Dayton prioritises aerospace, additive manufacturing and hypersonic flight for governmental funding

During the annual meeting of the Dayton Development Coalition in Ohio, a panel nominated projects with NASA and plans for an advanced manufacturing center as top priorities for the region’s development.

The projects are listed on the Dayton Region Priority Development & Advocacy Committee’s (PDAC) annual list drawn up to, “aid the community in speaking with one voice when pursuing funding opportunities.”

Advanced manufacturing excellence

The Sinclair Community College in Dayton is a regional leader for advanced manufacturing and a valuable contributor to the local economy. Dayton’s workforce is based chiefly on a history of research aeronautical, and astronautical engineering, bolstered by its proximity to the military Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The region is also home to a Tangible Solutions additive manufacturing facility, equipped with Concept Laser’s metal additive M2 Cusing machine.

Concept Laser Metal Demo photo by Michael Petch
Concept Laser Metal Demo photo by Michael Petch

Sinclair Community College is already equipped with an Advanced Integrated Manufacturing (AIM) Center but, as stated in the application for funding, Sinclair, “has received no PDAC funding in the past.”

The project put forward by Adam Murka, Director of Strategic Relationships at Sinclair, seeks to renovate 36,000 square feet of space by the college to make a dedicated Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMC). The total cost of the project is $7.2 million, the majority of which will be provided by the college itself.

Aerospace and defense

Another priority is the University of Dayton’s research into the development of “Reusable Materials and Structures for Hypersonic Technologies” for use in manufacturing high-speed aircrafts for the Air Force and NASA.

Hypersonic Technology Vehicle’s are an unmanned aircraft concept from the US’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that propose to be able to reach any point in the world within one hour.

Artists impression of the Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 Image via DARPA
Artists impression of the Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 Image via DARPA

The key obstacles in the production of hypersonic vehicles is in producing materials that can be reused, as current vehicles are limited to only one flight.

Materials research such as that performed by the AMPLab at the University of Birmingham, may also be of interest in this project. At the AMPLab Professor Moataz Attallah and his team have developed a wire-feedstock machine capable of producing metal alloy combinations in vast quantities to find materials with desired properties.

Ceramics is also a key of interest for hypersonic vehicles as they can withstand high temperatures. In December 2016 Imperial College London made a significant breakthrough in ceramics research by establishing the highest ever melting point for a refractory ceramic.

The University of Dayton has been working on hypersonic materials research since 2006, and the program is looking for $10m investment to keep up the pace of their progress with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

Featured image shows the Wright-Paterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Ted Theopolos