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Virginia Tech Teams Up to Design Aerospace Vehicles
February 24, 2009

Virginia Tech, Wright State University (WSU), and the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB), Ohio, specializing in the design of aerospace vehicles, are teaming to form a collaborative center for the development of future aerospace vehicles (FAVs). The new center will be based at Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech’s Multidisciplinary Analysis and Design Center for Advanced Vehicles and WSU researchers involved in this new collaboration, along with the Air Force’s Multidisciplinary Technology Center (MDTC), will form the Collaborative Center on Multidisciplinary Sciences.

Rakesh K. Kapania, the Mitchell Professor of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering at Virginia Tech and director of Multidisciplinary Analysis and Design, will oversee the Multidisciplinary Analysis and Design Center for Advanced Vehicles. Ramana Grandhi, a University Distinguished Professor at Wright State University, is also a member of the leadership team. Ray Kolonay will be the project engineer for the Air Force.

For the past two decades, the AFRL at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Multidisciplinary Analysis and Design Center have developed in parallel their own capabilities as they worked on futuristic revolutionary aircraft. For example, both centers pioneered the use of design models using high-performance computing, surrogate models to represent complex physics, and software tools. By consolidating the efforts, the goal is to improve aerospace vehicle design methods. The collaborative center will specifically investigate multidisciplinary analysis and design of several futuristic aircraft such as the joined-wing SensorCraft, flapping micro-air vehicles, and supersonic long-range strike aircraft.

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