DOD Funds Three-Year Green Propellant Study with Aerojet Rocketdyne
[Via Satellite 02-27-2015] The Department of Defense (DOD) Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program awarded Aerojet Rocketdyne a three-year contract for Research and Development (R&D) into green monopropellants and gas generators. The company has joined forces 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 with the stated goal of creating new high performing liquid propellants for rockets and missiles.
R&D begins with small-scale testing of potential monopropellant candidates in the laboratory led by Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Redmond, Wash. team. The next phase will focus on scaling up promising candidates at the Sacramento Chemical Synthesis Laboratory, followed by subscale thruster testing to isolate the most promising fuels for future research.
Findings from this research could lead to future spiral upgrades to NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM), planned to launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy in 2016. The GPIM satellite will conduct in-orbit testing of the environmentally friendly AF-M315E fuel for potential use in lieu of hydrazine.