Hypersonic Air-Breathing Propulsion – Online Short Course
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Hypersonic Air-Breathing Propulsion – Online Short Course

12 October - 14 December 2018
Location: Virtual,

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Hypersonic Air-Breathing Propulsion – Online Short Course

Note: It's not too late to register! You can easily catch up on any and all missed lectures on-demand.

Instructor: Dora Musielak, Ph.D.


✓ From 12 October–14 December 2018 (9 weeks)
✓ Every Friday at 1300–1430 hrs Eastern Time (all sessions will be available for replay and course notes available for download)
✓ Each week will include roughly 80 minutes of lecture and 10–15 minutes for Q&A
✓ Course will include practice exercises and supplemental material to enhance the learning experience
✓ All students will receive an AIAA Certificate of Completion at the end of the course



Revolutionary methods of high speed air-breathing propulsion (HAP) are needed to extend the flight regime of aircraft, missiles, and improve Earth-to-orbit spacecraft. This course explores the technologies required for the successful development of dual-mode scramjet engines for applications to hypersonic missiles and hypersonic aircraft. Using a solid theoretical background, we review the high-performance systems required for ram/scramjet operation in all hypersonic regimes, emphasizing vehicle integration and compatibility with other propulsion cycles proposed for different vehicle applications. We will present the necessary background in supersonic combustion kinetics, high-temperature materials, aero-structures and thermal management, as required to advance HAP technologies.


What You Will Learn

  • Explore the technologies required for the successful development of propulsion systems for hypersonic missiles and hypersonic cruise aircraft.
  • Review design of key components common to most hypersonic air-breathing propulsion (HAP) systems, such as inlets, isolators, combustors, fuel injectors, flame-holders, and nozzles.
  • Evaluate the performance requirements for dual-mode scramjet operation in all flight regimes, emphasizing vehicle integration and compatibility with the different hypersonic applications.
  • Study the relationships and interface of analysis, design, CFD modeling and simulation, ground testing, and demonstration flights.
  • Gain technical background on high-temperature materials, aero-structures, fuel injection and supersonic combustion kinetics.
  • Using examples of past designs and analyses, you will obtain guidelines for using appropriate computational tools in the various stages of HAP development.

Key Course Topics

  • Introduction to Hypersonic Air-breathing Propulsion
  • Hypersonic Flow Theoretical Background
  • Aerothermodynamics of Aircraft Integrated Scramjet
  • Thermodynamic Cycle Analysis and Propulsion Performance
  • Dual-Mode Combustion
  • Advanced Materials, Aerostructures and Thermal Management
  • See detailed outline


Who Should Attend

This course is designed for engineers, students, test personnel and managers who want to improve their understanding of state-of-the-art high-speed air-breathing propulsion.


Course Fees

Member Price: $845 USD
Non-Member Price: $1,045 USD
Student Member Price: $495 USD



Dr. Dora E. Musielak

Dr. Dora E. Musielak has over 30 years of experience directing R&D projects in industry and academia, developing key expertise in high-speed air breathing propulsion and liquid chemical rockets. As a chief scientist she led a scramjet propulsion development program sponsored by the U.S. government. Musielak has authored numerous reports and papers related to high speed propulsion (scramjets, rockets, and PDEs), with focus on numerical simulation of fuel injection, high speed reacting and nonreacting turbulent flows.

An AIAA Associate Fellow, Dr. Musielak has served in several national technical committees, including the NRC Committee on Breakthrough Technology for Commercial Supersonic Aircraft, the AIAA Pressure Gain Combustion Program Committee (PGC PC), and the AIAA High Speed Air Breathing Propulsion TC, a committee she chaired from 2014 to 2016.



Classroom hours / CEUs

  • 14 classroom hours
  • 1.4 CEUs

Detailed Outline

Lecture 1 - Introduction to Hypersonic Air Breathing Propulsion (12 October)
1.1 Definition of Hypersonic Flight and Hypersonic Flow
1.2 Types of Hypersonic Vehicles
1.3 Ram/Scramjet Operating Principle
1.4 Main Scramjet Engine Components:

  1. Inlet and Isolator
  2. Combustor
  3. Nozzle

1.5 Engine-Vehicle Integration
1.6 Hypersonic Propulsion Challenges
1.7 Propulsion Performance Comparison
1.8 HAP Corridor and Dynamic Pressure
1.9 Technology Issues
1.10 Critical Design Issues
1.11 X-43A and X-51A Flight Demonstrators
1.12 Current and Future HAP Programs
1.13 HAP Programs around the World


Lecture 2 - Theoretical Background (19 October)
2.1 Earth’s Atmosphere
2.2 Calorically perfect gas and Thermally perfect gas
2.3 Hypersonic Inviscid Flow Fields
2.4 Euler Equations
2.5 Steady Aerothermodynamic Equations
2.6 Total Enthalphy and Total Temperature
2.7 Total Pressure
2.8 Ideal Exit Flow Velocity and Mass Flow
2.9 Impulse and Stream Thrust Function
2.10 Constant Area Heating and Thermal Chocking
2.11 Shock Waves: Oblique Shocks, Normal Shocks, and Expansion Flow Relations


Lecture 3 - Aerothermodynamics of Aircraft Integrated Scramjet (26 October)
3.1 Propulsion Airframe Integration (PAI)
3.2 Aerothermodynamics
3.3 Hypersonic Vehicles
3.4 Flight Environment
3.5 Thermal Environment for Hypersonic Vehicles
3.6 Vehicle Forebody
3.7 Inlet Capture, Shock Ingestion, and Spillage
3.8 Vehicle Angle of Attack
3.9 Boundary Layers
3.10 Engine Starting
3.11 Combustor/Inlet Interaction
3.12 Combustor Flowfield (Fuel Injection and Mixing)
3.13 Combustor/Nozzle Interaction
3.14 Nozzle External Burning
3.15 Propulsion Airframe Integration (PAI) Issues
3.16 Tip-to-Tail HAP Vehicle Analysis Tools


Lecture 4 - Thermodynamic Cycle and Propulsion Performance (2 November)
4.1 Engine Reference Stations
4.2 Ideal Cycle Analysis and Thermodynamic Efficiency
4.3 Flow Thermo Properties
4.4 Maximum Allowable Compression Temperature
4.5 Required Burner Entry Mach Number
4.6 Fuel Heat of Reaction
4.7 Fuel/Air Ratio and Equivalence Ratio
4.8 Effective Fuel/Air Ratio
4.9 Combustor Energy Balance
4.10 Combustor Total Pressure Loss
4.11 Scramjet Nozzle Pressure Ratio
4.12 Performance Measures for AB Engine
4.13 Cycle Static Temperature Ratio
4.14 Adiabatic Compression Efficiency
4.15 Example: Ideal Mach 10 Scramjet Inlet
4.16 Total Pressure Recovery
4.17 Compression Kinetic Energy Efficiency
4.18 Inlet Efficiency
4.19 Specific Impulse of Hypersonic Propulsion
4.20 Stream Thrust Analysis
4.21 Control Volume for Uninstalled Thrust
4.22 Scramjet Component Analysis
4.23 Sample Study of Inlet Compression
4.24 Air Breathing Engine Overall Efficiency
4.25 Predicted Scramjet Performance


Lecture 5 - HAP Inlets and Isolators (9 November)
5.1 Inlet Function and Operating Modes
5.2 Inlet Types
5.3 Inlet Aerodynamics
5.4 Inlet Design Issues

  1. Starting and Contraction Limits
  2. High Temperature Effects
  3. Blunt Leading Edge
  4. Boundary Layer Separation
  5. Isolators
  6. Combustor Entrance Profiles

5.5 Inlet Designs

  1. 2-D Inlets
  2. 3-D Inlets

5.6 Performance and Operability
5.7 Isolator

  1. Shock Train
  2. Isolator Length


Lecture 6 - HAP Combustors and Fuels (16 November)
6.1 Combustion Process Desired Properties
6.2 Combustor Entrance Conditions
6.3 Fuels for Hypersonic Propulsion

  1. Fuel Energy for Combustion
  2. Fuel Cooling Capacity
  3. Endothermic Fuels

6.4 The Combustion Process

  1. Reaction Rates
  2. Stoichiometric Fuel/Air Ratio and Equivalence Ratio

6.5 Scramjet Combustion Design Issues

  1. Thermal Throat
  2. Fuel Distribution and Mixing
  3. Ignition and Reaction Times

6.6 Fuel Injection and Fuel/Air Mixing

  1. Fuel Injectors
  2. Flameholding




Lecture 7 - Dual-Mode Combustion (30 November)
7.1 The Ramjet and its Ideal Performance
7.2 Dual-Mode Combustion Propulsion Concept
7.3 1-D Ideal Flow in Burner
7.4 Billig’s Dual-Mode Scramjet Study
7.5 Isolator Shock-Trains
7.6 Isolator Length for Dual-Mode Scramjet
7.7 Dual-Mode Transition
7.8 Dual-Mode Scramjet Propulsion Challenges
7.9 HIFiRE Dual-Mode Combustor System
7.10 Dual-Mode, Free-Jet Combustor Concept


Lecture 8 - HAP Nozzles (7 December)
8.1 Overview

  • Definition and Performance Parameters

8.2 Nozzle Configurations

  • Nozzle types by application and by geometry

8.3 Nozzle Aerodynamics

  1. On and Off-Design
  2. Flow Separation

8.4 Design Tools
8.5 Performance Parameters

  1. Mass Flow
  2. Thrust Coefficient
  3. Losses

8.6 Remarks about SERN for High M0
8.7 Translating-Throat SERN
8.8 Nozzle Concept for RBCC Vehicles
8.9 A Scramjet Nozzle Testing


Lecture 9 - Materials, Structures and Thermal Management (14 December)
9.1 Aerodynamic Heating
9.2 Convective Heat Transfer
9.3 Stagnation Point Heating and Vehicle Nose Radius
9.4 Hypersonic Vehicle Heating
9.5 Thermal Management Options
9.6 Passive and Active Cooling Methods
9.7 Hypersonic Integrated Structures
9.8 Cooling Requirements
9.9 Hypersonic Hot and Warm Structures
9.10 A Look at the X-43A Thermal Protection System
9.11 Hypersonic Materials and Structures Technical Challenges




Course Delivery and Materials

Once registered, simply log into your AIAA Online Learning Classroom at learning.aiaa.org, using your aiaa.org username/password.

All sessions will be available on-demand within 1–2 days of the lecture.  Once available, you can stream the replay video anytime, 24/7. 

All slides will be available for download after each lecture.  No part of these materials may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted, unless for course participants. All rights reserved. 


Cancellation Policy

A refund less a $100.00 cancellation fee will be assessed for all cancellations made in writing prior to 14 days before the start of the event. After that time, no refunds will be made.


Please contact Jason Cole or Customer Service if you have any questions.