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Hypersonic Technology Vehicle (HTV-1)

As a result of FY05 Congressional language, the Falcon portion of the CAV program was restructured by DARPA and the Air Force to ensure it met the intent of Congress. Within the Falcon program, CAV has been redesignated the Hypersonic Technology Vehicle (HTV) and all weaponization activities have been excluded from Falcon.

The Falcon HTV program selected Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. to develop and design a low-risk, first-generation Hypersonic Technology Vehicle (HTV-1) integrated with state-of-the-art hypersonic technologies to address materials and fabrication challenges. A set of HTV-1 ground tests were conducted to develop and validate the vehicle's aerodynamic, aero-thermal, and thermal-structural performance as well as to validate advanced carbon-carbon manufacturing approaches.

On 05 August 2004 Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Palmdale, Calif., was awarded a $7,650,697 increment of a $8,360,384 other transaction for prototypes agreement for Phase IIa of Task 2 (Hypersonic Technology Vehicle) of the DARPA/Air Force Falcon program. Work will be performed in Palmdale, Calif. (41.5 percent) and King of Prussia, Penn. (58.5 percent) and will be completed in February 2005. A portion of the funds ($4,650,699) will expire at the end of this fiscal year. This was a limited competition among the four participants in phase I of the Falcon Task 2 program. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is the contracting activity (HR0011-04-9-0010).

Lockheed Martin heads a team made up of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., King of Prussia, Penn.; Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando, Fla.; Aerojet, Sacramento, Calif.; Pyrodyne Inc., New Market, Md.; and Alliant Techsystems GASL, Ronkonkoma, N.Y.

Under the newly awarded agreement, the team conducted a six-month phase IIa preliminary design effort. At the successful conclusion of Phase IIa, Lockheed Martin will begin the 30-month phase IIb to complete detailed design, fabrication and flight-test of an initial hypersonic technology testbed vehicle. Lockheed Martin was chosen through a limited competition among the four participants in the first phase of the Falcon Task 2 effort. Lockheed Martin could receive up to an additional $97,069,875 in funding for phase IIb.

Flight achieving hypersonic speed, ranging from 6,000 to 15,000 miles per hour (Mach 9 to Mach 22), and reaching altitudes between 100,000 to 150,000 feet, requires an airframe structure designed to survive intense heat and pressure. Such technology is in development by scientists and engineers with the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle program.

During the contracting stage of the program, three prime contractors specified requirements for pre-flight testing at AEDC (specifically in the ARC Heater Test Facility and VKF Tunnels B & C as well as Tunnel 9). Lockheed Martin won the contract and began their program. Early in the planning for the HTV-1 experiment it became clear that Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling should be validated with highly accurate ground test data. Tunnel 9 alone provided the match of test conditions and data accuracy needed to make the program successful, according to Dan Marren, Tunnel 9 site director. The Air Force Research Laboratory Air Vehicles (AFRL) Directorate at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, provides technical guidance for the Falcon program to DARPA. During program technical reviews, AFRL suggested that the program could be enhanced by the inclusion of data from AEDC Hypervelocity Wind Tunnel 9. Planned for a less than one-hour flight in September 2007, the Falcon HTV-1 was set to complete its inaugural voyage in the Pacific Ocean. Attaining Mach 19 speed, the glided air vehicle will briefly exit the Earth's atmosphere and reenter flying between 19 and 28 miles above the planet's surface. Demonstrating hypersonic glide technology and setting the stage for HTV-2 represent the primary focus of the lower risk, lower performance initial flight. This is a very unique vehicle. During the early part of the flight, it acts like a spacecraft. In the middle phase, the HTV reenters the atmosphere like the Space Shuttle, and in the latter stage, it flies like an aircraft. It is an interesting mix of challenges and technologies.

The HTV-1 flight test was cancelled in early 2006. DARPA and prime contractor Lockheed Martin decided not to build and fly the first version of the Falcon hypersonic test vehicle (HTV) after encountering difficulties manufacturing the with the curved leading edges of the carbon-carbon aeroshell. Instead, they have shifted efforts to the HTV-2 design which features a multi-piece aeroshell with thinner leading edges. This was seen as easier to build and less of a technical challenge.

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Page last modified: 21-07-2011 00:49:32 ZULU