Thrust is generated in chemical propulsion systems by the reaction of high‐energy, stored chemicals usually through combustion. In general, each of these systems has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, as well as its own conventional set of applications. For example, solid propellant systems typically have the highest energy density and are utilized for launch vehicles and tactical missiles, among other applications. Furthermore, liquid monopropellants possess only moderate performance but have a high level of controllability which makes them well‐suited for in‐space propulsion applications.
Our research encompasses all aspects of chemical propellant design, manufacturing, and performance with an emphasis on solid composite propellants, liquid monopropellants, hybrid rocket engines, solid fuel ramjets, and gas generants. Typical experimental analyses include the evaluation of propellant mechanical, rheological, thermal decomposition, ballistic, compatibility, and safety properties. One major emphasis of our research entails tailoring the ballistic performance of these systems to desired applications which encompasses the proper selection of fuels, oxidizers, and additives and subsequent experimental validation of the as‐designed propellant system. Several novel additives have been developed in conjunction with our collaborators in the Seal Research Group at the University of Central Florida and Helicon Chemical Company, and are currently being evaluated in numerous propellant systems for future deployment.
The following areas covers the research activities of our group on Rocket Propellants and Energetics. Please follow the links for more information.