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Holloman scientist receives Harold Brown Award

Dr. Michael Hooser, the recipient of the 2011 Harold Brown Award,  addresses the audience during a ceremony held in his honor at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Dec. 12, 2011. A chief scientist from Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Hooser received the award for his role in significant advances in hypersonic missile research. (U.S. Air Force photo/Andy Morataya)

Dr. Michael Hooser, the recipient of the 2011 Harold Brown Award, addresses the audience during a ceremony held in his honor at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Dec. 12, 2011. A chief scientist from Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Hooser received the award for his role in significant advances in hypersonic missile research. (U.S. Air Force photo/Andy Morataya)

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley presents  the 2011 Harold Brown Award to Dr. Michael Hooser during a ceremony at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Dec. 12, 2011. The Harold Brown Award recognizes significant achievement in research and development that led to or demonstrated promise of a substantial improvement in operational effectiveness of the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Andy Morataya)

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley presents the 2011 Harold Brown Award to Dr. Michael Hooser during a ceremony at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Dec. 12, 2011. The Harold Brown Award recognizes significant achievement in research and development that led to or demonstrated promise of a substantial improvement in operational effectiveness of the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Andy Morataya)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- A chief scientist from Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., received the 2011 Harold Brown Award on Dec. 12 for his role in significant advances in hypersonic missile research.

Dr. Michael Hooser's work with the Holloman High Speed Test Track's artificial rain environment established benchmarks against which advanced hypersonic radome materials are tested.

Hooser developed hypersonic, magnetic-levitation modeling and simulation capability which laid a foundation for future testing of sensitive missile electronics.

"Today we recognize Mike for his achievements in hypersonic missile research," Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley said. "His work has been instrumental, particularly in modernizing the dynamic modeling and simulation approach to sled design and test."

Advanced electronics used in missile systems are too sensitive to test in the typical high g-force environment of traditional high-speed rail testing systems, Donley said. Hooser and his team modernized the testing process through advancements in the magnetic levitation theory, which allows the same quality testing in a less strenuous environment. He and his team developed the nation's first rain field model for testing coordination.

The ability to correlate test data between laboratory, outdoor artificial and natural rain environments resulted in an 80 percent reduction in data collection required to qualify future rain field models, thus expediting weapons fielding by reducing the number of sled tests required to qualify a system.

In return, Donley added, the new process reduces expense, ultimately saving the Air Force a substantial amount of money, and significantly advances the Air Force's capabilities in hypersonic missile research.

With 33 years serving the nation as both a scientist and engineer at Holloman AFB, Hooser received bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering from New Mexico State University, and has served in various capacities as a scientist, flight chief and now chief scientist at Holloman AFB.

"I am honored beyond belief and this is a big surprise to me", Hooser said. "I am a small piece of a cog in a fantastic wheel at the track, and I work with a wonderful team."

The Harold Brown Award recognizes significant achievement in research and development that led to or demonstrated promise of a substantial improvement in operational effectiveness of the Air Force. The award's namesake was a physicist who served as secretary of the Air Force from 1965 to 1969 and secretary of defense from 1977 to 1981.

"Creativity, innovation and engineering know-how are the qualities that for decades have kept the United States at the forefront in technology," Donley said. "These qualities are recognized in the Harold Brown Award, and Dr. Hooser continues the proud tradition of those who have applied their talent and skills in the interest of national security and kept our nation safe."

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