Professor Receives Support and Patents
For Research on Flight Control
Posted September 5, 2001
HOLLAND -- A Hope College professor's expertise in
flight control produced a busy summer that included a grant
for work at Hope, two months as part of a cooperative
project in Ohio, and two patents for work he'd done before
coming to the college.
Dr. Joseph Kaloust is an associate professor of
engineering who joined the Hope faculty in the fall of 2000.
His specialization in aerodynamics, flight and related
systems stems most immediately from the five years he spent
at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control - Dallas, as
well as from his graduate work at the University of Central
In August, Kaloust wrapped up two months at
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio through the 2001
"Summer Faculty Research Program" of the Air Force's Air
Vehicles Directorate. The only researcher from an
undergraduate school chosen to participate, he was part of a
team developing a computer algorithm to help crews of
hypersonic aircraft determine safe landing sites in the
event of an emergency.
"The summer research involved the development and
analysis of possible landing sites (footprint) for
hypersonic vehicles in emergency situations," Kaloust said.
"The vehicle under study was the next generation single-
stage-to-orbit shuttlecraft named 'X-33' or 'Star Venture.'
The reason for choosing the X-33 is because of the
availability of the aerodynamic database."
Although such hypersonic aircraft are still in the
research phase, Kaloust noted that they are in development.
The team based its calculations on one vehicle currently on
the drawing board: the X-33 "Star Venture" designed as the
next generation shuttlecraft. Although NASA recently
canceled its involvement in the X-33 project, Kaloust noted
that the U.S. Air Force remains interested in the hypersonic
In May, Kaloust and Hope junior Bryant Loomis of
Fredonia, N.Y., examined control systems through a grant
from the Michigan Space Grant Consortium. Through the
project, "Attitude Control System (ACS) for Spacecrafts and
Satellites," they designed, simulated, implemented and
compared two types of system controllers and evaluated them
based on three categories: tracking accuracy, electrical
power consumption and computational processing power. They
will be presenting their results at the Michigan Space Grant
Consortium Conference at the University of Michigan this
His two patents, received in May and June of 2001,
are for a "Stall and Recovery Control System" (SARCS) and
"Enhanced Stall and Recovery Control System" respectively, a
flight control system (autopilot controller) designed to
maintain aircraft stability before, during and following a
stall. In a stall, an aircraft loses forward flying speed
and body lift, and as a result begins to drop.
Kaloust teaches courses in electronics, controls,
and in electricity and magnetism. He did his undergraduate
and graduate work at the University of Central Florida in
Orlando, completing his doctorate immediately before joining
Lockheed-Martin in 1995.