Local Energy Matter Interactions and Materials Response in Hypersonic Environments

Aric Rousso | 21-SI-003

Project Overview

Understanding material response in the hypersonic environment is crucial for a range of laboratory mission goals in novel material and sensor development, survivability, lethality, flight testing, and mission impact modeling. Several gaps lie in A) the availability and frequency of testing facilities around the U.S., B) diagnostics to measure time-dependent data sets of key material properties, and C) the ability to test materials in off-nominal or pre-stressed states such as might be experienced during realistic flight conditions. To address these needs, this SI developed, modeled, fabricated, and characterized the Energy Matter Interaction Tunnel (EMIT), a small-scale, high-throughput material testbed to provide routine access to the hypersonic environment. EMIT is a cold-flow, open-jet, blowdown wind tunnel facility capable of flows Mach 3 and above. Run times are 30-60 seconds, allowing for adequate time for heat soak and material response, and turnaround times between runs are 30 minutes or less, allowing for high throughput and testing at a wide variety of conditions. In parallel with the tunnel stand-up, time-dependent flow and material diagnostics were developed, tested at hypersonic conditions, and implemented into EMIT for novel measurement capabilities fieldable both at LLNL but also at national-level hypersonic facilities. The project has demonstrated greater than Mach 3 flow capabilities as well as novel diagnostics and is now operational for both internal experimental campaigns and external sponsor needs for rapid throughput testing capabilities.

Mission Impact

The Science of Materials in Hypersonic Regime Conditions as a part of Multi-Domain Deterrence is a key national security problem. This project developed new testing facilities at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), as well as played a key role in strengthening LLNL's participation in collaborating and providing value-add to the ground-test community. LLNL has demonstrated some novel diagnostics as well as significant diagnostic capability that has drawn significant interest from the greater community, and we expect to see continued and growing engagement in this space. We have established continuing collaborations with UC Davis and CU Boulder to continue material and model development efforts for hypersonics. Similarly, for model development and validation, material models are important for vehicle trajectory prediction, signatures, survivability, and lethality efforts across the NNSA portfolio. EMIT will accelerate material development and downselection while limiting the number of costly and time-consuming test campaigns that need to occur at oversubscribed national-level facilities. We are excited to continue to transition EMIT through additional internal, external, and collaboration efforts into a key part of the hypersonics material testing effort nationwide.

Publications, Presentations, and Patents

Lum, J., L. Keene, B. Goldberg, E. Busby, A. Rousso, B. Bathel, J. Weisberger, G. Buck, D. Stobbe, J. Stolken. "In-Situ Optical Detection for Ultrasonic Characterization of Materials in a Mach 10 Hypersonic Wind Tunnel." Physical Review Applied 18. 044062 October 26, 2022.

Keene, L.T., Lum, J.S., Busby, E. et al. "Laser Speckle Pattern Stability in Hypersonic Regimes for Experimental Mechanics and Metrological Studies." Exp Tech (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40799-023-00648-y

Busby, Erik. 2022. "Pitch-Wavelength Multiplexing for Structured Light 3D Imaging." IL-13756, 07/20/2022. ROI filed July 19, 2022. Accepted. July 20, 2022.

Jordan S. Lum, et al, "Advanced Characterization for Complex, Multi-Material Functional Structures" (Presentation, 2023 Warheads Summit hosted by AFRL, Niceville, FL, March 2023).

Jordan S. Lum, et al, "In-Situ Laser-Based Ultrasonic Measurement of Material Characterization During Supersonic and Hypersonic Flow" (Presentation, 48th Weapons Agency Nondestructive Test Organization (WANTO)/JOWOG meeting at Y12, April 2023).

Benjamin Goldberg, et al, "Recent Advances in Hypersonics Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory" (Presentation, Invited Seminar at Stanford University, May 2023).

Jordan S. Lum, Benjamin Goldberg, Erik Busby, David Stobbe, James A. Threadgill, Ashish Singh, Jesse C. Little and Aric Rousso, "In-Situ Laser-Based Ultrasonic Measurement of Material Cooling from Supersonic and Hypersonic Flow" (Presentation, AIAA 2023-3299. AIAA AVIATION 2023 Forum, San Diego, CA and virtual, June 2023).

Benjamin Goldberg, et al, "The Lawrence Livermore Energy Matter Interaction Tunnel (EMIT)" (Presentation, 2023 Hypersonic Technology & Systems Conference (HTSC), Space Dynamics Laboratory, North Logan, UT, October 2023). 

Spencer Jeppson, et al.,"Material Diagnostic Capabilities in the Energy Matter Interaction Tunnel (EMIT) at LLNL" (Poster Presentation, 2023 Hypersonic Technology & Systems Conference (HTSC), Space Dynamics Laboratory, North Logan, Utah, October 2023).