Intrinsic Health Management of Solid Rocket Motors (InSRM)

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase I
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Solicitation Year:
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Small Business Information
Acellent Technologies, Inc.
835 Stewart Drive, Sunnyvale, CA, -
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator
 Shawn Beard
 Chief Technology Officer
 (408) 745-1188
Business Contact
 Vindhya Narayanan
Title: VP Business
Phone: (408) 745-1188
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: Solid rocket motors (SRMs) serve as the propulsion system for numerous types of missiles. Many of these missiles are intended to sit idly in storage for extended periods and then are required to function flawlessly. However, SRMs are subject to a variety of unexpected environmental and loading conditions from the time-of-manufacturing to launch, and these conditions can significantly impact the performance and reliability of the motor. In addition, aging of the materials can cause significant property changes, leading to bondline degradation and changes in the propellant strain field, which can result in anomalous burning behavior when the motor is fired. An accurate assessment of the current state of an SRM, and prediction of the future state, is critically needed to ensure the viability of each asset and maintain a healthy missile fleet. Acellent Technologies is currently developing structural health monitoring systems to address these issues. The proposed program focuses on innovations to develop a complete integrated system that can monitor the health of the SRM from cradle-to-grave. The goal of the program will be to develop the system for deployment on operational motors. The development will be conducted in close collaboration with ATK-Thiokol who fully supports the developmental efforts. BENEFIT: The proposed diagnostic system for solid rocket motor health and process mishap monitoring allows for early warning of structural and propellant damage, errant structural behavior, or material degradation detection throughout involved handling, transportation, and testing processes. The largest and nearest-term impact areas for the technology are mission critical COPV structures used in aerospace structures. Economic and political factors drive the need to keep these structures in-service for longer periods of time, often well beyond their designed service life. As these structures age, there is an increasing need for inspection to ensure public safety and schedule maintenance effectively. The high cost of owning and operating these systems provides incentives for enhancing the means of evaluating and monitoring their structural integrity. The proposed work will be conducted in close collaboration with the rocket motor industries (such as ATK Thiokol) to ensure that this research will be directly beneficial to them. Acellent is currently working with other industries such as aeronautics, automobile, off-shore and ground vehicles to enable utilization of mass-production techniques to provide high quality sensing technologies at lower costs to the individual users. Once developed, the system will be available independently or in a complete package along with the monitoring layer, software and hardware. The plug-and-play feature of the system will make it ready to use for any practical application.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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