A B-52H Stratofortress assigned to the 2nd Bomb Wing is refueled on the flightline at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Sept. 4, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Taylor L. Hunter)

By Sean Green | STRIKEWERX Communication Manager

BOSSIER CITY, La. — The Cyber Innovation Center (CIC) and University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) will work to strategize how B-52 bombers can refuel more quickly to increase mobility and responsiveness. 

CIC, Air Force Global Strike Command’s innovation partner, has contracted with UDRI to provide a digital model and simulation of how the B-52 aircraft can safely and efficiently conduct hot pit refueling. 

Hot pit refueling allows aircraft to land, refuel on the ground with its engines running, and then take back off. Hot pit refueling ​has the potential to prevent engine and mission system shut down, avoid delays, reduce risk, and reduce the need of special equipment to restart the engines and systems.​ 

“This effort directly contributes to how the command can increase agility of our bombers and maintain our leading edge in deterrence,” said AFGSC Chief Scientist Dr. Donna Senft. “Modeling of hot pit refueling will provide the best, most accurate concept of operations data to AFGSC decision makers.” 

UDRI will provide a simulation of hot pit refueling by creating a model of the physical environment with calculations of fluid mechanics, gas vapor temperatures as it exits tank vents, and measurements of wind speed, wind direction, and vapor concentrations. 

“Working with the CIC means we can apply our modeling and experimental analysis capabilities towards an important challenge for Air Force Global Strike Command,” said Scott Stouffer, Ph.D., Principal Mechanical Engineer in UDRI’s Fuels and Combustion Division. “We have the unique opportunity to utilize our expertise and impact national security by improving the agility of bombers when they are needed most. We look forward to producing a scenario in the digital space of how hot pit refueling can work.” 

CIC President Kevin Nolten added that this effort is another way the CIC is supporting its government partners’ mission to modernize the nuclear mission. 

“The CIC has impacted the U.S. Air Force by saving more than a quarter of a billion dollars and expanding its partnerships in AFGSC to six directorates, four wings, and two major commands. We look forward to growing this project portfolio and continuing to lead innovation efforts in the command.” 

UDRI is expected to produce a data file for review later this fall. 

About the Cyber Innovation Center 

Cyber Innovation Center (CIC), located in Bossier City, Louisiana, is the anchor of the 3,000-acre National Cyber Research Park and serves as the catalyst for the development and expansion of a knowledge-based workforce throughout the region. As a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation, CIC fosters collaboration among its partners and accelerates technology, research, and development. One of its primary missions is to develop a sustainable knowledge-based workforce that can support the growing needs of government, industry, and academic partners.