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This area involves research in hypersonics, aerodynamics, turbulence, plasma science and engineering, mixing combustion and gas dynamics in space science.

Research is presently being conducted in nonequilibrium and rarefied gas flows, turbulence and turbulence control, shock-boundary layer interactions, thermal and glow-discharge plasmas, turbulent mixing and combustion, nonlinear flow interactions and advanced optical diagnostics and sensors. Facilities include a Mach 2 and 5 blowdown wind tunnel, Mach 3 low-Reynolds number tunnel, Mach 1.8 direct-connect scramjet isolator, 50 kW inductively-coupled plasma torch, laser diagnostics and sensors laboratory, high-pressure combustor and a plasma engineering laboratory. Computational work is supported by the Texas Advanced Computing Center, which boasts the most powerful academic supercomputer in the nation.

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