The army and air force Research Labs has set the sights on the new, super-fast weapons

An Artist’s impression of a supersonic weapon.

They can be goals faster than enemies can react to the destruction of a wide variety of air -, sea -, land -, and space targets. Traveling at five times the speed of sound, they are almost impossible to defend against, and in place of aircraft, ships, ground vehicles, satellites, and ground assets to the risk of almost instantaneous destruction — and they are hypersonic weapons.

Of course, the risks and benefits of nuclear weapons, many of which are, in principle, be here, be inspired by, the military services, to the massive, fast-track, hypersonic weapons development. For example, the Army Research Laboratory and the Air Force Research Laboratory are now working closely together on the development of hypersonics and, in particular, engineers create a new generation of hypersonic weapons have been designed to the then-emerging arsenal. This would extend the hypersonic mission, options, new directions and a new air vehicle configurations.

The Army-air force cooperation, it encompasses a wide range of powerful scientifically-the research efforts are weapons, rapid prototyping, and the development of new materials, experimentation and the development of innovative manufacturing strategies such as “additive manufacturing” or 3D printing. The Army Research Laboratory, for example, to experiment with existing materials and new combinations of metals and other materials.


“We need to have a high-strength and high-hardness materials. Hypersonic weapons travel very fast. She’s hot enough to melt most metals, so you will need to find a way to reduce that. Additive manufacturing can help’, Dr. Brandon A. McWilliams, materials engineer, lead metal is added in production, and the Army Research Lab, the control of the Development of the Capabilities of the Command, told the Warrior in a recent interview at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

There are many benefits to 3D printing include the possibility to engineer new structures and material combinations, and for the first time, was developed using advanced computer modeling. While early in its development, 3D printing is already showing great promise, as it allows for the use of a cutting-edge, sophisticated technical means, with the aid of a powder material, the laser systems have to be able to see the shape of the layered material. A lot of the materials that are used in this process are yet to be certified and qualified.

“You’re laying down a layer at a time, from a digital file. You can have a digital model, which is the part that you want to make…then make thin slices of it,” McWilliams explained. “With additive manufacturing you can create complex geometry. You can set the thickness of the walls or lattice structures to strengthen them. A grid structure is, in principle, as a cellular structure, so if you’re thinking of an atomic arrangement structure of a honey comb structure.”


The Pentagon and the military services have already have some success with the accelerated to hypersonic weapons testing and development; however, there is still a lot of work to do when it comes to fine-tuning of the technology that is required for current and future hypersonic arms race. As discussed by McWilliams, engineering, weapons, and move at five times the speed of sound is dependent on the ability to manage and, in effect, to reduce to a minimum the heat from the weapon. Excessive heat at that speed, it can’t just be burned, it is a weapon that he can’t fly, but it can also be disturbing, or disrupting its flight path.

Therefore, it is the fundamental challenge of hypersonic flight lives on to this need to manage the extreme temperatures achieved at these speeds, the factors that may prevent, hinder, or disable, the successful hypersonic flight. As a point of interest in this area of research, AFRL, and ARL developers will tell you, a Warrior, is related to various complex aerodynamic problems such as the management of the flow of air around the car in the race. Referred to by scientists as a “barrier,” the aerodynamic characteristics of a hypersonic weapon flight trajectory, has a great influence on the stability of the system, a lot of which is related to the temperature.

“You’re able to print things such as a conformal heat exchangers, which are the best ways to integrate the cooling within the structure itself will help to maintain a lower temperature,” McWilliams said.


Working in close coordination with the Army’s scientists and weapons engineers, the air force has been quick to gain a better understanding of heat fluxes in hypersonic weapons. This will make it possible for the optimization of thermal management,” Tim Sakulich, Air Force Research Laboratory, director, materials and manufacturing, and will lead to the implementation of the air force’s Science and Technology Strategy, told of a Warrior in an interview last year at an Air Force Association Symposium. “We’re designing these systems to provide the speed, range, and lethality, we are looking for.”

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