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High Performance Solid Propellants for In-Space Propulsion

High Performance Solid Propellants for In-Space Propulsion

Objective

The objective of this project is to significantly reduce the time, cost and mass required for spacecrafts to reach their destinations. This is directly linked to their propulsion systems. The only way to significantly improve the performance of a propulsion system is to develop propellants with higher specific impulse.

The objective of the project will be met by developing a high performance solid rocket propellant with performance similar or higher compared to state of the art liquid bi-propellants and about 10% higher compared to the current state of the art solid propellants. The project thus address advanced chemical propulsion technologies and more specifically advanced high energy density fuels, for in-space propulsion, mentioned in the Work Programme.

Development of a high performance solid propellant will be achieved by using the new high energy density oxidizer ammonium dinitramide, ADN, an energetic binder based on glycidyl azide polymer, GAP, and high energy density fuels such as aluminium hydride (AlH3), nano-aluminium and activated aluminium. Recent breakthroughs in the area of high energy density materials at several laboratories in Europe have shown that development of such propellants now seems viable.

The propellant developed will be fully characterized with respect to stability, hazard properties, mechanical properties and performance. The performance will be determined at the end of the project by firing a test motor containing approximately 7 kg of propellant. Finally system analysis will be performed to determine the overall mission benefits by selecting two reference missions.

Currently the high energy density materials to be used in the project are produced in small scale. The methods to produce them will be improved in order to produce the amount needed for the project. These production improvements will also make the materials more available to the space community and thus help to implement them in future missions.
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Coordinator

TOTALFORSVARETS FORSKNINGSINSTITUT

Address

Gullfossgatan 6
164 90 Stockholm

Sweden

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 548 224

Administrative Contact

Teresa Klett (Ms.)

Participants (8)

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FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V.

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 340 666

THE INNER ARCHSARL

France

EU Contribution

€ 61 605

POLITECNICO DI MILANO

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 282 048

NEDERLANDSE ORGANISATIE VOOR TOEGEPAST NATUURWETENSCHAPPELIJK ONDERZOEK TNO

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 274 478

SIBTERMOKHIM OOO

Russia

EU Contribution

€ 52 050

EURENCO Bofors AB

Sweden

EU Contribution

€ 129 527

AVIO SPA

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 190 710

EURENCO SA

France

EU Contribution

€ 96 375

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 262099

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 March 2011

  • End date

    28 February 2014

Funded under:

FP7-SPACE

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 823 326

  • EU contribution

    € 1 975 683

Coordinated by:

TOTALFORSVARETS FORSKNINGSINSTITUT

Sweden