AFIT Establishes Hypersonics Research Center

  • Published
  • By Katie Scott
  • Air Force Institute of Technology

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- The Air Force Institute of Technology’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management has established a new center dedicated to hypersonic research. The Applied Research Center for Hypersonics aims to deliver cutting-edge interdisciplinary solutions to defense-related challenges in hypersonics through applied research, workforce development, and education.

The ARCH is now one of eight multidisciplinary research centers within the Graduate School, all focused on addressing high-priority defense problems.  In addition to its research activities, ARCH personnel will enhance awareness of AFIT's hypersonics-related education, workforce development, and research efforts through continuous outreach and engagement.

The center was inaugurated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held at AFIT’s Kenney Hall Auditorium on May 9, 2024, during the third day of the Hypersonic Innovation Conference.

"With this symbolic gesture, my colleagues and I embrace the responsibility of carrying forth the torch lit decades ago, and to serve as teachers, mentors and role models of the next generation and the generations thereafter who will send us through the skies and into the stars," said Dr. Jose Camberos, ARCH director.

The Department of Defense and Department of the Air Force have increasingly emphasized the development and fielding of high-speed vehicles capable of flying through the Earth’s atmosphere at speeds above Mach 5. 

The Air Force aims to leverage emerging and disruptive hypersonic technologies to enhance mission effectiveness in the context of Great Power Competition. For these hypersonic systems to be viable, technological advancements must ensure capability while remaining affordable and manufacturable.

High-speed atmospheric flight demands extensive interdisciplinary systems integration and engineering development. AFIT has partnered with the DOD Joint Hypersonics Transition Office and other stakeholders to enhance its continuing education programs, graduate engineering courses, and ongoing research efforts, accelerating the development of hypersonic vehicle technology for the DAF and its partners.

The ARCH will focus on four lines of effort: delivering interdisciplinary defense-focused solutions, providing subject-matter expertise to ensure warfighter readiness, integrating and connecting organizations to foster understanding and collaboration within the hypersonic domain, and producing and empowering customers through its initiatives.