The Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences provides a dedicated facility for space and defence research specialising in hypersonic propulsion systems, rocket fuel development, astrophysics, machine vision and advanced materials. Our global partnerships with John Deere, NASA, the US Airforce, Boeing and BAE Systems are helping build commercial pathways and deliver impact in our communities. We are committed to supporting the Government to catalyse high-value, knowledge-based jobs and economic growth through the development of a robust space industry. USQ’s unique geographical location is fundamental to our space research programs and industry interactions.
Supporting the Institute’s advanced engineering, space and defence research, is world-class infrastructure and equipment including:
- USQ’s Mt Kent Observatory – home to the MINERVA-Australis project conducting exoplanet discoveries using spectroscopic follow-up of the NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) survey.
- Australia’s only commercial and research-focused rocket static testing facility.
- A long duration hypersonic wind tunnel (Mach8) and solid propellant rocket fuel manufacturing laboratory conducting heat transfer, control, scramjet engine inlet starting experiments, and fluid-structure interaction experiments that cannot be performed elsewhere.
- Australia’s most advanced 8-axis filament winder to support pressure tank research and ultra-high temperature Oxide processing.
- A double layer robotic braiding facility capable of manufacturing high performance complex tubular composite structures for defence and space applications.
- Resin infusion composite manufacturing and characterisation equipment.
- Process and in-service sensing systems including the only system in the world for 16,000 node pressure evolution in vacuum and autoclave processing (0 to 12 bar). A Dielectric Analysis to monitor internal laminate cure progression and a full field digital image correlation strain mapping system.
- Machine vision technologies for application in multiple sectors including agriculture and space.
Institute research program teams
The hypersonics and rocketry team is a dynamic and growing group working in aerospace and defence. The group is focused on industry relevant research combined with our post-graduate teaching.
Our primary research streams are:
- Hypersonic testing - our team has the only long duration hypersonic wind tunnel in Australia, and this allows us to do a range of testing in free-flight hypersonic aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics, supersonic combustion, and fluid-structure interaction.
- Rocketry - we have one of the only solid propellant manufacturing facilities within Australia and are using this to develop small sounding rockets for hypersonic research purposes.
- Diagnostics - our team specialises in the diagnostics of high speed and high enthalpy flows. We undertake a range of high-speed and spectral measurements investigating the flows in our wind tunnel, real flight scenarios (airborne observation missions of aerospace events, e.g. the Hayabusa2 capsule re-entry), and rocket plume measurements.