by Deidre Ortiz
Arnold Engineering Development Complex Public Affairs
7/3/2014 - ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, TENN. -- The
relationship between the Air Force Research Laboratory and Arnold
Engineering Development Complex's hypervelocity capabilities is paying
dividends and leading to a more in-depth and scientifically broader
In light of the success of several joint projects, AFRL leadership has
decided to extend the organization's partnership with AEDC by
establishing a new hypersonic research branch, to be known as the High
Speed Experimentation Branch, here.
The branch will be directed by AFRL's Aerospace Systems Directorate, the
home office for which is located at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.
Plans for the High Speed Experimentation Branch have been in the works
since the beginning of the year. The branch is expected to be set up in
AEDC's von Kármán Gas Dynamics Test Facility by Oct. 1, 2014.
Former AEDC Executive Director Dr. Douglas Blake, who once served as
deputy director for AFRL Air Vehicles Directorate, stated he expects the
development of this branch to be beneficial for everyone involved.
"Ricky Peters, AFRL executive director, has been the primary force
behind [starting the hypersonic research branch at AEDC]," he said.
"This is a very positive development; both AFRL and AEDC will benefit.
Our vision is to bring together the research talent of AFRL, the test
and engineering expertise and facilities of AEDC and the academic
linkages brought by new talent coming on board at The University of
Tennessee Space Institute to form a national center of gravity in
Dan Marren, site manager at AEDC's Hypervelocity Wind Tunnel 9, shared
Blake's sentiments, stating that this collaboration will create a center
for hypersonic research that's unlike any other.
"For years we have relied on an outstanding collaboration with AFRL in
the scientifically demanding work we do in hypersonics," Marren said. "I
am thrilled that the new hypersonic branch at AEDC can take the pilot
activity we began at White Oak to a new level -- bringing in several
hypersonic disciplines -- and form the basis for what we do across our
hypersonic test enterprise."
Glenn Liston, AFRL's High Speed Systems Science and Technology advisor,
will be heading the High Speed Experimentation Branch as branch chief.
"AFRL is excited to grow our partnership with AEDC," Liston said. "This
new branch will leverage our long-standing relationship."
Liston explained that the team's mission will be to conduct foundational
and systems research in propulsion, aeronautics and structural
applications providing technology maturation related to the hypersonic
"For AFRL's benefit, the branch will use the AEDC facilities and
expertise to conduct research in larger scales than what we can
typically handle in the facilities at Wright-Patterson," he said. "One
benefit to AEDC will be the ability to engage the testing and evaluation
workforce in the research process, generating new knowledge for
hypersonic systems, while improving their capability to test
revolutionary new flight systems."
According to Liston, AFRL and AEDC will together facilitate the
transition of high speed science and technology through testing and
evaluation to fielded systems, serving the development of the nation's
Marren said he looks forward to seeing what the future holds for hypersonic research as a result of this development.
"Having Glenn Liston from AFRL, Dr. John Schmisseur at UTSI and the
multi-disciplinary test facilities and teams at AEDC will give the Air
Force a never-before-realized advantage of having everything the nation
needs to move hypersonics to the warfighter co-located and moving in one
direction," he said.