Aerojet to develop green propellants

Aerojet Rocketdyne was awarded a contract to research and develop environmentally sustainable monopropellants and gas generators for rocket and missile propulsion and Divert Attitude Control Systems.

The company is working with the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center; the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base; and the U.S. Army Medical Command to develop a new family of high-performing liquid propellants.

The effort is funded through the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, an office of the US Department of Defense.
Under the three-year contract, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Redmond, Washington team will lead the effort to conduct small-scale testing of potential monopropellant candidates in the laboratory, scaling up likely candidates in the Sacramento Chemical Synthesis Laboratory, then performing subscale thruster testing to select the most promising ones for future research.

Parallel efforts will ensure that these compositions are safe to handle and leave a minimal environmental footprint.
As part of its work with next-generation propellants, Aerojet Rocketdyne recently finalized flight designs for propulsion systems that use the Air Force-developed propellant AF-M315E, which will fly on the NASA Green Propellant Infusion Mission program in 2016.

The green propellants developed through this new contract would provide options for future spiral upgrades to the technology being flown next year.