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Highly Vectorable, Multi-Pulse Rocket Motor Nozzle to Enhance Maneuverability of Advanced Interceptors

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: HQ0147-18-C-7227
Agency Tracking Number: B172-008-0256
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: MDA17-008
Solicitation Number: 2017.2
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-11-06
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-01-05
Small Business Information
4914 Moores Mill Road
Huntsville, AL 35811
United States
DUNS: 799114574
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Dr. Daniel Butts
 (256) 851-7653
Business Contact
 Timothy McKechnie
Phone: (256) 851-7653
Research Institution

Fielding of advanced missile defense interceptors is strongly dependent upon innovative materials, processes and technologies. One potential area of performance improvement is the nozzle throat of axial thrust systems. An erosion-resistant nozzle throat enables maximum motor efficiency, thereby increasing specific impulse. Tungsten (W) and tantalum carbide (TaC) based materials are being considered for employment as non-eroding nozzle throat materials due to their ultra-high melting temperature and compatibility with highly aluminized propellants. Plasma Processes has developed manufacturing techniques to deposit dense, high strength W and TaC-based materials and successfully demonstrated innovative nozzle designs.Plasma Processes proposes to further advance the maturity of the established technology by investigation an alternative non-eroding nozzle variation that will reduce weight, cost and manufacturing lead-time. The Phase I will involve analytical evaluation of this W-coated CTE matched graphite concept.Analytical evaluation will be followed by deposition experiments, which will involve identification of a suitable diffusion barrier between the W and graphite.The Phase I will be concluded by manufacturing trials to produce a full-scale nozzle.This proposed investigation is directly beneficial to aluminized boost motors across the BMDS, including SM-3 Block IIB (1st, 2nd and 3rd stages), GMD and THAAD.Approved for Public Release | 17-MDA-9395(24 Oct 17)

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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