High Performance Gelled DACS for Small Missiles

Period of Performance: 06/30/2014 - 03/25/2015


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

CFD Research Corp.
701 McMillian Way NW Suite D
Huntsville, AL 35806
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


ABSTRACT: The Air Force is considering the incorporation of a small, lightweight divert and attitude control system (DACS) into current and future air-to-air missile platforms. This will increase the agility of the missile and allow for interception of faster, or more maneuverable targets. CFDRC believes that a small DACS employing gelled MON25/MMH as the propellants and utilizing an innovative chamber and nozzle design provides the highest performance capability to meet this objective. This approach has significantly greater specific impulse and better energy management characteristics than a solid propellant-based system. Gelling of the propellants will create near insensitive munitions qualities. In Phase I, CFDRC will perform a preliminary design of the thruster chamber and size the propellant feed system to support the requirements. In Phase II, CFDRC will build on its extensive gelled propellant and testing expertise to fabricate and test the workhorse thrust chamber. In Phase III, CFDRC will work with missile and propulsion primes to incorporate this technology into a flight demonstration program. BENEFIT: This technology will be suitable for inclusion as potential block upgrades for both the AIM-9 and AMRAAM weapons systems. These are high-volume production systems, and the market potential is significant. With demonstration of safe characteristics of gelled propulsion system, other market avenues will open in the DoD sphere of operations, such as primary propulsion on other Navy and Army missile systems. Safe storable propellants will also be of interest to the commercial space market, for use in station keeping and attitude control thrusters.