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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Texas A&M System tapped to lead US in hypersonic research

RELLIS
Photo by Meredith Seaver
RELLIS

The Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station was selected by the Department of Defense on Oct. 26 to lead a national consortium for modernizing hypersonic flight capabilities. Working with 41 other institutions, the A&M Engineering Experiment Station will manage a five-year, $20 million annual initiative. Research will include a wide range of study, from the basics of hypersonics to real-world possibilities in hypersonic flight systems.
Mike Reilly, communication director at A&M, said the vice chancellor and dean of engineering, M. Katherine Banks, has placed an emphasis on applied research at A&M.
“There’s been a real push to get more into applied research instead of just basic research,” Reilly said. “Basic research is pursuit of scientific knowledge for its own sake. Applied research is more about figuring out particular kinds of knowledge that will help in specific ways with real world problems.”
Many factors contributed to the selection of A&M to lead the consortium, including the A&M System’s plans to build the largest enclosed hypersonic testing range in the nation at the RELLIS campus in Bryan. Banks said A&M is the leader in hypersonic research in the United States.
“Texas A&M has become the hypersonics research center of the nation,” Banks said. “Our researchers and partners are unmatched and our new, state-of-the-art facilities will fill critical gaps in U.S. testing capabilities.”
Currently, the consortium is scheduled to move forward according to plan. A&M submitted request bids for the consortium last spring when the COVID-19 pandemic began, with briefings conducted virtually. Michael Kratsios, acting under secretary of defense for Research and Engineering, said the consortium plays a major role in hypersonics research.
“This first-of-its-kind Consortium will be critical to advancing hypersonics research and innovation, a key priority of the Department of Defense,” Kratsios said. “Importantly, through collaborative industry and academic partnerships, it will also accelerate technology transfer and strengthen workforce development to meet the nation’s future warfighting needs.”
To learn more about the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and A&M’s involvement in hypersonics research, visit engineeringmagazine.tamu.edu/hypersonics.

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