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Current UTSI Research Projects


  • Hypersonic Vehicle Electric Power System (HVEPS)
    Center for Laser Applications (CLA) has led the UTSI research program to help develop MHD generators for a new generation of high-speed Air Force vehicles. The generator would provide short bursts of high power electrical energy to supply laser or other beamed energy weapon systems. UTSI’s effort, part of a program led by General Atomics, focuses on computational modeling of the MHD generator and sub-scale tests of MHD generators for validation of design codes.
    -Principal Investigator: Dr. T. Moeller
    Sponsor: US Air Force through a General Atomics sub-contract
  • Vertical EP Thruster
    We are currently in the second year of a three-year effort to develop a vertical thrust stand under an AEDC Task Order. The primary objective of this research and development effort is to develop a vertical thrust stand for use in the AEDC 12V chamber. This thrust stand will provide AEDC customers the ability to make thrust measurements on various electric propulsion thrusters ranging in size from about 1 kW to about 50 kW.
    -Principal Investigator: Dr. T. Moeller
    Sponsor: Arnold Engineering Development Center

Materials Science

  • Pitch Based Carbon Fiber Application Technologies
    In December 2004, ConocoPhillips (COP) donated six truckloads of equipment and commodities to UTSI, and the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the Institute $950,000 to initiate the research program. Congress has since approved an additional $1 million to continue the research. Congressman Lincoln Davis and Senators Bill Frist, Zach Wamp, and Lamar Alexander have been supportive of this research. The Institute’s plans include collaboration with UT Knoxville and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and cultivation of commercial partners as they work to establish Middle Tennessee as a center for pitched-based carbon fiber application technologies. Dr. Vakili and his team hopes to reach these goals within three to five years.
    -Principal Investigator: Dr. A. Vakili

Research Contacts

Executive Director
Dr. Mark Whorton

Director of Contract Administration
Joyce Moore

Administrative Coordinator I
Diane Chellstorp

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Univ. of Tn. Space Institute
411 B.H. Goethert Parkway
Tullahoma, TN 37388