Solid Rocket Motor Design and Applications

COURSE NO.: 5090


This seminar provides a detailed look of solid rocket motors (SRMs) and the sensitivity of user system performance requirements
and their impact on the design, reliability and cost of the SRM. It will also provide an understanding of solid propellant motor and
component technologies, design drivers; motor internal ballistic parameters and combustion phenomena and an insight to their
limitations. The course includes a detailed review of component design and analysis; critical manufacturing process parameters;
transportation and handling, and integration of motors into launch vehicles and missiles. General approaches used in the
development of new motors. Also discussed is the importance of employing formal systems engineering practices for the
definition and synthesis of requirements, the use of design and cost trade studies and processes and methodologies for
 identifying and mitigating risks.  A review of the requirements,  design and development approaches and associated analyses
and codes used to balance customer vs. SRM manufacturer’s imposed requirements for each SRM component, Also provided are
comparisons to liquid and hybrid propulsion systems

All types of SRMs are included, with emphasis on current and recently developed motors for commercial and DoD/NASA launch
vehicles such as Lockheed Martin's Athena series, Orbital Sciences' Pegasus and Taurus series, the strap-on motors for the Delta
series (III and IV), Titan V, and the propulsion systems for Ares / Constellation vehicle. The course summarizes the use of surplus
military motors (including Minuteman, Peacekeeper, etc.) for DoD target and sensor development and university research programs.


Include extensive notes and reference materials.


The course is designed for personnel from government agencies, prime contractor users, system engineers, program planners,
vehicle design engineers  and other users of SRMs needing an in-depth understanding of SRM selection, engineering and applications


  • Solid rocket motor principles and key requirements.
  • Motor design drivers and sensitivity on the design, reliability, and cost.
  • Detailed propellant and component design features and characteristics.
  • Propellant and component manufacturing processes.
  • SRM/Vehicle interfaces, transportation, and handling considerations.
  • Development approach for qualifying new SRMs.


  1. Introduction to Solid Rocket Motors (SRMs).
    SRM terminology and nomenclature, survey of types and applications of SRMs, and SRM component description and
  2. SRM Design and Applications.
    Fundamental principles of SRMs, key performance and configuration parameters such as total impulse, specific impulse,
    thrust vs. motor operating time, size constraints; basic performance equations, internal ballistic principles, preliminary
    approach for designing SRMs; propellant combustion characteristics (instability, burning rate), limitations of SRMs based
    on the laws of physics, and comparison of solid to liquid propellant and hybrid rocket motors.
  3. Definition of SRM Requirements.
    Impact of customer/system imposed requirements on design, reliability, and cost; SRM manufacturer imposed requirements
    and constraints based on computer optimization codes and general engineering practices and management philosophy.
  4. SRM Design Drivers and Technology Trade-Offs.
    Identification and sensitivity of design requirements that affect motor design, reliability, and cost. Understanding of ,
    interrelationship of performance parameters, component design trades versus cost and maturity of technology; exchange
    ratios and Rules of Thumb used in back-of-the envelope preliminary design evaluations.
  5. Key SRM Component Design Characteristics and Materials.
    Detailed description and comparison of performance parameters and properties of solid propellants including composite
    (i.e., HTPB, PBAN, and CTPB), nitro-plasticized composites, and double based or cross-linked propellants and why they
    are used for different motor and/or vehicle objectives and applications; motor cases, nozzles, thrust vector control &
    actuation systems; motor igniters, and other initiation and flight termination electrical and ordnance systems.
  6. SRM Manufacturing/Processing Parameters.
    Description of critical manufacturing operations for propellant mixing, loading into the SRM, propellant grain inspection
    and component fabrication and acceptance testing,
  7. SRM Transportation and Handling Considerations.
    General understanding of requirements and solutions for transporting, handling, and processing different motor sizes and
    DOT propellant explosive classifications and licensing and regulations.
  8. Launch Vehicle Interfaces, Processing and Integration.
    Key physical, mechanical, functional, and electrical interfaces between the SRM and launch vehicle and launch facility.
    Comparison of interfaces for both strap-on and straight stack applications.
  9. SRM Development Requirements and Processes.
    Approaches and timelines for developing new SRMs. Description of a demonstration and qualification program for both
    commercial and government programs. Impact of decisions regarding design philosophy (state-of-the-art versus advanced
    technology) and design safety factors. Motor sizing methodology and studies (using computer aided design models).
    Customer oversight and quality program. Motor cost reduction approaches through design, manufacturing, and acceptance.
    Castor 120 motor development example.



© 2014 Launchspace

Phone: 202 258 6133 | Email:

Home | About Us | Training | News | FAQ | Contact Us | Leadership
International Scope | Course Catalog | Public Courses
Customized Training | Instructor Profiles | Client List

Get Launchspace Updates!