"Why and Whither Hypersonics Research in the US Air Force"


You're Mad, You Are.....
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1 May 2007
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While looking for something else, I found this :-

Why and Whither Hypersonics Research in the US Air Force

"This report summarizes the deliberations and conclusions of the 2000 Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) study on Why and Whither Hypersonics Research in the US Air Force. In this study the committee describes the operational requirements of a hypersonic system and presents a research program for air breathing hypersonics to meet the operational requirements. We define a program resulting in an operational air breathing hypersonic space launch system in about 2025. This program includes several exit ramps and potential options. The exit ramps would lead to either an operational rocket-based reusable launch system or continuation of the expendable course the Air Force is currently on. A Red Team Panel was part of the study team and provides alternatives to the air breathing hypersonic systems to meet the operational requirements. The study results represent an outstanding collaboration between the scientific and operational communities and among government, industry, and academia. The Study committee wishes to thank the many individuals who contributed to the deliberations and the report, as listed in Appendix A. In addition to Scientific Advisory Board members, many ad hoc members devoted their time. The team would also like to thank all the organizations that gave presentations to our panel and hosted us as listed in Appendix D. The Air Force Academy provided outstanding technical writers Capt Susan Hastings, Capt David Jablonski, and Capt Matthew Murdough who provided fantastic support in preparing this report. Lt Col Dan Heale from the Air Force Research Laboratory served as an outstanding executive officer for the Investment Panel as well as provided a liaison role with Air Force Materiel Command."


check out Appendix F and G........ ;)


I've always loved reading this NASA Pdf. Trailblazer indeed :) Very interesting concept.
Very interseting indeed, thanks for the link,

No problem at all - theres some really interesting stuff hiddena way in the NASA archives, you just have to think about what words soem one would use in their papers title!
AFRL wants lasers for fighter jets

Air Force Spending Big On Laser And Hypersonic Weapons Over FYDP

Posted: March 26, 2015

The Air Force is planning to spend $500 million developing laser weapon systems and upward of $800 million for hypersonic weapons and propulsion systems, according to the Air Force Research Laboratory's director of plans and programs.

Speaking with Inside the Air Force at a March 24 defense science and technology conference in Springfield, VA, Jack Blackhurst said the money is spread across different projects in the Air Force's future years defense program but totals about $500 million for lasers and $800 million to $1 billion for hypersonics including the amounts for joint projects with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

According to Blackhurst, the service first wants to produce a podded offensive and defensive laser weapon system for fighter aircraft and the plan is to increase the laser's power and capability step by step.

The aim is to produce a laser weapon system for a next-generation air dominance platform to counter missile threats and to attack air and ground targets.

"The Air Force has decided that they want to investigate whether they can put a laser on a fighter and they've put together a research program of approximately $500 million over the next five to six years that will enable us to test out the fundamental technologies and determine whether we can improve the size, weight and power of a laser to put it on a fighter for self-protection as well as offensive," Blackhurst said. "We've had a number of industry days to validate where industry is and we think that with a combination of industry and laboratory investments we can achieve this."

The first challenge, he said, is to demonstrate a podded laser system on an airplane and the second part is to mount it internally.

Several Air Force programs have demonstrated airborne laser systems and the Army and Navy are pursuing their own designs.

But integrating a directed energy weapon on an aircraft is particularly difficult because today's laser systems are too large to fit on a tactical aircraft and the operating environment is vastly different from a ship or a ground vehicle.

According to Rob Afzal, a laser weapons expert with Lockheed Martin, fiber lasers are showing the most promise as opposed to large chemical laser systems, such as the one that was carried on Boeing's costly Airborne Laser testbed.

Speaking at a Feb. 18 media roundtable, Afzal said fiber lasers could be coupled together to produce more and more powerful beam combinations. Shooting a laser from an aircraft presents unique challenges, though.

"They don't carry as much weight and they don't have as much volume," Afzal said. "From a size, weight and power perspective -- that's challenge No. 1." The other limitation is weather and airflow over the turret."

Blackhurst said the Air Force held a number of industry days last year to assess concepts.

"What we've found is they have different approaches, which is good," he said. "We're clearly interested in those approaches but the idea over the next couple of years is to neck those down to what is really achievable. Industry is pretty sure that it's achievable."

On March 19 the Air Force posted a request for information on the Federal Business Opportunities website for industry submissions on laser pod research and development.

The notice states the service wants the system to be carried on "supersonic tactical platforms." There are many other laser-related solicitations, including one from September 2014 calling for a counter-missile airborne laser demonstration.

For hypersonics, the Air Force aims to produce an offensive strike weapon capable of achieving hypersonic speeds of Mach 5, greater than 3,840 miles per hour, by the end of the decade.

According to slides from Blackhurst's March 24 presentation, the service wants to first develop a hypersonic weapon capable of rapidly striking targets from standoff.

The next requirement is for a long-range weapon capable of "deep strikes on high-value targets," and the ultimate goal is to field a hypersonic reconnaissance aircraft.

"We're leveraging DARPA pretty strongly in this activity," Blackhurst said. "It's greater than the current laser investment."

Blackhurst said it was the fourth and final test of the scramjet-powered X-51 WaveRider that gave the Air Force the technological confidence it needed to move forward on hypersonics.

"If the X-51 had failed the fourth time, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion -- we'd be going back to the fundamental technologies," he said. "But we think now we can do this from a propulsion perspective, so now it's bringing all the other components together."

The Air Force has requested $2.4 billion for science and technology projects in its FY-16 budget request, a 14 percent increase compared to this year. -- James Drew
Affordable Hypersonic Missiles for Long-Range Precision Strike



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