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Our important role in testing UQ's SCRAMSPACE

The University of Queensland's Scramjet
Partnering with industry leader BAE Systems has literally allowed The University of Queensland's (UQ) SCRAMSPACE team to launch a rocket into space.

Providing technical support to the interdisciplinary team, BAE Systems’ world renowned capabilities in developing and testing air vehicle systems has helped ensure the final test flight of SCRAMSPACE’s Scramjet goes as planned.

Designed and built in Brisbane, SCRAMSPACE is a $14 million, three-year research project to collect valuable data from an 8600km/h (Mach 8) high-speed test flight of a hypersonic scramjet.

SCRAMSPACE’s Technical Lead and Flight Experiment Project Officer, UQ’s Dr Sandy Tirtey said BAE Systems is the main industry partner of the SCRAMSPACE I flight.

“Firstly, BAE Systems has provided the Hardware In the Loop (HIL), which is the final test of the vehicle before flight and the only real test of the on-board software,” Dr Tirtey said.

“The HIL makes the payload believe it is actually in flight, allowing us to test all the off-design and undesirable scenarios, and check how robust our flight code is.

“For example, we can simulate the failure of our on-board system and check how the back-ups are performing.”

BAE Systems has provided UQ with a HIL computer and technical support to simulate the physical environment the payload will experience, allowing UQ representatives to operate and monitor what effect this has on the vehicle.

Accompanying the team to Andoya, Norway, where the payload will be launched, BAE Systems will perform the HIL sequence once more, ensuring the vehicle is ready following transportation.

BAE Systems’ George Milosz said the company was pleased to be collaborating with UQ’s international university and industry team on this innovative project.

“SCRAMSPACE has provided a great opportunity for BAE Systems to assist the next generation of aerospace engineers and use our leading-edge capabilities in guidance and control in support of the latest Australian space and hypersonic research and development,” Mr Milosz said.

UQ plans to launch the SCRAMSPACE Scramjet in September, at Norway’s Andøya Rocket range 300km inside the Arctic Circle.

Stay up to date with the team’s progress at http://hypersonics.mechmining.uq.edu.au/scramspace1/