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  • Falcon HTV-2 Three Key Technical Challenges

    22x faster than a commercial jetliner in a regime that is not fully understood

    • Requires detailed understanding of extreme pressures
    • Expanding technical knowledge requires high-speed wind tunnel tests, computer simulations, and flight tests
    • Air doesn’t travel around you -- You rip it apart.


    Aerothermal Effects 
    HTV-2 surface temperatures reach 3500°F – hotter than a blast furnace capable of melting steel 

    • Carbon composite material keeps internal electronics 3,300 degrees cooler than the shell, only a few inches away
    • Equivalent to a ‘glove’ for your hand dipped in molten hot steel that would keep your hand at 98°F

      Aerothermal Effects 

    Guidance, Navigation & Control 
    Extremely high velocities make small disturbances big problems

    • Travelling 13,000 mph requires precise sensing and near simultaneous response to flight path disturbances
    • Imagine trying to steer around a pothole in the highway while traveling 3.6 miles per second

    Guidance, Navigation & Control   

  • Program Images

    HTV-2 image 2_sm
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