A test launch for a hypersonic weapon—a long-range missile that flies a mile per second and faster—takes weeks of planning. So, while the U.S. and other states are racing to deploy hypersonic technologies, it remains uncertain how useful the systems will be against urgent, mobile or evolving threats.

Sandia National Laboratories, which has made and tested hypersonic vehicles for more than thirty years, thinks artificial intelligence and autonomy could slash these weeks to minutes for deployed systems. To prove it, Sandia announced today the formation of Autonomy New Mexico, an academic research coalition whose mission is to create artificially intelligent aerospace systems.

“AutonomyNM is a gathering of some of the best minds in autonomous systems technology in a uniquely oriented, collaborative environment,” said Sandia’s Michael Burns, associate labs director for national security programs. “We expect it to make important impacts on a number of research areas.” READ MORE ON: PHYS.ORG