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Safe, High-Performance Rocket Propellant and Motor Design Flight Tested
Added Oct 23, 2014 | Rate View top rated
Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists recently flight tested a novel rocket design that includes a high-energy fuel and a motor design that also delivers a high degree of safety. Traditional solid-fuel rocket motors work by combining a fuel and an oxidizer to enhance the burning of the fuel. In higher-energy fuels this mixture can be somewhat unstable, and can contain sensitive explosives that can detonate under high shock loads or high temperatures. The new rocket fuel and motor design adds a higher degree of safety by separating the fuel from the oxidizer, both novel formulations that are, by themselves, not able to detonate. After years of development and bench-top static tests, the new rocket design was recently flight tested at the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center's Socorro launch site, part of New Mexico Tech. The Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists will now work to scale-up the design, as well as explore miniaturization of the system, in order to exploit all potential applications that would require high-energy, high-velocity, and correspondingly high safety margins.
Paul2001 | commented on October 30, 2014
From the video and the explanation this leads me to a question. What makes this rocket different than the other hypergolic rocket motors that have been used for the last few decades besides this one is much smaller. For those that do not know what I'm referring to, a hypergolic rocket motor is one where either the fuel or the oxidizer is a solid, and the other part of the reaction is either in a liquid or gaseous state and soon as they touch you have thrust. This is a great thing for thrusters as they can be stopped and restarted many times as needed. Rocketry was a hobby of mine over 20 years ago, and I work with robotics, plasma processes, electronic controls and computers.
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