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Solid Rocket Motors for High Performance Interceptors


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons, Weapons, Space Platforms, Space Platforms

OBJECTIVE: Develop highly loaded grain (HLG) rocket motors to improve technology readiness levels of constituent technologies essential to a future high performance interceptor.

DESCRIPTION: This topic seeks to develop advanced solid rocket motors for compact, high performance, interceptors.Modern missile defense forces are expected to confront large raids of ballistic, non-ballistic/high Mach, and strategic cruise missiles in the near to mid timeframe.To gain the advantage on the threat, missile defense assets require a compact, highly agile, high loadout interceptor for the terminal defense segment that is capable of very high axial and lateral accelerations.To meet this need, the government desires to develop HLG solid rocket motors with high density and specific impulse.HLG rocket motors pack more solid rocket propellant into a given volume and thus achieve a higher propellant-to-inert mass fraction, which leads to more total impulse achieved within the same volume.Candidate solutions should demonstrate the feasibility of rocket motor propellants that meet the following technical goals:- Increase in total impulse of greater than 20% relative to current rocket motor propellants. - Achieve vacuum specific impulse of at least 280s. - Tailorable to very high thrust applications. - Tailorable to variable thrust or multiple pulse operations.

PHASE I: For candidate solutions, conduct a concept definition for advanced rocket propellant, to include a proof-of-principle study, design of notional propellant grain, and predicted technical performance of the propellant.Technical performance parameters should include maximum thrust, specific impulse, and the ability to conduct multiple pulse operations.

PHASE II: For candidate solutions, develop and execute an incremental test and evaluation plan that matures the constituent technologies and produces a prototype for assessment based on the design proposed in Phase I.

PHASE III: For candidate solutions, investigate applications of prototype components developed in Phase II for use in more efficient space launch vehicles in addition to missile defense interceptors.

KEYWORDS: Rocket propellant, Highly Loaded Grain, Solid Rocket Motor


1. Giangreco, L. (2017, May 30) “USAF developing next generation air dominance missile.” Retrieved from Naval Air Warfare and Weapons:Counter Air Defense (CAD) Improvements, page 34. Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Fact Sheet:

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