SYDNEY—Hypersonix Launch Systems, an Australian engineering, design and build company, is investigating the use of 3D printing to make flight-critical components for its green hydrogen-powered launch vehicles at the University of Sydney. Hypersonix signed a Master Research Collaboration Agreement with the university to research and build the components for Delta Velos, a zero-emissions, hypersonic spaceplane. The launch vehicle will be capable of deploying small satellites into low earth orbit.

Delta Velos will be powered by four green hydrogen-fuelled scramjet engines, enabling carbon neutral propulsion. It will also include the world’s first 3D printed, fixed geometry (no moving parts) scramjet engine in Australia, completed under the Australian Commercialization grant awarded to Hypersonix in August 2020.

Next-generation additive manufacturing technology will help University of Sydney researchers develop flight-critical components (including the spaceplane’s launch system), further versions of the scramjet engine (testing several material components) and vehicle fuselage at the university’s Sydney Manufacturing Hub. The hub was launched in December 2021 by minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade, Tourism and Sport, and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres.

The joint project will commence early this year, with Hypersonix working in the facility to develop a series of smaller proof-of-concept launch vehicles to demonstrate the spaceplane’s efficacy. The first of these projects will be DART AE, a technology demonstrator and small version of Delta Velos, powered by one SPARTAN scramjet engine with a range of 500 kilometers, that could be used as a hypersonic target drone if required.