersonic intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft before 2035 at the earliest."
 

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""Based on the present state of hypersonic technology readiness and DoD plans for further advancement of these capabilities, the Study found that an air-launched tactical range hypersonic strike weapon has substantial operational utility in projected anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) environments and can be fielded for use in the 2025 timeframe."

Sure IF they have a constant, high degree of effort. If they wait until 2025 to try they may as well not bother.
 

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The Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency hope to start flying follow-ons to the X-51 hypersonic testbed circa 2018, Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello, head of Air Force Research Laboratory, told Air Force Magazine in a Wednesday interview. "We've each invested about $300 million" in a project AFRL is calling the High Speed Strike Weapon, Masiello said. Two hypersonic vehicles are being explored: one is a waverider using technology like that of the X-51, which achieved 209 seconds of hypersonic flying in 2013. The other is called tactical boost-glide technology, "where there's no scramjet power; you're just basically taking a booster, accelerating it to hypersonic speed, then it glides to the target," Masiello explained. If all goes well, he said, by 2020, "we could have the technology matured to the point of a program of record," applying hypersonics to a cruise missile-type of weapon "with an acceptable level of risk." Beyond that, by 2030, Masiello envisions a reusable platform that could be used for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance work, which could be turned within days between missions. By "2040-plus" AFRL expects "a no-kidding, re-usable, persistent, penetrating hypersonic vehicle that could be manned or unmanned."

http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive/Pages/2015/January%202015/January%2022%202015/Beyond-the-Hyper.aspx
 

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http://aviationweek.com/defense/hypersonics-stay-high-darpa-s-list-2017?NL=AW-05&Issue=AW-05_20160224_AW-05_482&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_2&utm_rid=CPEN1000000230026&utm_campaign=5061&utm_medium=email&elq2=8858c738f4a648f29a030b21143bd4b1
 

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From Air Force magazine 2/29/16:

Stick With Waverider
—ARIE CHURCH

The Air Force's follow-on hypersonic test projects fail to leverage the progress made with the X-51 Waverider and potentially jeopardize development of a key, strategic capability, former Air Force Chief Scientist Mark Lewis said. "We had a moment in time with X-51 that we didn't adequately capitalize on," Lewis said during AWS16. Air Force Research Laboratory is breaking X-51's booster and air breathing scramjet concepts into two separate test vehicles that fail to build on the lessons learned with X-51, repeating some "technical ground that X-51 already established" and in some cases making "technical mistakes" that set research back, he said. Worse still, having two separate test vehicles is "daring some bean counter" to cut one of the programs, Lewis stressed. "At some point, someone is going to say, you've got an air breathing missile, you've got a boost flight missile, we can't afford both, … and that would be a really bad answer," he noted. Although the X-51 wasn't a missile, its characteristics are similar enough to make it a useful development platform and "sometimes, frankly, there's tremendous value in continuing to do what you're doing," he stressed. The Pentagon has currently set aside roughly $600 million for hypersonic test programs, which lack a unifying "theme and overall mission," said Lewis. With additional X-51 test flights costing between $11 million and $20 million each, the Air Force could have seriously advanced the state-of-the-art at a reasonable cost. "Why don't you take that configuration and keep building on it and fly a lot more and learn about it, put it through its paces … that's something that we didn't do," he said.
 

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The USAF follows a haphazard and unfocused scramjet technology program because they have secretly achieved hypersonic flight at Area 51 and are trying to fool the world into thinking we are still decades from obtaining an operational capability so as to maximize combat effectiveness should war ever break out.

Or

The USAF follows a haphazard and unfocused scramjet technology program because they are bunch of dithering bureaucrats who actually don’t care and are more interested in office politics.

Tough call but I’m leaning to the later interpretation. I suppose it’s possible it may also be a case of factionalism where some bureaucrats would like to proceed expeditiously while others work to sabotage such efforts since they have pre-determined the technology can’t work, or worse, might work and upset international relationships.
 

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