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Stratolaunch, Purdue to collaborate on hypersonic design, test

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Jan 28,2023


Stratolaunch LLC and Purdue University have established a partnership dedicated to accelerating the time required to design, build, test and fly hypersonic vehicles.

Stratolaunch will establish the Stratolaunch Advanced Programs Office at the Convergence Center in Purdue’s Discovery Park District in West Lafayette, Indiana, to ensure the goals of their collaboration will be rapidly achieved. The office will be led by an experienced advanced design director with support staff that will offer opportunities for student internships.

Through their collaboration, Stratolaunch and Purdue will leverage the university’s world-class multidisciplinary hypersonic design methods, ground test facilities, faculty, staff, and students to anchor ground simulations. By combining this capability with Stratolaunch’s rapid prototyping fabrication, flight test service, as well as hypersonic flight test data from the Talon-A, the integrated team will develop methodologies to accelerate the design to fly time of hypersonic systems.

Stratolaunch recently funded a one-year collaborative research project with four Purdue faculty experts and their graduate students to explore and establish a foundation of best-in-class computational and experimental capabilities, which can be used to create a comprehensive suite of flight-validated air vehicle design optimization tools.

“I’m excited for our partnership with Purdue because of the positive implications it has for streamlining our nation’s hypersonic design capabilities,” said Dr. Zachary Krevor, CEO and president at Stratolaunch. “Reducing development and test timelines of hypersonic vehicles is paramount to achieving critical leap-ahead technologies.”

“Stratolaunch’s unique capacities to provide access to flight data in long-duration hypersonic conditions complements Purdue’s advanced hypersonics laboratories and the cutting-edge research by our faculty to advance these technologies while providing our students with real-world learning experiences,” Purdue President Mung Chiang said. “Stratolaunch’ s office at Discovery Park District further strengthens Purdue as an epicenter of hypersonic research and testing in the country.”

"Any effort to increase the speed of 'continuous learning' in hypersonic systems design and deployment is a major win for our nation's defense,” said Dan DeLaurentis, vice president for Discovery Park District institutes. “The world-class Purdue computational and ground test research capabilities, combined with a the premier hypersonics flight test capability of Stratolaunch, is exactly such an effort, and yet another new avenue for developing and retaining the best talent so desperately needed in this domain."

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