Design, Analysis and Fabrication of Low Cost Dissolvable Jet Vane Concepts for Rocket Propelled Missiles

Period of Performance: 12/13/2006 - 06/13/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Plasma Processes, Inc.
4914 Moores Mill Road
Huntsville, AL 35811
Principal Investigator


Low cost, tactical missiles such as the U.S. Army's PAM (Precision Attack Missile) will provide our nation with the capability of defeating threats to our deployed troops. However, improvements are desired in an effort to meet future missile requirements. One particular enhancement is the employment of dissolvable jet control vanes. Some offensive weapons, such as the PAM, typically are vertically launched and employ vanes in the plume to perform maneuvers early in flight before the external aerodynamic surfaces become effective. Drawbacks to existing jet vane designs are 1) jet vanes are exposed to a severe conditions in the exhaust plume, that can lead to significant erosion and complete failure due to thermal shock, which limits the effectiveness of the jet vanes; 2) non-ejectable jet vanes create unnecessary drag that limits the velocity, range, and payload; and 3) ejectable designs require very complex actuation and electrical controls with associated failure risks. Plasma Processes and Materials Research and Design propose to perform thermochemical and thermostructural analyses to audition design concepts and develop a preliminary design of feasible dissolvable jet vane(s). Promising concept(s) will be fabricated for demonstration using proven economical manufacturing techniques, such as vacuum plasma spraying and/or EL-Form electrochemical deposition.