Expanding hypersonic capabilities
Hypersonics will be an essential technology in tomorrow’s strategic defense landscape, a critical difference-maker in our nation’s ability to protect itself and our allies against a new generation of threats. Hypersonic vehicles can reach speeds exceeding 4,000 miles per hour—fast enough to reach Baltimore from Washington in about 30 seconds—and aggressors equipped with hypersonic missiles can penetrate air defenses.
The nation’s adversaries are currently testing military applications of hypersonics technology, which adds urgency to APL’s ongoing foundational work in hypersonic technologies. Our work in hypersonic technologies goes back to the 1960s, when we undertook a then-classified program to develop a family of supersonic combustion ramjet technologies.
Today—from basic researcher to technology developer to trusted advisor—our role in hypersonics is as critical as ever. We lead projects to advance the state of the art of guidance, navigation, and control of these vehicles; validate the tools used to predict boundary layer transition; and investigate new materials to withstand the thermal environment.
Boundary Layer Transition (BOLT)Hypersonic vehicles move fast—faster than five times the speed of sound, or Mach 5.
Feb 17, 2022
Creating Coatings for Extreme Environments: From Solar Shields to Hypersonic Leading EdgesJohns Hopkins APL researchers are developing coatings that can stand up to the rigors of hypersonic flight in the upper atmosphere. The work leverages APL’s ability to produce custom materials solutions to solve hard problems that stand between success and failure on real missions.
Nov 18, 2021
Johns Hopkins APL’s Van Wie Awarded von Kármán Lectureship in AstronauticsDavid Van Wie, an internationally renowned expert in aerospace engineering and head of the Air and Missile Defense Sector at Johns Hopkins APL, was awarded the 2021 von Kármán Lectureship in Astronautics from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
Jun 22, 2021
BOLT Experiment Readies for Final Flight in SwedenHeld off by the pandemic, the Boundary Layer Transition (BOLT) flight experiment team is preparing for a late-June launch campaign at the Esrange Space Center in Kiruna, Sweden.
Jun 25, 2020
Johns Hopkins APL and Purdue University Establish Partnership Focused on HypersonicsAPL and Purdue University have signed an agreement that will allow both institutions to harness one another’s capabilities and expertise in the field of hypersonics.
Jan 27, 2020
APL Experts Talk Hypersonics at AIAA SciTech ForumIs hypersonic flight the next big thing? Among strong Johns Hopkins APL representation at the forum, Dave Van Wie was part of a panel that explored the state and potential of hypersonics technologies, the accomplishments and lessons learned, new developments, and remaining challenges to achieving reliable and sustained hypersonic flight.