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David M. Van Wie, PhD, will present “Hypersonics: Back to the Future.”
Hypersonics is defined as flight at speeds above Mach 5—five times the local speed of sound. Currently, there is a resurgence of interest in hypersonic systems for applications such as weapons, rapid commercial transportation, and space launch. To realize these new applications, technology advancements are needed in the areas of novel thermal protection systems, high-temperature materials, advanced guidance, navigation and control, and propulsion. For more than 60 years, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory have been investigating hypersonic technologies and applications, including Frederick S. Billig’s pioneering development of scramjet engine technology. Dr. Van Wie will offer a brief history of hypersonics highlighting Dr. Billig’s contributions and will discuss ongoing technology development challenges in this area.