Synthesis of New, Insensitive Energetic Materials

Period of Performance: 06/27/2011 - 04/27/2012


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Orbital Technologies Corp.(orbitec)
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive
Madison, WI 53717
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

SRI International
333 Ravenswood Avenue Mail stop: 306-17
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Institution POC


Advanced ordnance and propulsion systems of the modern era still utilize vintage energetic materials. These old generation materials, such as RDX and HMX, cannot meet today s more stringent safety and environmental requirements. Unfortunately, in newer compounds created to replace them, the performance falls with the sensitivity. The ORBITEC team proposes the development of new energetic materials that will be both high performance and insensitive. The Phase I work will include synthesis of new compounds, analysis of the structures, and estimation and comparison of their performance. The design strategies will focus not only on the inclusion of energetic groups but also on the creation of stable compounds. A host of chemical analytical techniques will verify these structures and reveal their properties. Thermochemical calculations will estimate their performance as explosives and as propellant ingredients. The subsequent Phase II work will accelerate the TRL of the most promising compounds through scale-up of synthesis, more extensive materials testing, and performance testing.