Weber State’s MARS Center Hosts US Space Command – TechBuzz News

Engineering students at Weber State University recently visited Washington State University’s new Miller Advanced Research facility in Clearfield, Utah, as U.S. Space Command official Thomas A. Lockhart (pictured in red tie) Show him their senior capstone project when talking to the Solution Center.

Lockhart began his career as a design engineer at Hill Air Force Base in the 1980s and is now a senior administrator and director of the Capabilities and Resources Integration Directorate at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado.

As part of his visit, Lockhart learned about the materials and additive manufacturing projects the Mars Center is working with local aerospace partners and proposed layout changes to the facility to accommodate more high-tech equipment. Lockhart, along with professors, students and others, observed a heat resistance test conducted by Weber State graduates Dustin Birch and Spencer Peterson, professors of mechanical engineering and current students, to test carbon Heat resistance of composite rocket nozzles under extreme conditions. high temperature.

The team is testing materials and techniques never before used in rocket nozzles. Their research could ultimately help reduce time, labor and costs for rocket-related organizations, said Ren Fisher, a research engineer and project manager for the Capstone program.

“Our testbed allows us to easily try out different combinations and collect data on their performance, so future programs can have confidence that their rocket is the best,” Fisher said.

Several recent Weber State graduates now work at the MARS Center, which opens in August 2022, thanks to a $3.5 million grant from the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation. MARS provides opportunities for WSU students and faculty to research and apply innovative solutions to aerospace and defense problems.

It is located on the 550-acre Falcon Mountain Aerospace Research Park along Interstate 15 in Clearfield, Utah, near the west entrance to Hill Air Force Base. Developed at a cost of $250 million, Falcon Hill is the Air Force’s largest Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) and one of the DoD’s largest commercial EULs. EUL revitalizes underutilized federal lands through innovative partnerships with local governments and the private sector.

Currently, Falcon Hill has more than 1 million square feet of commercial space built and under development, including MARS, where the Missile Energy Research Center (MERC) project is located.

Utah Weber State University’s Advanced Materials Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI), in collaboration with key federal (INL, AFRL, AFNWC), industry (Northrop, Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon), state and community partners, created MERC to Addressing production deficiencies In the deployment of high-temperature materials, there is an urgent need to match known and deployed equivalent hypersonic capabilities in weapon delivery systems.