Dr Bradley Wheaton on the BOLT Flight Experiment Series

When:  Sep 18, 2023 from 18:00 to 19:30 (ACST)
Associated with  Adelaide Section

The Adelaide Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is proud to present a lecture by Dr Bradley Wheaton of the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory. Dr Wheaton is one of the world's leading hypersonic flight experts, and shall be talking about the BOundary Layer Transition (BOLT) Flight Experiment Series. We invite you to join us in person in lecture theatre S112, in the Engineering South building at the University of Adelaide's North Terrace Campus. For those unable to join us in-person, a zoom link shall be sent shortly before the event to enable you to join the stream.

We look forward to seeing you there, and have appended the abstract and talk for Dr Wheaton's lecture. For tickets, please register via Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/dr-bradley-wheaton-on-the-bolt-flight-experiment-series-tickets-699464917397

The Boundary Layer Transition (BOLT) Flight Experiment Series


The Boundary Layer Transition (BOLT) flight experiment research effort was established in 2017 by the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research to advance scientific knowledge of boundary-layer physics in the hypersonic regime on a complex geometry with concave surfaces and highly-swept leading edges. The research seeks to develop physics-based prediction techniques for the onset of boundary-layer transition, employing new generations of computational tools anchored with high-fidelity validation data from wind-tunnel and flight environments. Inspired by the successful U.S./Australia HIFiRE program, the BOLT research has prioritized diverse teams to conduct the research including academia, a university affiliated research center, government, industry, and international partners. The BOLT research has resulted in new experimental databases, new computational tool development for complicated hypersonic flows, and significant new workforce development through the inclusion of students in the program. The first BOLT flight experiment did not achieve the desired experimental conditions and a repeat of the experiment is planned for 2024 in Australia. A separate experiment using the BOLT geometry was successfully flown in 2022 with an instrumentation suite focused on turbulent flow physics. This seminar will highlight the experimental and computational work by the BOLT team to characterize the transition phenomenology on the complex geometry and will summarize the lessons learned from the flight experiment series.


Dr. Brad M. Wheaton is a Principal Professional Staff member at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). He is Chief Scientist of a technical group of 55 staff members, overseeing science and technology initiatives for a wide range of applications including hypersonics. Dr. Wheaton is an aerospace engineer specializing in hypersonic aerothermodynamics and its associated effects on vehicle performance. Dr. Wheaton has served for six years as the Principal Investigator of the Boundary Layer Transition (BOLT) flight experiment research series, leading teams of organizations across government, academia, and industry to advance scientific knowledge of boundary-layer physics in the hypersonic flight environment.

As the United States’ largest University Affiliated Research Center, APL performs research and development on behalf of the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and other federal agencies. The Laboratory has more than 9,000 staff members who are making critical contributions to a wide variety of nationally and globally significant technical and scientific challenges.

Dr. Wheaton earned his Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering with honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Urbana, IL, as well as his Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees from the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.


S112, Engineering South, University of Adelaide
North Terrace
Adelaide, SA 5000


Patrick Neumann