5 October 2012

The University of Queensland and Australia were among world leaders in space plane and hypersonics research at a conference in France last week.

Australia was second only to China in the number of papers presented at the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics International Spaceplanes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference, the leading conference for the hypersonics community, with UQ giving 24 of the 27 Australian papers.

UQ Centre for Hypersonics chair Professor Russell Boyce said the conference showed Australia’s expertise in a future-focused area.

“It reinforces our reputation as being the leading university-based hypersonics research group in the world, and one of the lead groups outright, and for Australia being one of the lead countries,” Professor Boyce said.

“High speed flight is important because it underpins access to space (which is critical because Australia and the entire world are utterly dependent on space-based assets for many purposes), return from space, exploration of other planets, and future high-speed transportation systems in Earth's atmosphere.”

UQ’s expertise in hypersonics has been developed over several decades, and is built on a combination of experiments in its hypervelocity wind tunnels, mathematical analysis and supercomputer simulations, and from taking science to the sky by means of hypersonic flight experiments.

The current international SCRAMSPACE program is an excellent example of this combined approach.

Media: Professor Boyce (email russell.boyce@uq.edu.au to arrange a phone interview) or Tegan Taylor at UQ Communications (07 3346 7887 or t.taylor@uq.edu.au)