AFOSR, NASA Team Fashion Hypersonic Centers

A broad agency announcement issued Sept. 19 by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research is a first step toward designation of three National Hypersonic Science Centers, according a Sept. 22 release from NASA, AFOSR’s hypersonic research partner. The BAA calls for a “brief white paper” by mid-October for each of the three focus areas: hypersonic air-breathing propulsion, hypersonic materials and structures, and hypersonic laminar-turbulent transition. These are “the biggest hurdles to successful hypersonic flight and low-cost space access using an air-breathing engine,” said NASA’s lead hypersonic investigator, James Pittman. The white papers—once vetted—are to be followed by full proposals by early December from those parties “deemed likely to meet the stated objectives of the research topics,” notes the BAA.