Faculty and midshipmen research in the Aerospace Engineering Department covers many areas of specialization. These include research on radiation hazards in human spaceflight, shear effects on a aircraft wing in high speed flow, stress pattern analysis, heat loop pipes for spacecraft thermal control, and orbital debris characterization.
Research is supported mainly through funds from government agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Naval Research Laboratory, the Naval Air Warfare Center, and the Naval Network Warfare Command.
The Aerospace Engineering Department offers students the opportunity to conduct research of mutual interest with faculty members. The research may involve theoretical, experimental, and computational work culminating in a technical paper for conference presentation. Independent research is accomplished with the Trident Scholar program and independent research study courses. The students have the opportunity to get involved in professional societies such as the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) by participating in national and international competitions on aeronautical/astronautical design projects. Students are also eligible for recognition in Sigma Gamma Tau, the national honor society for outstanding students in aerospace engineering.
Aerospace Engineering faculty members are active in numerous research activities, and the diversity of the projects illustrate the breadth and depth of the fields of aerospace engineering.