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Robert J. Collier Trophy Nominee: X-51A WaveRider

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Presentation on theme: "Robert J. Collier Trophy Nominee: X-51A WaveRider"— Presentation transcript:

1 Robert J. Collier Trophy Nominee: X-51A WaveRider
Thank you for the opportunity, Mr. Chairman It is a pleasure to be with you today, representing the X- 51A Supersonic Combustion Ramjet Government Industry Team. On May 1, 2013, over the Pacific Missile Test Range, they completed a history-making program, demonstrating the performance, efficiency, and safety that open a new era in flight. We believe that the team’s advancement in hypersonic propulsion has earned the X-51 the right to join the ranks of other Collier Trophy winners. “X-51A WaveRider Team for demonstrating that sustained supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) powered flight is possible and significantly advancing progress towards hypersonic power projection, responsive and affordable space access, and global hypersonic mobility.” 1

2 … We Are On a Trajectory to Enter the 22nd Century at 6,000 mph …
Human Mobility Since 1800 … We Are On a Trajectory to Enter the 22nd Century at 6,000 mph … Hypersonic Transport 6,000 Jetliner Scramjet 600 Train MPH 60 Turbofan Since 1800, the world has witnessed a “ ” mph progression in global mobility, from the horse-drawn vehicle to the global-ranging airliner. We’ve gone from Animal Power to Steam Power, through Piston Power to the Power of the Turbofan. Now the X-51A Team has unlocked the power of the scramjet, opening a possible future where we extend this progression to 6,000 mph as we enter the 22nd Century. Horse 6 Steam 1800 1900 2000 2100

3 Where Scramjets Fit Efficient use of fuel versus speed Efficiency
Mach 0 Mach 5 Mach 10 Speed 4000 1000 Turbojets Scramjets Ramjets Specific Impulse (Isp-sec) Efficiency Efficient use of fuel versus speed Rockets The Supersonic Combustion Ramjet, or Scramjet, is more efficient for high-speed flight than other propulsion systems. It is less complex than the gas turbine turbojet and turbofan. It thrives in a heat and dynamic pressure environment where turbojets and conventional subsonic-combustion ramjets cannot. Unlike the rocket, it does not need to carry its own oxidizer with it. Looking at efficiency, measured by Specific Impulse (akin to “Miles per Gallon”), the scramjet is more than twice as efficient as a rocket at hypersonic speeds.

4 How a Scramjet Works Simplicity + Speed
Forebody & Inlet Isolator Combustor Nozzle Fuel Injection Thrust Supersonic Internal Flow – Compress flow – Pre-combustion airflow stability – Supersonic air and fuel ignite, creating pressure – Expands flow to generate thrust Thermal Control – JP-7 fuel cools engine, improves combustion Forebody & Inlet The scramjet is a simple and technically elegant engine that offers unprecedented speed for an air-breathing system. Unlike a conventional subsonic ramjet engine, the internal flow within the engine is supersonic, from the inlet through combustion and on through the exhaust nozzle. Because of this, igniting a scramjet engine has been compared to lighting a match in a hurricane. As well, these flows are extremely hot—more than 3,800 deg. F in the engine, and even 2,500 deg. F. at the inlet. The X-51A was designed to burn conventional hydrocarbon fuel—JP-7 as used in the old Lockheed Blackbird—a more easily maintained, sustainable, and safer fuel, but difficult to ignite at very high speeds. The engine itself was a unique and notable “first”—the world’s first thermally balanced scramjet engine, capable of extended operation without destroying itself. Isolator Combustor Nozzle Simplicity + Speed

5 An Integrated Aerospace Vehicle
X-51A WaveRider Design Autonomous Precision Guidance High Mach Thermal Protection Light Weight Structures Fuel-cooled Scramjet Engine The X-51A was more than merely a flying engine. It was a completely integrated aerospace vehicle, across the classic disciplines of aerodynamics, structures, propulsions, and controls. It had a conventional structure of aluminum, Inconel, titanium, and tungsten, with composite fins and columbium leading edges. It used proven thermal protection coatings and materials. It had digital electronic flight and propulsion controls. So the X-51A was very much a genuine aircraft, boosted to the point where its engine could ignite by a modified Army ATACMS booster. Let’s review what it accomplished. Conventional Materials Off The Shelf Booster An Integrated Aerospace Vehicle

6 X-51A Met All Its Objectives
“The X-51 took the field from a speculative science to practical engineering” Gen Mark Welsh, Chief of Staff, USAF Flight test of a scramjet engine Used hydrocarbon fuel Ignited engine and operated to fuel depletion Accelerated; showing thrust greater than drag Demonstrated flight viability of engine Acquired extensive ground and flight data Proved the practicality of a scramjet powered vehicle The chief got it right … In May 2010, the X-51A began its flight test program, quickly demonstrating that one could indeed ignite and operate a thermally balanced JP-7-fueled scramjet. In May 2013, the program concluded, having achieved all its program objectives. It had demonstrated that air-breathing hypersonic flight did not demand exotic fuels, or throwaway engines. It proved that a long-duration scramjet could operate essentially as long as it had fuel to run it. It demonstrated as well that one could integrate a scramjet engine into a hypersonic cruiser shape, one that could be autonomously flown with great safety over great speeds and distances. Now lets looks at the capstone flight, flight 4, and what we learned.

7 X-51A Flight Profile Altitude ~ 60Kft Range = 240 nm Off Run Separate
Boost Flight 4 Data – 1 May 2013 Total Flight Time sec Boosted Flight 31.0 sec Engine Start 12.0 sec Scramjet Run Time sec Descent sec Max Speed Mach 5.1 Max Altitude 63,500 ft Distance nm Here is the typical X-51A profile: Boost into the upper atmosphere, transition into powered scramjet flight, scramjet acceleration through fuel depletion, and a series of descending maneuvers to acquire data to correlate computational fluid dynamics test predictions with the results of actual, dynamic flight test. Note the scramjet run time during flight 4—more than twenty times longer than any previous scramjet engine of any sort has ever flown. Range = 240 nm

8 Autonomy and Accuracy California
38 California 36 Latitude (deg) Los Angeles 34 During its flight, the X-51A was also a precisely controlled autonomous flying vehicle pioneering autonomous aircraft operations in the hypersonic arena, with unprecedented performance and safety. It flew a precise, safe track right down the predicted flight path over the Pacific Missile Test Range. 32 -129 -127 -125 -123 -121 -119 Longitude (deg)

9 Accelerate To Fuel Depletion
Flight 4: Mach Versus Time 5.4 Fuel Depletion 5.2 Separation 5.0 4.8 Fuel Control Test Mach Number 4.6 Maneuvering Evaluation Here is a graph showing speed during the final flight of the program: boost to altitude, deceleration after separation until scramjet ignition, then steady scramjet powered acceleration. Note that towards the end, we “stepped on the accelerator,” modulating fuel flow to accelerate the X-51 even more. It responded smartly, ran out of fuel, and then during its descent did a series of programed maneuvers, remaining completely under precise control until it dropped into the sea. 4.4 4.2 0.8 50 100 150 200 250 448 Mission Time (sec)

10 Ground and Flight Test Fidelity
70 75 80 110 85 90 95 100 105 60 sec 100 sec 215 sec 235 sec Flight 4 Flight to Ground Thrust Correlation – % The X-51A demonstrated extraordinary fidelity between ground and flight test methodologies, proving the efficiency of computational fluid dynamics in the demanding environment of hypersonics. What this shows is not only the comparison of actual flight test data from flights one and four to the pre-flight ground-based modeling data but also the program’s advancement in hypersonic computational fluid dynamics predictions. Mission Time Since Launch

11 X-51A WaveRider In Action
We have a film showing the X-51A in action, from engine testing in the NASA 8-foot High Temperature Tunnel to the launch of flight 4 over the Pacific in May of last year. The video of the actual flight is shown in comparison with a representation based on telemetry data on what the vehicle was actually doing moment by moment. Still need to script the video when received from Joe.-als 100% American Designed, Manufactured, and Flown!

12 X-51A Success Kick Started Follow-On Funded Programs
X-51A Accomplishments First proven practical reusable scramjet engine Demonstrated sustained scramjet acceleration & thrust First to burn a conventional storable hydrocarbon fuel Demonstrated fully autonomous precision guided flight World’s first thermally balanced scramjet engine The X-51A accomplished a number of firsts. While experimental scramjets had flown previously, they were incapable of reuse, destroyed themselves even as they functioned, and burned non-sustainable, and in some cases, unsafe, fuels. Thanks to this program, we have gone from speculation to science, from the possible to the probable. Because of the X-51, decision-makers had the confidence to proceed with fully funded follow-on programs. X-51A Success Kick Started Follow-On Funded Programs

13 Scramjet Flight Begins Now…
2060 SCRAMJET ENGINE TECHNOLOGY 2030 Operationally Responsive Spacelift 2010 Large Hypersonic Missiles/ Small Launch Systems X-51A Thanks to the X-51A, we can contemplate a future aimed at that graphic we saw previously… …a short-term future of joint service hypersonic air-breathing missiles and autonomous air vehicles ensuring the safety and security of America’s military, enhancing our ability to meet the combat challenges of an increasingly uncertain, dangerous world. …a mid-term future of larger missiles and small space launch systems, ones extending both American power and reducing the costs per pound sent into orbit, the latter one of the most elusive and challenging goals within astronautics… …and a long-term future of global ranging and global girdling hypersonic transports and space-lift systems. As the Wright Flyer led to subsonic era, as the X-1 led to the supersonic era, the X-51 has pointed the way to our hypersonic future. Hypersonic Vehicles “Playing safe is probably the most unsafe thing in the world. You cannot stand still. You must go forward.” Robert J. Collier

14 X-51A WaveRider The X-51A exemplifies the creativity and genius traditionally found within the American aerospace community. The importance of its achievements culminating in 2013, in terms of performance, efficiency, and safety, embodies and befits the award of the Robert J. Collier Trophy. Thank you all very much, and we’ll be happy to take your questions. “X-51A WaveRider Team for demonstrating that sustained supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) powered flight is possible and significantly advancing progress towards hypersonic power projection, responsive and affordable space access, and global hypersonic mobility.”

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