Ceramic Matrix Composite Materials for Arc Light Hypersonic Tactical Strike
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AbstractAndrews Space has shown under a recently completed DARPA study for the Long Range Time Critical Strike initiative that a morphing wing hypersonic vehicle that uses deployable aerosurfaces can very effectively extend the range and decrease the time to target for munitions launched within the constraints of existing launch platforms. The key enabling technology is a composite material that is flexible at room temperature but rigidizes when exposed to high temperatures. The result is a wing structure that is able to withstand both the temperatures and aerodynamic loads encountered during the expected flight profile. This revolutionary wing material is the focus of the proposed effort. Andrews Space proposes to increase the technology readiness level (TRL) of the material by testing in simulated heating environments that are representative of those encountered during hypersonic flight operations. The wing material is a fiber-reinforced ceramic matrix composite (CMC) derived from preceramic polymers that is cured to a stable flexible state for long-term compact storage.
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