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Research Area 9: Advanced Missile Propulsion Technologies

The objective of this work is to investigate Advanced Missile Propulsion Technologies such as the following topics: Propellant Formulations, Grain Structures, Case Technologies, Ignition Safety Devices (ISD) Concepts, Nozzle Technologies (Non-eroding, Pintle and Aerospike) and Multi-Pulse Motor Barriers. As missile systems get smaller, fitting the same or more complex functionality into these airframes becomes a significant challenge. Existing ignition safety device (ISD) solutions are purpose-built to meet the unique functional and interface requirements for larger air-to-air missile systems. RWPI is interested in an open architecture ISD system designed (IAW MIL-STD-1901A) to support future compact air-to-air missile systems. RWPI is interested in scalable technology in both physical size and ignition power requirements. Advancements in propellant formulations and grain structures are key to the amount of energy available and the efficient use of that energy. RWPI is interested in high performance propellant formulation that range from no-smoke to fully smoky propellants. To be included are not just the formulation, but also the processing of any advance formulations and grain structure designs. As an example, RWPI is interested in understanding the impacts to both formulation and grain design if traditional USAF standards were relaxed. RWPI is interested in technologies that are able to maintain the operating pressures of a rocket motor while reducing mass to increase the performance, as well as non-eroding throat technology utilizing advanced material (metallic inserts, ceramics, etc.) able to perform in severe environments such as high stagnation temperatures and pressures, abrasive propellants (high aluminum content) and high stress/strain. RWPI is additionally interested in pintle technology that would decrease the associated parasitic mass and improve motor performance; aerospike technology that can maximize CAS volume, increase performance and increase TRL; and scalable technology to reduce parasitic weight caused by multi-pulse thermal barriers and associated ignition systems.