University of Alaska Fairbanks

Hypersonic Horizons: The High Speed Video Challenge

Hypersonic systems have the potential to revolutionize travel within our atmosphere and to worlds beyond ours.
The technologies required to travel around the world at very fast speeds span many disciplines– from chemistry and physics, to computer science and mathematics! Many technologies, while seemingly sound and practical, require evaluation prior to being seriously considered for use in hypersonic systems. A system is only as good as its weakest link and the hypersonic flight environment breaks many chains. To tackle these challenges, we need creative science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) minded folks (like you) to join the hypersonics community!

Supersonic and hypersonic aircrafts will allow people to reach their destinations in a fraction of the time. In the 1970s, the first supersonic passenger plane came on the market, but cost and other issues caused the planes to be retired from use. If hypersonics research and development was able to create a hypersonic passenger aircraft that was both technologically and economically feasible, it could drastically change the way we travel!

We need your help! Create a video, between three and five minutes in length, that helps us answer the questions below based on your year in school. Videos should demonstrate a knowledge of hypersonics, creative thinking, and problem solving how hypersonics will change travel.

  • High School Students
    • Hypersonic travel would bring about a new style of aircraft. How would a hypersonic passenger plane compare to the current, subsonic airplane? How would we need to rethink airports to accommodate hypersonics aircrafts? How do you think the passenger experience would change at hypersonic speeds? Create a three to five minute video that shares your answers to the above questions.
  • College/University Undergraduate Students
    • Hypersonic travel would revolutionize international travel, with flight times measured in a few hours versus 12+ hour flights. What is a possible benefit of further developing hypersonic travel? What is a physics or engineering problem that needs to be overcome in order to make hypersonic travel a reality? How would you solve this problem? Create a three to five minute video that shares your answers to the above questions.

Individual students or teams, of up to three students, should create a video for the Challenge appropriate for their academic enrollment. Videos should be three to five minutes in length and less than 1GB in size. All videos and associated information are due by 11:59 pm EST on Wednesday, January 17, 2024. Please visit to submit your video and fill out a form with the name, email, academic affiliation, and year for each member of the team. Video submissions must be in a format compatible with YouTube such as .MOV, .MPD, .AVI, .WMV, etc.

The video must include title and date, an answer to your prompt, a list of references used, names of all participants and their school, and any relevant credits.