Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

APL Advances Propulsion Technology For Hypersonic Missile Applications

Date:
March 28, 2001
Source:
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Summary:
A team led by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), in Laurel, Md., is maturing air-breathing propulsion technology in support of the Navy's Hypersonic Weapon Technology Program to enable development of surface- and air-launched hypersonic missiles. Hypersonic weapons could play an important role in tomorrow's battlefield striking time-critical, heavily defended, hardened or buried targets while keeping friendly forces farther away from harm.

A team led by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), in Laurel, Md., is maturing air-breathing propulsion technology in support of the Navy's Hypersonic Weapon Technology Program to enable development of surface- and air-launched hypersonic missiles. Hypersonic weapons could play an important role in tomorrow's battlefield striking time-critical, heavily defended, hardened or buried targets while keeping friendly forces farther away from harm.

Related Articles


In support of the Navy program, the team is developing a dual-combustor ramjet (DCR) engine for a long-range hypersonic cruise missile with application to time-critical strike missions. In tests recently conducted at APL's Avery Advanced Technology Development Laboratory, researchers have demonstrated for the first time that pure JP-10 liquid hydrocarbon fuel — like that used in Tomahawk cruise missiles — can be successfully injected and burned in a supersonic combustion engine required to power a hypersonic missile. "We've successfully tested a full-scale combustor that's an accurate duplication of a tactical missile's engine geometry at conditions simulating Mach 6 flight," says Mike White, program area manager for Advanced Vehicle Technologies at APL.

The initial DCR engine concept was developed at APL through the mid-80s as part of a Navy missile technology program aimed at defending ships against aircraft carrying cruise missiles.

The DCR engine design is simple, safe and fuel-efficient compared to earlier supersonic combustion engine concepts. Those engines required fuel additives to burn properly, but the additives can be toxic or unsafe to carry aboard Navy vessels. "The DCR engine design avoids use of highly reactive and toxic fuels or complex heat exchangers required for other supersonic combustion engine concepts," says White.

APL's unique DCR engine design injects pure liquid fuel with air captured from the atmosphere into a fuel-rich pre-burner. The byproduct is then mixed with more captured air and combustion is completed downstream in a tandem supersonic combustor. "We've demonstrated that we can burn cold, liquid JP-10 fuel at Mach 6 very efficiently in an engine sized to propel a tactical missile at hypersonic speeds," says Steve D'Alessio, project manager for Dual Combustor Ramjet Technologies at APL.

The DCR engine is designed to fly at speeds up to Mach 6.5 (approximately 4,700 mph) at ranges exceeding 400 nautical miles. "It's a throttleable engine design," says White. "You can fly above Mach 6 and get ranges in excess of 400 nautical miles or, should the mission dictate, fly at Mach 4 to almost double the range."

Air-breathing engine designs have several advantages over rockets for hypersonic applications. They can provide a significant increase in range for a given missile weight. They can be powered all the way to the target, which means a missile can fly a programmed trajectory to improve lethality against hardened and protected targets. Air-breathing engine designs also enable target aim points to be updated during flight so that a target or its coordinates can be changed as necessary. The high degree of survivability that results from Mach 6 flight at high altitude also enables rapid mission planning and a high probability of mission success.

APL's efforts could greatly benefit the future of hypersonics, according to Gil Graff, weapons program manager in the Office of Naval Research, Strike Technology Division, which is sponsoring the work. "I think this effort matures a propulsion system that enables development of a low-cost, logistically suitable hypersonic weapon in the 2010 timeframe," says Graff. "We hope to demonstrate the validity of a hypersonic, long-range cruise missile for application to time-critical strike, and for use against hardened, buried and heavily defended targets for future war fighters."

Testing at APL's Avery Laboratory is scheduled to continue through spring 2001. The team plans to conduct additional tests of the fully integrated engine geometry in the fall. After completing the ground tests, the team's goal is to transition into a flight test program later this decade.

Throughout this program, APL is teaming with the Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif.; Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, Dahlgren, Va.; Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Arlington, Va.; Boeing, St. Louis; and Aerojet, Sacramento, Calif. The work is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, Strike Technology Division, Arlington, Va.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. "APL Advances Propulsion Technology For Hypersonic Missile Applications." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 March 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010316072951.htm>.
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. (2001, March 28). APL Advances Propulsion Technology For Hypersonic Missile Applications. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010316072951.htm
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. "APL Advances Propulsion Technology For Hypersonic Missile Applications." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010316072951.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) US President Barack Obama says that construction of the Keystone pipeline would have 'very little impact' on US gas prices and believes there are 'more direct ways' to create construction jobs. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins