Development of Solid Rocket Igniter System for Turn-Key Space Access

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Civil and Mechanical Engineering

Publication Date


Publication Title

AIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


A new two-stage sounding rocket required a reliable and proven second stage ignition for the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) motor intended to operate as a first stage booster and thus was not designed for high altitude ignition. The design is a perforated Garolite ignition chamber to retain boron potassium nitrate pellets and a COTS nozzle for interfacing between the first and second stage. The design was validated in a flight test that resulted in successful second stage ignition at 13 km, while experiencing 30G’s and travelling at a speed exceeding Mach 5. This resulted in an apogee exceeding 85 km, with no visible damage to the nozzle or inner bore of the COTS motor.

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