About Us

The High-Speed Aerodynamics and Propulsion Laboratory at the University of Maryland has grand plans to be a premier academic aerodynamics laboratory exploring a wide range of problems in hypersonics and unsteady gas dynamics. Although still in its infancy, HAPL fosters a variety of graduate student projects, and will shortly offer unique opportunities for undergraduates and local high school students to work in research-grade hypersonic facilities. HAPL was founded by Assistant Professor Stuart Laurence, who brings his expertise in hypersonics to UMD after spending five years at the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

The laboratory's reasearch interests encompass a wide spread of topics in hypersonics and unsteady gas dynamics, including (but not limited to) hypersonic turbulence transition, shock-wave boundary-layer interactions, fluid-structure interactions, scramjet unstart, dragonfly kinematics, and naturally occurring hypersonic flows (e.g., meteoritics). Most of the work conducted at HAPL is experimental, but occasional forays into theoretical and computational hypersonics provide valuable comparisons to experiments.

HAPL will eventually feature a pair of hypersonic wind tunnels, which are currently in the design/construction phase, but the facilities should be fully operational by late 2017. In the meantime, the team has been developing diagnostic techniques in anticipation of the tunnels, performing computations, and examining concepts in theoretical hypersonics. HAPL, in its partnership with the Air Force's Arnold Engineering Development Complex, has also conducted hypersonic boundary-layer transition and shock-wave boundary-layer experiments at AEDC Tunnel 9.