University of Arizona researchers are leading a three-year, $4.5 million Pentagon contract to study artificial intelligence for hypersonic aircraft navigation. Hypersonics is becoming an increasingly critical field in global defense.
The project's principal investigator is Systems and Industrial Engineering professor Roberto Furfaro, who is joined by Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering professor Jesse Little and MSE associate professor Erica Corral.
“There’s a whole vision behind these challenge projects to help enable the warfighter with critical technologies in hypersonics,” Corral said in an interview with the Arizona Daily Star. “It’s a very important project for the government and that fact the UA has all the technical expertise to execute it, along with Raytheon and UT-Austin — it’s significant.”
The research project is sponsored by Pentagon’s Joint Hypersonic Transition Office through the University Consortium for Applied Hypersonics. Corral serves as the co-director of industrial and national lab engagement and workforce development for the Consortium's Engagement Board.
“There are a lot of things happening in hypersonic flow that are so nonlinear that they are not fully understood, that we need to characterize if we want to design systems that work under these conditions," Furfaro said.