30 March 2006

The HyShot™ IV experimental scramjet test has been conducted today at the Woomera range, 500km north of Adelaide, South Australia at about 1.10pm local time (CDT).

“The rocket launch looked as expected. We had another clean liftoff,” Associate Professor Michael Smart of the UQ HyShot team said.

The flight experiment was a commission from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to The University of Queensland.

The experiment was designed to benefit the development of future space transportation systems. It is hoped that the $1.3 million HyShot™ IV program will provide more extensive scramjet pressure and temperature measurements than previous flights.

Today’s experiment aimed to obtain experimental data in a real flight environment for a 100kg scramjet engine with an advanced fuel injector developed by JAXA.

The data will be compared with the results of ground tests performed in Japan.

The scramjet payload was mounted on the front of a Terrier-Orion sounding rocket combination and aimed to achieve a speed close to Mach 8 (8000/km hour or10 times faster than a conventional jet engine) for the experiment.

During the experiment, lasting approximately six seconds, internal pressure data for the combustor was recorded.

HyShot™ program leader Professor Allan Paull of The University of Queensland (UQ) said it was too soon to tell if the experiment had been a success.

However, data had been received from the payload.

“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to work with our valued research partners on this project to advance scientific understanding of scramjet technology,” he said.

“JAXA has also donated an advanced rocket launcher to the University for scientific purposes which has made the HyShot™ III and HyShot™ IV experiments possible.

“This is the largest launcher in the southern hemisphere.

“We wish to thank JAXA and all our research partners and supporters who have made the current flight campaign possible.”

Scientists will now examine experimental flight data and are expected to be in a position to announce the flight outcome in the next few weeks.

Media enquiries:
JAXA: Public Affairs Section, General Services Division, Institute of Aerospace Technology,
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
7-44-1 Jindaiji Higashi-machi, Chofu-shi, Tokyo, 182-8522

UQ: Jan King University of Queensland Communications tel +61 413 601 248, email: j.king@uq.edu.au

To view and download launch images: http://www.uq.edu.au/news/press/press-gallery.php
To view video footage of the liftoff:
www.omc.uq.edu.au/video/hyshot/hyshot4.mov www.omc.uq.edu.au/video/hyshot/liftoff.mov www.omc.uq.edu.au/video/hyshot/HyShot3.mov