SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  AF06-196 (AirForce)
Title:  Propellant Ingredients for Solid Rocket Motors
Research & Technical Areas:  Materials/Processes, Space Platforms

 The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 3.5.b.(7) of the solicitation.
  STATEMENT OF INTENT: This topic holds the greatest potential for meeting the technical needs of our warfighters supported by PEOs and Centers.
  Objective:  Develop higher energy density solid propellant ingredients that possess acceptable physical properties for higher performing solid propellants for SC and BMD applications.
  Description:  The DoD requires higher performing solid propellants for use on space access and strategic missile systems. Current energetic ingredients are unable to provide the performance needed to meet the performance goals of the Integrated High Payoff Rocket Propulsion Technology (IHPRPT) Phase III goals. These propellants must simultaneously possess higher energy and density while maintaining acceptable hazard, mechanical, and processing properties. The research areas may include, but are not limited to, the following: identification, synthesis, and characterization of new ingredients (e.g., fuel, oxidizer, plasticizer, binder, and/or burn rate modifiers) to increase the energy and density of formulated solid propellant mixtures while meeting other required attributes (e.g., hazard classification, lifetime, cost, performance); development of improved (e.g., scale, yield, cost, synthesis pathway modeling) energetic ingredient synthesis methods. This capability will support current and future DoD ballistic missile and space launch applications. The proposed technology development efforts are anticipated to build upon, and provide significant enhancement over, existing domestic and foreign capability. To increase the probability of successful transition to Phase III, the technology development efforts proposed should leverage existing capability and ongoing SRM technology development efforts to the maximum extent possible. In the following phases sufficient new ingredient quantities will be obtained in laboratory scale to allow determination of structure and permit necessary ingredient stability and sensitivity tests to be conducted.

  PHASE I: Identify potential candidate ingredients, sensitivity models, and/or synthesis methods and screen them based on their theoretical performance and other parameters. Design research strategies to synthesize and characterize the key properties of promising new ingredients.
  PHASE II: Develop, refine and demonstrate scale-up synthesis process for new compounds to be evaluated in formulated propellant development. Evaluate advanced propellant formulations with the new characterized ingredients in aging, compatibility, mechanical property, thermal stability, sensitivity and performance characteristics for solid propellant applications. Deliver ingredients and formulated samples.

  DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION: Potential applications would be in commercial and military space access and strategic systems used in technologies associated with satellites.

  References:  1. Advanced Energetic Materials, National Research Council of the National Academies Assessment, ed. R. L. Atkins, The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 2004, pp.5-15. 2. “Request for S&T Representatives for Directed Energy Weapon, Energetic Materials, and Cruise Missile/Cruise Missile Defense Assessments,” Memorandum for Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition), Logistics and Technology), Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition), Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition), signed by Stephen. A. Cambone (Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence) and Ronald. M. Sega (Director, Defense Research and Engineering), Jan. 28, 2004.

Keywords:  Space Access, Strategic and Tactical Missiles, High Energy Density Materials, Solid Propellants, Energetic Binders and Plasticizers, Insensitive Munitions

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