Research & Innovation

Parziale’s Lab Wins $1.2 Million ONR-MURI Hypersonics Grant

Mechanical engineering professor aims to advance research in hypersonic flight

Dr. Nick Parziale, Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, was recently awarded an Office of Naval Research (ONR) grant in the amount of $1.2 million. This grant is part of a $7.5 million Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grant on which Professor Tom Schwartzentruber of University of Minnesota is the lead.

The project, entitled “Particulate and Precipitation Effects on High-speed Flight Vehicles,” aims to advance research in hypersonic flight.

Recently, researchers have made significant advancements in understanding how different flight materials respond to hypersonic travel, particularly in regards to how the surfaces of those materials respond to the intense heat that occurs as a result of extremely high-speed travel. Despite these advancements, the presence of particles and precipitation in the atmosphere can cause substantial damage to flight materials. This project assembles a team of researchers who are experts in the fields of rarefied gas dynamics, aerosol science, and aerosol particle impact experiments; multiphase flows and liquid particle dynamics; hypersonic wind tunnel and light-gas-gun experiments; and computational fluid dynamics, material damage, and material response. Parziale’s group will focus on the hypersonic wind tunnel experiments and light-gas-gun experiments.

Through this series of joint computational and experimental campaigns targeting the problem of small particulate dynamics and impacts (at high altitudes) and also the problem of precipitation dynamics and impacts (at low altitudes), this effort will result in an unprecedented advancement in our understanding of hypersonic flows and materials response in Earth’s atmosphere.

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