Hypersonic flight occurs at speeds of Mach 5 and above. The development of hypersonic vehicles requires unique facilities that simulate realistic atmospheric, velocity and high enthalpy flight conditions. Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) provides the aerospace and defense sectors with world-class facilities to perform hypersonic research, modeling and testing solutions.
These facilities include a two-stage light-gas gun facility capable of launching scaled vehicles and test articles at hypersonic speeds into a rarefied atmosphere. High-speed digital cameras, advanced diagnostics, and corresponding computations provide data on non-equilibrium aerodynamics conditions, material properties, and thermal protection system performance.
Hypersonics Research Areas
SwRI draws upon several disciplines to solve technical challenges related to hypersonic flight. Visit Hypersonic Aerothermodynamics, Hypersonic Flight Test, and Hypersonic Materials Characterization to learn more about hypersonics research, design and testing applications.