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Hypersonix, Nominal Systems team up on digital twins

Manufacturing News

Hypersonic vehicle developer Hypersonix Launch Systems has announced an MoU with digital engineering solutions company Nominal Systems to develop “a digital twin concept demonstrator” of the DART AE aircraft.

DART AE is a three-metre-long, single-use, hydrogen-fuelled hypersonic platform, additively manufactured out of high-temperature alloys. It is being developed to use with Hypersonix’s proprietary SPARTAN scramjet engine as well as propulsion systems from other providers.

In a statement on Wednesday, Hypersonix said that travelling through hypersonic flight (which is approximately five times the speed of sound and above) involved “an extremely hostile environment”  and simulating the physics of this is important to mission success yet difficult. 

The company and Nominal Systems are currently developing a digital twin – a 1:1 digital representation of an object – for the DART platform plus the environment it will operate in.

“We have built a very unique high performance simulation capability and we’ll be capturing lots of flight data once DART AE takes to the sky,” said Andy Mulholland, Head of Product at Hypersonix.

“Combining these things into a hypersonic digital twin will allow us to fly DART AE virtually, see the impacts of mission concept changes, and allow customers to train hypersonic detect & intercept  systems.“

Christopher Capon, CEO and Co-founder at Nominal Systems, added: “As Australia’s leading provider of digital twin  products & services, we’re excited at Nominal Systems to be partnering with Hypersonix in the development of  a concept demonstrator for hypersonic vehicles to make the future of flight smarter, more efficient and more flexible for any type of customer, anywhere.”  

Hypersonix won its first major contract in March, when it was selected from a field of 63 respondents by the United States’ Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to provide aircraft for hypersonic tests.

Flight tests of DART AE through this program are planned for 2024. 

Following that, it also signed an MoU in August with Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, which could potentially lead to supply up to 20 DART AE hypersonic systems within the US market. These would be integrated with Kratos’s Zeus family of solid rocket motors. 

The company is also developing a composite-bodied version of its craft able to travel at greater speeds than DART AE.

Picture: supplied

Further reading

Hypersonix signs US agreement, could supply up to 20 DART AE platforms to Kratos

Hypersonix and SoMAC CRC aim for high temperature materials

Hypersonix awarded first major contract

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