The United States Space Force (USSF) hopes to use a fleet of rockets to make one-hour cargo delivery anywhere in the world a reality. Whether sending essential supplies to the scene of a humanitarian disaster or supporting military activities in a remote combat space, Space Force authorities consider global delivery from one hour to the next. Rocket aid is an essential ability to move forward.
ONE HOUR DELIVERY IS NOT JUST FOR AMAZON ANYMORE
Move over, Amazon. The United States Space Force is looking to enter the cargo delivery business. Of course, joking aside, delivering goods to any remote location anywhere in the world within an hour is something that even the tech giant cannot promise.
Enter U.S. Space Command, whose leaders consider one-hour global delivery a critical capability for U.S. and international security. As such, they are funding this initiative to make one-hour rocket-powered global delivery a reality, with the first grants only recently awarded to research partners.
THE EXPERTISE OF THE TEAM IS PERFECT TO DEAL WITH GLOBAL DELIVERY IN ONE HOUR
Part of the US Air Force’s Rocket Cargo Program (USSF is part of the Air Force), the USSF recently awarded a $350,000.00 grant to researchers at the University of Central Florida. According to a press release announcing the grant, the project will help identify the technical and technological challenges of the USSF’s latest aspirational goal.
“While it (the grant) compels us to succeed, it also gives us a chance to thrive and set a precedent for UCF with USSF,” said Michael Kinzel, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and UCF Aerospace. “I think this will open many new doors and partnerships, which is especially important given our proximity to Patrick Space Force Base and the entire Space Coast.”
According to the same press release, “The USSF University Consortium Research Opportunity is the third of three pilot programs designed to facilitate research opportunities between Air Force research and universities that can lead to the technological advancement of the USSF”.
In this particular case, the USSf selected the UCF team because of the varied skills of its team members, skills that they will apply to the one-hour global cargo delivery goal.
For example, Kinzel is an expert in computational fluid dynamics. His work will involve numerical analysis and aerodynamic modeling to help ensure safe and timely delivery of goods.
Aerospace engineering researcher and assistant professor Tarek Elgohary will use complex modeling techniques and control theory to help the cargo delivery rocket arrive at its precise destination.
The third member of the team, Luis Rabelo, professor of industrial engineering and management systems, will coordinate the overall effort by identifying potential bottlenecks in the system so that delivery rockets can be packaged and launched into as soon as possible.
100 STUDENTS ON THE TASK
The research team did not provide a definitive timeline for completion, but noted that they would not be doing their work alone. Instead, thanks to the recently awarded grant, a significant number of students will work alongside them, gaining invaluable experience while contributing their own specialist skills to the overall effort.
“The graduate students will help guide two cohorts of senior design students who will aim to make the concepts work,” says Kinzel. “It’s really good because we will be hiring about 100 students in total, creating a workforce relevant to USSF missions.”
Kinsel also said students would have the opportunity to intern at the Air Force Research Laboratory and Science Applications International Corporation. According to the release, the two entities are “supporting the educational and workforce development aspects of the project.”
Follow and connect with author Christopher Plain on Twitter: @plain_fiction