10–12 July 2017
Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia

Emerging Concepts in High Speed Air-Breathing Propulsion

8-9 July 2017 0800-1700 hrs



High speed air breathing propulsion is becoming more prevalent. The standard approaches involve turbojets, scramjets, and turbine based combined cycle systems. Emerging cycles include the Japanese ATREX engine (Air Turbo Ramjet Engine with eXpander cycle) and the air-breathing rocket engine, which rely on pre-cooling the air with heat exchangers. Additional emerging cycles include pressure gain cycles (Pulse Detonation Engines and Rotating Detonation Engines), Mass Injection Pre-Combustion Cooling (MIPCC), Oxy-Boost which injects oxygen during the cycle, and turbo-ramjets in which the air bypasses the turbojet at high speeds and the afterburner is treated as a ramjet. This course is designed to explore these cycles and bring a theoretical understanding of how to apply them and what performance advantages they might have.

Key Topics

  • Introductory Lecture to provide the technical background on high speed propulsion such as (a) the governing aerothermodynamic equations, (b) propulsion performance measures, and (c) propulsion performance analysis.
  • Learn the cycles and performance for emerging high speed air breathing propulsion concepts
  • Learn the cycle and performance for the ATREX engine
  • Learn the cycle and performance for air-breathing rocket engines
  • Learn about pressure gain combustion processes and how they can fit into high speed air breathing propulsion cycles
  • Learn the cycle and performance for cycle modifications like the Turbo-Ramjet Mass Injection Pre-Combustion Cooling (MIPCC) and Oxy-Boost (oxygen injection into the combustion chamber)
  • Learn the benefits of each in their application to hypersonic cruise and launch vehicles
  • Learn high speed propulsion integration
  • Learn about vehicles concepts that exemplify various high speed air breathing propulsion concepts.

Who Should Attend

The audience for this course is comprised of advanced aerospace conceptual designers and analysts interested in the application of hypersonic air-breathing to hypersonic cruise and access to space missions. These include but are not limited to aircraft designers, propulsion engineers, systems engineers, and aerodynamicists.


Thomas Smith, Associate Technical Fellow, The Boeing Company
Tom Smith is a conceptual aircraft designer specializing in hypersonic airbreathing aircraft and spaceplanes.  He designed the X-40, X-37A and X-37B spaceplanes. He has innovated concepts in the area of inward turning inlets for scramjet propulsion.  He has broad skills in aerodynamics, structural design, propulsion integration, and multi-disciplinary optimization.

Kevin G. Bowcutt, Senior Technical Fellow and Chief Scientist for Hypersonics, The Boeing Company
Kevin is an industry leader in hypersonics at the Boeing Company.  He is the father of the modern waverider.  He has led the development of the multidisciplinary optimization capability at Boeing.  His innovation and leadership has spanned the NASP program, the X-51 program, the HIFiRE consortium and many other programs.

Dr. Daniel Paxson, Aerospace Research Engineer, NASA Glenn Research Center
Daniel is an aerospace research engineer with the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center, Research and Engineering Directorate. He earned his B.E. degree in mechanical engineering from Vanderbilt University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  Since graduation, Dan has been at NASA conducting both experimental and analytical research in the areas of unsteady fluid mechanics, and gas dynamic propulsion and power systems. While there he has developed simulation, design, and optimization software, and designed or aided the design and operation of experimental rigs for wave rotor technology, active combustion instability control, high speed fuel valve systems, pulsed ejectors, pulsed (pressure-gain) combustors, pulse detonation engines, and rotating detonation engines. His simulation software has been used extensively by government, industry, and academic research groups.  He has published more than 80 peer reviewed papers, of which 20 are in journals.  Dan is an Associate Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He serves on the AIAA High Speed Air Breathing Propulsion Technical Committee, and is chair of the AIAA Pressure Gain Combustion Program Committee.  He is also a member of the JANNAF Pressure Gain Combustion Working Group, and has served as a subject matter expert for DARPA, DOE, and the Air Force.

Dr. John Bossard, President, BSRD LLC and Aviation & Aerospace Consultant
John has over 25 years of experience in aerospace and advanced-technology industries, and has served in technical, management and executive leadership positions for Aerojet, CFD Research, KT Engineering, and Orion Propulsion.  He specializes in Turbine Based Combined Cycle (TBCC) engines, particularly the Air Turbo Rocket (ATR) cycle.

Dr. K. Kailasanath, Director of the Laboratories for Computational Physics and Fluid Dynamics at the Naval Research Laboratory
Dr. Kailasanath received his Ph.D from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1980 and has been at the Naval Research Laboratory since then. Prior to that, he received his M.S.A.E. from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1979 and his B.Tech in Aeronautical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (Madras) in 1976. His research interests include the structure, stability and dynamics of flames and detonations; combustion instabilities in ramjets; multiphase flows; subsonic and supersonic mixing and noise generation; and the simulation of advanced propulsion system concepts. He has published over 300 articles on these topics. He is currently principal investigator of an NRL program in “Priority Issues in Naval Air Propulsion”, and ONR programs on “Sea-Based Aviation-Propulsion”, “Detonation Engine S&T”, and “Fundamental Jet Noise Reduction S&T”. He is a Fellow of the AIAA, the APS and The Institute of Physics (U.K.). He was an Associate Editor of the AIAA Journal from 1995-2000 and a Deputy Editor from 2005-2009. He is also on the board of the journals, Advances in Aerospace Engineering and the International Journal of Spray and Combustion Dynamics. He received a Department of Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 2009, a Delores Yetter Top Navy Scientist/Engineer of the Year Award in 2011 and the Captain Robert Conrad Dexter Award for Scientific Achievement in 2014. He has also received the Navy’s Alan Berman Research Publication Award in 1983, 1992, 1994, 2000, 2004, 2009, 2011 and 2015.

Dr. Adam Dissel, President, Reaction Engines Inc.
Adam leads the expansion of his company’s development efforts with the U.S. government and potential industry partners. Adam has over 15 years’ experience in the conceptual design of advanced hypersonic and launch vehicle systems with particular emphasis in the improvement of system affordability, responsiveness, and reusability.  Adam was previously System Architect for Responsive Space at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Colorado. He holds a PhD and master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Utah State University. 

Dr. Dora Musielak, Research Professor at the University of Texas at Arlington
Specializing in high-speed propulsion, Dora has 30 years of experience directing R&D projects in industry and academia, including Northrop Grumman and ATK. Her key expertise is in high-speed air breathing propulsion and liquid chemical rockets. Musielak was chief scientist and led a scramjet propulsion development program sponsored by the U.S. government. She has authored numerous reports and papers related to high speed propulsion (scramjets, rockets, and detonation engines), with focus on numerical simulation of fuel injection, high speed reacting and non-reacting turbulent flows. Dora is the recipient of two NASA research fellowships, one of which she was awarded to carry out research at the Hypersonics Propulsion Branch, NASA Langley Research Center. At NASA, Musielak began research related to scramjet combustion, including modeling and simulation of fuel injection, mixing, and flameholding using the VULCAN code. An AIAA Associate Fellow, Dora has served in several national technical committees, including the NRC Committee on Breakthrough Technology for Commercial Supersonic Aircraft, the AIAA Pressure Gain Combustion Program Committee (PGC PC), and the AIAA High Speed Air Breathing Propulsion TC, a committee she chaired from 2014 to 2016.

Prof. Tetsuya Sato, Professor, Aerospace Transportation Systems, Waseda University
At Waseda University, Tetsuya’s focus is on the basic research on the PCTJ and other propulsion systems concerning a system analysis, inlet, precooler, cryogenic two-phase flow, etc.  His precious experience includes Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, where he was senior Researcher in Institute of Institute of Space Technology and Aeronautics and conducted research on pre-cooled turbojet engine. While at the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, he served as Research Associate in Space Propulsion Division (1992-2002) and Associate Professor in Space Propulsion Division (2002-2003). His area of focus was research on the ATREX engine. He received his Doctor of Engineering and the University of Tokyo.

Robert Moehnelkamp, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Technical Discipline Lead - Analysis
Bob is the Technical Discipline Lead for Analysis at Aerojet Rocketdyne’s West Palm Beach campus with responsibility for the Aero, Thermal and Structural analyses supporting air-breathing hypersonic and liquid rocket programs. He has nearly 30 years of experience in gas turbine, liquid rocket and air-breathing hypersonic propulsion system design, development and testing.  Primary areas of expertise include aerodynamic design, thermal management and component performance.

Dr. Vladimir Balepin, Chief Engineer, Missile Products Division, Orbital ATK Defense Group
At Orbital ATK, Vladimir initiates, leads, and supports rocket, combined propulsion, and energy projects with USAF, NASA, DARPA as well as DOE. After graduating from Moscow Aviation Institute, he started carrier at Central Institute of Aviation Motors in Moscow where he also got his Ph.D. He was involved in RD170/180 and RD0120 liquid rocket engines development. Conducted analytical and experimental studies on variety of the combined cycles (TBCC, RBCC, LACE, etc.). In addition, Vladimir spent three years in Japan with NASDA and ISAS (both are currently JAXA) developing combined cycles technology (LACE, LOX collection, ATREX); worked in Europe at SEP group under ESA contract on LOX collection and other combined cycles; and worked for MSE Technology Applications in Montana supporting aerospace and energy projects.

Dr. Venkat E. Tangirala, Principal Engineer, Combustion and Propulsion, Combustion and Thermodynamics, GE Global Research Center
For the past 20 years at GE, Venkat has been working on the design and development of variable geometry supersonic exhaust CD nozzles, subsonic and supersonic deflagration and detonation combustors. His expertise is in computational analysis and testing of supersonic reacting and nonreacting internal and external flows, gas turbine flames in aviation and power generation, and dynamic stability in augmentors. His recent work experience includes computational simulations and validation of CFD results for autoignition events, self-excited dynamics and sprays in gas turbine combustors and augmentors. Venkat has 160 publications in the areas of subsonic supersonic propulsion, gas turbine combustion and pulsed and rotating detonation engine technologies; 20 US patents awarded; and has several patent applications on file. He is currently High Speed Air Breathing Technical Committee Chair, a member of JANNAF Airbreathing Section Working Group for PDE/RDE Technology Development, AIAA, ASME and the Combustion Institute.

Other Instructors

  • Eric Donovan 

Course Materials

Course notes will be made available about one week prior to the course event. You will receive an email with detailed instructions on how to access your course notes. Since these notes will not be distributed on site, AIAA and your course instructor highly recommend that you bring your computer with the course notes already downloaded.

Course Registration

Registration options include course only and course and forum together as well as undergraduate and graduates rates. Please click here to register.


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