Hypersonic Propulsion Concepts: Design, Control, Operation, and Testing – Online Short Course (Started Oct 12, 2021) 12 October - 4 November 2021 Online

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  • From October 12, 2021 – November 4, 2021 (4 Weeks, 8 Lectures, 16 Hours)
  • Every Tuesday and Thursday at 1300-1500 Eastern Time (all sessions will be recorded and available for replay; course notes will be available for download)
  • Instructed by premiere experts from Academia and Industry
  • All students will receive an AIAA Certificate of Completion at the end of the course


This new 16-hour online course, instructed by experts from AIAA’s High Speed Air-Breathing Propulsion Technical Committee, will introduce participants to the most important fundamentals of the technical discipline. Starting with an introduction and theoretical background, the course will quickly move into various practical applications and concepts

Learning Objectives:

  • Awareness of hypersonic flight vehicle development past and present
  • Knowledge of performance requirements for air-breathing hypersonic flight
  • Familiarization with aerothermodynamic cycle analysis and available analysis codes
  • Introduction to supersonic mixing problems
  • Design and performance analysis of aerodynamics, propulsion, structures and materials
  • Understanding the aerothermodynamic flight environment
  • Introduction to design issues and methodology
  • Understanding the role of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) including RANS, DES, LES, and DNS for hypersonic propulsion design issues
  • Familiarization of ground testing and flight-testing techniques and considerations
  • Detailed outline below

Who Should Attend: The course is designed for project engineers, researchers, students, scientists, and managers engaged in research, design, development, and testing of hypersonic air breathing propulsion vehicles.

Course Fees (Sign-In To Register)
- AIAA Member Price: $995 USD
- Non-Member Price: $1295 USD
- AIAA Student Member Price: $495 USD
Cancellation Policy: A refund less a $50.00 cancellation fee will be assessed for all cancellations made in writing prior to 7 days before the start of the event. After that time, no refunds will be provided.

Contact: Please contact Jason Cole or Customer Service if you have questions about the course or group discounts (for 5+ participants).

Course Outline:


· Theoretical Background for High Speed Air-breathing Propulsion

      Challenges associated with high speed air breathing propulsion, review of Brayton cycle (energy balance, thermal efficiency, limitations), fundamental combustion analysis (complete, equilibrium, non-equilibrium and turbulent), compression and expansion analyses including pressure and temperature ratio, adiabatic efficiency, characteristic lines as well as combined compression/combustion (detonation).


· Air-breathing Hypersonic Propulsion System Components 

    Aerothermodynamic analysis of ramjets and scramjets, stream thrust analysis; design and introductory performance analysis of inlets, inlet isolators, burners and nozzles.


· Air-breathing Hypersonic Propulsion Systems Cycle Analysis      

      Basic cycle analysis of a hypersonic vehicle; combined cycle propulsion systems, development of an integrated hypersonic engine code using the NPSS Platform, a case study on the ATREX cycle. 


· Combustors and Fuels 

     Scramjet fuel injectors and injection system requirements. supersonic mixing fundamentals, turbulent shear-layers, compressibility effects and growth rate scaling, transverse jet in supersonic crossflow, ramp injectors, aeroramp injector, cavity-based fuel injectors, hypermixer-type injector, staged injection, mixing efficiency, the scalability challenge, mixing enhancement strategies, vortex-based fuel injection system, scramjet flowpath design.[W4] Solid fuel-based propulsion concepts such as solid-fuel ramjet (SFRJ)

· Fundamental Aerodynamics and Hypersonic Boundary Layer     

    Characterization of hypersonic flow, description of impact theory and comparison to CFD; discussion of low-density effects, viscous interaction, strong shock flows and high-temperature effects; Description of real-gas effects, aerodynamic heating prediction techniques, description of boundary-layer stability theory, laminar-to-turbulent transition mechanisms and state-of-the-art methods for estimating onset of transition including linear stability theory, linear and nonlinear parabolized stability equations, biglobal and triglobal stability methods as well as direct numerical simulation methods.


· Propulsion/Airframe Integration 

   Opportunities and challenges of hypersonic flight, Propulsion requirements and options, Forebody, inlet and nozzle design and performance  considerations, Hypersonic vehicle design and propulsion integration considerations, Vehicle performance and sizing, and System design exploration and multidisciplinary design optimization.


· Airframe Structures and Thermal Management 

     An overview of structural material considerations necessary when beginning a new design of a high speed engine and flowpath. The session will cover high speed engine environment, handling the thermal environment, material considerations, super alloys, refractory metals and ceramic matrix composites.


· The Role of CFD Simulation, Ground & Flight Testing 

     Understanding the hypersonic environment, what can CFD do, wind tunnels - Mach ranges, enthalpy, test section size; flight testing - rocket boosted, air launched, horizontal takeoff; instrumentation for ground and flight testing, future test requirements.


Classroom hours / CEUs: 16 classroom hours / 1.6 CEU/PDH

Course Delivery and Materials

  • The course lectures will be delivered via Zoom. You can test your connection here: https://zoom.us/test
  • 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.
  • Between lectures, the instructors will be available via email for technical questions and comments.


Instructors (from the AIAA High Speed Air-Breathing Propulsion Technical Committee and Academia, in no particular order):

Mr. Tom Smith is a conceptual aircraft designer specializing in hypersonic air-breathing aircraft and spaceplanes. He designed the X-40, X-37A and X-37B spaceplanes. He has innovated concepts in the area of inward turning inlets for scramjet propulsion. He has broad skills in aerodynamics, structural design, propulsion integration, and multi-disciplinary optimization.

Prof. Jason Etele is a university professor (Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada) who has taught courses on aerospace related material for the past fourteen years. Among his research interests he has worked on Rocket Based Combined Cycle engines, Ramjets/Scramjets, and the effects of plasmas in high speed flows. He has collaborated with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency on air-breathing rocket research and is currently writing a textbook entitled "Transatmospheric and Space Propulsion" due out in 2021.


Ms. Sarah Malak is a PhD student in the Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ASDL) at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She has created a combined cycle propulsion system model based on the ATREX cycle in NPSS as a part of her capstone research project. She received a BS in Mechanical Polymer Engineering and Applied Mathematics from The University of Akron in Akron, Ohio, in 2011 and a MS in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech Lorraine (Georgia Tech's French campus) in Metz, France, in 2018. Sarah's goal is to one day be an engineering professor at Georgia Tech Lorraine while helping to support ASDL in France/Europe.


Prof. Jack Edwards is the Angel Family Professor of Aerospace Engineering and the Director of Aerospace Research at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. Prof. Edwards research has been focused on the development of efficient and accurate computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques for conducting large scale simulations of compressible flows, reactive and multi-phase flows, and turbulence modeling. Prof. Edwards is a Fellow of the AIAA.


Dr. Robert Baurle is the technical lead for CFD development activities within the Hypersonic Air-breathing Propulsion Branch at the NASA Langley Research Center and is the primary developer of the VULCAN-CFD package. As a senior member of the branch, Baurle also provides subject matter expertise to DoD sponsored scramjet development programs. Prior to his position at NASA, Baurle was employed at Taitech, Inc., located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where he was the Principal or Co-Investigator on numerous high-speed propulsion projects ranging from liquid fueled ducted rockets to scramjet engines. Baurle currently chairs the JANNAF Simulation Credibility Panel, JANNAF Component Modeling and Simulation Panel, and has received five “Best Paper” awards at AIAA and JANNAF conferences along with two awards related to software development at NASA.

Dr. Faure Malo-Molina, Senior Principal Systems Engineer in the area of hypersonics at Raytheon Missile Defense

Mr. Bob Moehlenkamp, Chief Engineer, Aerojet Rocketdyne

Dr. John Bossard (tentative) has over 25 years of experience in aerospace and advanced-technology industries, and has served in technical, management and executive leadership positions for Aerojet, CFD Research, KT Engineering, and Orion Propulsion. He specializes in Turbine Based Combined Cycle (TBCC) engines, particularly the Air Turbo Rocket (ATR) cycle.

Mr. Eric Donovan is a thermal management system development engineer with Rolls-Royce Libertyworks. He has worked on large and small development engine demonstrator programs. He also has experience designing and building cooling equipment for high energy applications.

Contact: Please contact Lisa Le or Customer Service if you have questions about the course or group discounts (for 5+ participants).