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Department of Defense awards grant to MAE professor for new hypersonic research facility

NC State belltower in red light with timelapse traffic headlights in foreground.
The Belltower. Bell tower.

Dr. Venkat Narayanaswamy of Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NC State University was chosen by the Department of Defense to build the first long duration hypersonic research facility in the Southeast United States. His proposal was among the winning projects of the 2022 Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP). Under this program, the DoD will fund $775K to build a novel Mach 6 wind tunnel facility that is uniquely designed to make scientific breakthroughs in critical hypersonic technologies at the intersection of aerothermodynamics, high-speed propulsion, materials science, structural dynamics, and more. The DURIP award is further augmented by contributions from the College of Engineering and MAE Department that provide the necessary infrastructure and personnel. 

The innovations that this facility will enable will advance hypersonic technologies that can potentially revolutionize the aerospace industry.  The wind tunnel includes a large test section to house subscale test articles of practical relevance, and will operate at conditions that will facilitate research into multiple fields of study, including flow/structure interactions, materials integration, and propulsion.

Dr. Narayanaswamy, along with MAE Professor Dr. Jack Edwards, were chosen by the Joint Hypersonics Transition Office in 2020 as one of the eight teams nationwide to lead a hypersonic propulsion research activity that shrinks the decadal time of technology maturation to within a couple of years. Dr. Narayanaswamy hopes that the new facility and the vibrant research activities in hypersonics within MAE will help NC State continue to make substantial contributions toward the development of the next generation of high-speed aerospace vehicles.

This post was originally published in Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.