News. Imagine an aircraft structure that can change its shape in flight to reduce the sonic boom noise produced by supersonics airplanes — The NAL is part of a new (2017) 5-year NASA ULI program, led by the Aerospace Engineering Department at Texas A&M University, to meet this visionary objective.
NAL Director, R. Bowersox, receives a 5-year DoD Vannever Bush Fellowship (2017) to perform fundamental research on turbulence transport in hypervelocity extreme non-equilibrium environments.
The term Aerothermochemistry was coined by Theodore von Karman, in the 1950’s, to provide a scientific basis for the study of gases taking into account the effects of motion, heat, and chemical changes, which is applicable to aerodynamic and propulsive flows. Hypersonic flight (Mach number > 5) introduces high enthalpy (temperature) aerothermochemical effects.
The mission of the National Aerothermochemistry and Hypersonics Laboratory (NAL) is to provide a venue for faculty, students, research associates and visiting scientists to improve our knowledge and control of non-equilibrium gaseous flows and their surface interactions. The resulting facility has been supported by the AFOSR, AFRL, ARO, NASA, NSF, ONR and Industry. A defining feature of the NAL is the suite of national resource quality hypersonic facilities, instrumentation and numerical methods. Most of these assets are one-of-kind, and were developed to address specific problems. A second defining characteristic of the laboratory is the student driven interdisciplinary culture, where researchers from various disciplines (Aerospace Engineering, Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering) work side-by-side to solve complex problems. For more information on the research that takes place within the NAL, see the faculty links in the Personnel link above.