- The U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research awarded $5 million to the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering and the University of Florida’s Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering for collaborative research in aerospace technology.
- The main focus is on the development of aerospace vehicles capable of changing their shape during flight, leading to the creation of the “AEROMORPH: Aerospace Morphing via Integrated Sense, Assess, and Respond” research center.
- Research will be overseen by the Florida State University-based Florida Center for Advanced Aero-Propulsion (FCAAP), emphasizing state estimation, distributed sensing, control systems, and hypersonic speed aerospace systems.
The U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research granted a combined total of $5 million on Friday to the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering and the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering at the University of Florida.
This funding was allocated to facilitate collaborative efforts in aerospace technology research, specifically in the realm of high-speed flight and morphing vehicles, according to the Air Force. The bulk of the funding will go towards the formation of a new research Center of Excellence, known as “AEROMORPH: Aerospace Morphing via Integrated Sense, Assess, and Respond.”
Through the research initiatives, the two universities are committing to undergo research methods on the construction and design of aerospace vehicles that can change their shape during flight, which holds the potential to be applied to the state’s booming commercial space industry.
“This has potential commercial use for advanced aircraft as well as energy systems to advance wind power and gas turbines,” said William Oates, chair of the FAMU-FSU Department of Mechanical Engineering. “We want to develop technology that tightly integrates computations into aerodynamic morphing structures for better control and agility.”
Oversight for this project will be provided by the Florida State University-based Florida Center for Advanced Aero-Propulsion (FCAAP). Under FCAAP’s lead, researchers will specifically focus on state estimation, distributed sensing, and the control systems that are at the heart of this transformative aerospace technology, per a prepared statement.
A secondary objective of the center’s research is the development of aerospace systems that can operate at hypersonic speeds, which is more than five times the speed of sound.
“This new Center of Excellence on morphing structures for aerospace applications will significantly enhance our research collaboration with the FCAAP partner institutions and Air Force Research Laboratories,” said FCAAP Director Rajan Kumar. “The consortium will allow our students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty to interact with AFRL engineers and scientists and develop technologies for next-generation high-speed flight vehicles.”