Defense Systems Digest
06 October 2020

Notable Technical Inquiry

What types of flexible hypersonic thermal protective materials have been researched and are available that are capable of surviving high-temperature, high-Mach environments to enable variable geometry hypersonic aircraft?

DSIAC received a technical inquiry requesting information on research into and availability of flexible thermal protection system materials. Materials engineering subject matter experts performed literature searches using DTIC, open sources, and university libraries to provide a listing of the efforts that have tried to produce these material systems (mostly sponsored by NASA) and identified several options in varying degrees of development and technology readiness levels. This report is available in the DTIC R&E Gateway.

Voice From The Community

Charles Bilbey, D.B.A., CSEP

I have worked in the aerospace industry for over 40 years in the fields of aircraft structures and space systems. Previously, I worked to assist the U.S. Department of Defense, Space Command, and the Space and Missile Systems Center in acquiring new satellite systems and modifying existing systems. Recently, I transitioned to San Antonio, where I am assisting the U.S. Air Force in the development of a more robust, integrated personnel and pay system. I lead the business design requirements management team that ensures the elicitation, documentation, refinement, and changes of requirements are adequately dealt with during the system life cycle, with a focus on satisfying the U.S. Air Force mission needs.

In This Issue

Air Force, Space Force Leading Charge to New Technologies

"New technologies are fundamentally changing the character of war and the two Air Force services are leading that charge," Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper said at the Air Force Association's Virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference today. In this time of COVID-19, Esper addressed the group virtually. The secretary stated that America's air, space, and cyber warriors "will be at the forefront of tomorrow's high-end fight." "That means confronting near-peer competitors China and Russia. That means shifting the focus from defeating violent extremist groups to deterring great power competitors. It means fighting a high-intensity battle that combines all domains of warfare," he said. "In this era of great power competition, we cannot take for granted the United States' long-held advantages," Esper said. The last time an enemy force dropped a bomb on American troops was in the Korean War. "China and Russia seek to erode our long-standing dominance in air power through long-range fires, anti-access/area-denial systems, and other asymmetric capabilities designed to counter our strengths," he said. "Meanwhile, in space, Moscow and Beijing have turned a once peaceful arena into a warfighting domain."

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