The Notre Dame Hypersonic Systems Initiative engages the University's broad expertise in engineering and science to address the technical challenges for developing efficient, hypersonic flight vehicles. The Initiative fosters a “system-of-systems” approach that recognizes the interdependence of the different design elements and provides coordination at their interfaces.

The Initiative aims to be a catalyst for new cross-cutting research that pools resources, and fosters multidisciplinary research funding opportunities. It also works to actively develop partnerships with other universities, government labs, and industry to generate long-term research efforts.

Research Capabilities

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Hypersonics represents the fullest integration of the mediums of air and space, with elements of both aeronautics and astronautics. Hypersonic technologies, especially the ability for powered and sustained hypersonic flight in the atmosphere, hold the promise for revolutionizing civil and military intercontinental transportation. Such technology may also have a dramatic impact on future space launches, by replacing rocket engines with air-breathing scram-jet engines while in the atmosphere. Achieving these goals requires maturation of hypersonic flight technologies and the subsequent transition of the research towards practical applications.

Therefore, multidisciplinary research must be orchestrated with a systems engineering and integration perspective across domains such as aerodynamics, propulsion, materials, and control, as well as atmospheric science and cybersecurity. Hypersonic specialists within and across universities must collaborate and coordinate their efforts with government and industry in order to craft viable, reduced-risk technologies that can be manufactured at scale.

The Hypersonic Systems Initiative brings together a collaborative group of faculty, staff and students with varied expertise, to perform cross-cutting research that can address the extraordinary requirements posed by hypersonic flight.

The Initiative engages more than 35 researchers within the College of Engineering and College of Science, who provide expertise in 10 critical research areas - AerodynamicsThermal Protection, MaterialsStructureManufacturingSignatures & Long-range DiagnosticsPropulsionEnergy StorageCommunication, and Flight Control, Guidance, and Navigation.

The Hypersonic Systems Initiative is a key research area within Notre Dame Research