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Solid Propellant Subscale Burning Rate Analysis Methods for US and Selected NATO Facilities

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Technical rept. Oct 1997-Mar 2001

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Current methods used within the NATO community for analyzing small motor burning rate test data are reviewed and recommendations are made to support improved prediction of internal ballistics of a full-scale solid propellant motor. The NATO Research and Technology Organization RTO, Advanced Vehicle Technology AVT, Working Group WG 016 formerly AGARDPEP Working Group 27 undertook to evaluate methods used within the NATO propulsion community to measure burning rate in solid propellant rocket systems, with the purpose of identifying similarities and differences between the member nations. This WG was formed in 1996, consisting of representatives from 6 of the 15 member nations of NATO, with inputs accepted from 4 other member nations and a couple non-member nations. The NATO RTOAVT WG 016 sought to contribute to improvements in the burning rate tools to address issues that have plagued the solid propulsion industry for over 40 years 1 Better understanding of burning rate data from various facilities to ease the comparison of propellants from various manufacturers and to improve international exchanges and cooperation. 2 Better accuracy and reliability of measurements allowing a decrease in the number of tests and associated time and cost and an improved control of manufacturing and aging. Simulated and real subscale rocket motor data were used to evaluate the two fundamentally different families of burning rate analysis methods. While organizational preferences generally dictate method usage, surveys indicate a trend toward methods that more effectively account for non-ideal tailoff, favoring improved accuracy. Consistency in these definitions would promote ease in correlating data internationally. Further development of the Hessler-Glick method shows promise. The NATO propulsion community is urged to review these findings as a means of advancing their own burning rate measurement and analysis methods.

Subject Categories:

  • Combustion and Ignition
  • Solid Rocket Propellants

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