News: Hyshot Project

The following article is taken from UQ News, August 2002:

Global fame for HyShot

A successful launch has turned UQ's HyShot project into an international sensation.

Article by Jan King

UQ researchers have claimed success for the world's first flight test of supersonic combustion, the process used in an air-breathing supersonic ramjet engine, known as a scramjet.

"Our honest understanding from prelimary data is that the experiment worked," said international HyShot program leader Dr Allan Paull, of UQ's Centre for Hypersonics.

"We received data for the full length of the 10-minute flight. All indications are that supersonic combustion occurred. We'll now be submitting the results to international peer review."

On Tuesday, July 30, a safe and successful launch of a Terrier Orion Mk 70 rocket containing a scramjet payload was held at Woomera Instrumented Rage, 500km north of Adelaide, in the South Australian desert.

The aim of the HyShot program was to provide the world's first in-flight tests of scramjet technology, validating experiments held in ground test facilities.

While scramjets raise the possibility of Sydney to London flights in two hours, they are set to revolutionise the launch of small space payloads, such as communications satellites, by substantially lowering costs.

They have the added benefit that they do not even have to carry most of their propellant as they use oxygen from the atmosphere.

Vice-Chancellor Professor John Hay congratulated the international HyShot team on its success, which he said enhanced the country's international prestige in space research.

"It's a magnificent example of international collaboration, involving researchers from Australia. the United Staets, Britain, France, Germany, Korea and Japan," he said.

Dr Paull is negotiating with various groups to conduct an extensive, ongoing and advanced $50 million program of six flights over five years, leading to a free-flying scramjet engine.

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