Non Destructive Examination of Solid Rocket Motor Propellant Using Induced Positron Technology

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: F460003M0009
Agency Tracking Number: 031-1334
Amount: $69,882.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
6151 N. Discovery Way, Boise, ID, 83713
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Doug Akers
 Chief Technology Officer
 (208) 520-6269
Business Contact
 Curt Rideout
Title: Marketing/Sales Manager
Phone: (208) 672-1963
Research Institution
Failure of solid rocket motor propellants due to structural or chemical breakdown from either manufacturing or aging effects can result in potential failure of the rocket and significant maintenance requirements. Defects in rocket propellants are asignificant issue particularly for new propellants, which may suffer from short experiential histories, frequently unknown lifecycle parameters and the inability of current non-destructive inspection (NDI) techniques to detect damage (other than grosscracking) in these materials. Undetectable manufacturing or combined manufacturing/operational damage can result in failure and directly impact mission success. New technologies (Photon or Neutron-Induced Positron Annihilation) that induce positronsinside the material to be examined have demonstrated capabilities in non-destructively characterizing material damage, including defect formation and changes in the atomic lattice structure of many material types through their outer containers, resultingin accurate and reliable assessments of component readiness either at the manufacturing level or during field inspections. These NDI processes will provide reliable material damage characterization including the buildup of defects and changes in theatomic structure of the material without disassembly and at detection levels below current NDI methods. Portable equipment makes the technology suitable for field environments and intermediate maintenance organizations. This technology willsignificantly improve material characterization capabilities for military and commercial military solid propellant materials. Improved characterization will allow for new applications and will result in safer and less expensive maintenance/materialreplacement programs. This improvement in material profiling technology will provide long-term benefits not only to military applications but to manufacturers, maintainers and operators of propellant based machinery and equipment.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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