Novel Autonomous Ultrasonic System for Monitoring the Remaining Effective Stabilizer in Aging Rocket Propellants

Period of Performance: 01/01/2015 - 12/31/2015


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Luna Innovations, Inc.
301 1st St Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24011
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Pennsylvania State University
110 Technology Center Building
University Park, PA 16802
Institution POC


Luna proposes a novel technique for the accurate quantification of the remaining effective stabilizers (RES) in solid rocket propellants. This sensing concept does not require access into the solid rocket motor (SRM). Therefore this approach does not in any way compromise the integrity of the motor and it can retrofit legacy systems and can be part of the next generation of motor systems and will be fully portable. The Luna approach is to develop a new measurement technology based on the combination of conventional ultrasonic pulse-echo techniques with highly accurate measurements of ultrasonic spectral attenuation. This STTR will demonstrate the measurement concept and validate its applicability to missile defense applications. In addition we will assess the feasibility of packaging the sensing and data acquisition systems into a field portable system that will monitor the concentration of RES on multiple SRMs in storage. A successful Phase I will result in the scientific and engineering foundations for an instanteneous evaluation of the health integrity of SRMs. Approved for Public Release 15-MDA-8161 (11 March 15)