Besides the regular requirements to future propulsion systems, like increased thrust, specific impulse, flight range, speed and reliability, prospective propellants must be environmentally friendly, cost-effective and easy to use. Simultaneously, they must provide similar or better performance characteristics compared to conventional propellants, like toxic hydrazine, and even replace them.
The Propellants Department at the Institute for Space Propulsions:
• explores the appropriateness of known and novel energetic materials as propellants for rocket and ramjet engines
• investigates the tolerability and usability of materials and components in thrust chambers, tanks and conveyors for new propellants
• elaborates concepts for safe usage of new energetic materials in propulsions
• executes test with propulsion systems, combustion chambers, components, injectors and ignition systems.
Main fields of activity:
• gelled propellants
• advanced propellants for satellite applications
• hybrid rocket propulsions
Since 1966, the Propellants Department has carried out comprehensive research and technology development activities using test complex M11 and in the physico-chemical laboratory. Test positions M11.1 to M11.5 serve to execute tests on behalf of intra-company or external partners and in the framework of third-party assignments. New propellants are put to the acid test in the physico-chemical lab; they are examined for potential contaminations and manufactured.
The training of students and PhD students is also a focal point in the department. Compelling subjects give rise to write study reports as well as bachelor, master and diploma theses.