You are here

MIL-STD-1901A Compliant Igniter Energetics for Solid Rocket Motors



OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate energetic materials for solid rocket motor (SRM) igniters that pass MIL-STD-1751A test criteria to allow MIL-STD-1901A compliance for all electronic in-line initiation. 

DESCRIPTION: The intent of this topic is to explore energetic materials for an ignition system pyrotechnic train that can pass all MIL-STD-1751A test criteria and will allow utilization of an electronic in-line ignition safety device (ISD), thus reducing size, weight, and power (SWaP) and complexity of the ignition system. The ignition system of many solid rocket motors (SRM) contains one or more sensitive pyrotechnic materials, thus requiring an interrupted pyrotechnic train. This typically results in an ISD with physical separation of pyrotechnic elements prior to arming to prevent an unintended ignition. These ISD’s are larger and more complex than desired in-line electronic ISDs. Energetic materials that pass certain test criteria for sensitivity and aging properties must be employed in the pyrotechnic train. The output of the igniter charge (pressurization and thermal input into closed volume) should be equal to or greater than 30 grams of M36 double-based propellant; threshold of equal mass (30 grams) with objective mass of 20 grams; and reaction time equal to or less than that of M36. Use of common initiators such as an exploding foil indicator (EFI) is acceptable but must also pass aforementioned test criteria.  

PHASE I: Develop a proof of concept solution; identify candidate energetics and conduct analyses for predicted performance and sensitivity. Results will be documented for Phase II. 

PHASE II: Expand on Phase I results by conducting test described in MIL-STD-1751A to demonstrate energetic compliance. Design, fabricate, and test a prototype ignition system to validate performance estimates from Phase I. 

PHASE III: The developed solution should be demonstrated via rocket motor ignition and hot-fire testing. Conduct engineering and manufacturing development, test, evaluation, qualification. Demonstration would include, but not be limited to, demonstration in a real system or operation in a system level testbed with insertion planning for a transition program. 


1: Military Standard MIL-STD-1751A, Safety and Performance Tests for the Qualification of Explosives (High Explosives, Propellants, and Pyrotechnics), (DOD, 11 December 2001). Retrieved from,

2:  Military Standard MIL-STD-1901A, Munition Rocket and Missile Motor Ignition System Design, Safety Criteria For, (DOD, 6 June 2002.) Retrieved from http:>//

KEYWORDS: MIL-STD-1901A, MIL-STD-1751A, Propellant, Pyrotechnics, SRM Igniter, Igniter, Ignition Safety Device, ISD, Rocket Motor 

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government