Aerospace Engineering Seminar Series: Dr. Cameron Butler, Johns Hopkins
Wednesday, April 19, 2023
4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
2164 Martin Hall, DeWalt Seminar Room/Hybrid
SPEAKER: Dr. Cameron Butler
Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab
TITLE: BOLT Hypersonic Flight Experiment: Post-flight Findings and Re-fly Mission
TOPIC: The Boundary-Layer Transition (BOLT) flight experiment was originally conceived to study hypersonic transition phenomena present on a complex geometry featuring highly-swept leading edges and concave surface curvature. This initiated a massive ground-testing and simulation effort by academic institutions across the nation to compare against the anticipated flight data. After a successful flight campaign, the launch occurred at 0250 CEST local time (0050 UTC) on 23 June 2021. Shortly after launch, the flight vehicle exhibited unexpected aerodynamic behavior by entering into a coning motion at relatively large angles of attack. Following an intensive post-flight investigation, the most likely root causes of this behavior and potential mitigation options were identified. On the back of this investigation and the successful flight of the BOLT-2 experiment, a re-fly mission for BOLT-1 was initiated. This new flight experiment, termed BOLT-1B, seeks to acquire the transition-focused scientific data originally expected from BOLT-1. This seminar will delve into details of the BOLT-1 post-flight analysis, which included modeling of the vehicle aerodynamics, structure, and flight dynamics. We will then give an overview of the BOLT-1B re-fly mission, including changes from the original experiment. Finally, there will be discussion of the ongoing pre-flight research into hypersonic boundary-layer transition underway at APL as part of this effort.
BIO: Dr. Cameron Butler joined Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in 2021 after earning his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from UMD. During his time at UMD, he studied hypersonic boundary-layer transition experimentally in the High Speed Aerodynamics and Propulsion Lab. As a staff member at APL, he has maintained a focus on hypersonics, though he has shifted largely to computational fluid dynamics. Dr. Butler is a Co-Investigator for the BOLT-1B flight experiment, coordinating aerodynamic modeling and science-focused activities.