Health Management Issues and Strategy for Air Force Missiles (Technical Paper)
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB EDWARDS AFB CA
Pagination or Media Count:
As so-called wooden rounds, which are intended to sit stably in storage for extended periods and then function precisely as desired, at a moments notice, Air Force missiles would appear to be an ideal application for health monitoring. However, solid rocket motors that serve as the propulsion system for these missiles present a number of unique challenges for the development of integrated vehicle health monitoring systems. Mechanical and chemical complexity, long service lives, aging materials, and designs with small margins are typical for solid motors. But the payoff for health monitoring is extreme as well. Maintaining a healthy and capable fleet-ensuring the viability of the missiles in the fleet while not retiring or destroying good assets before it is necessary could save as much at 50 in costs over a 60-year life cycle. In this paper, a number of the unique aspects of solid rocket motors will be explored, the difficulties and successes in development of sensors and diagnostic systems will be discussed, and a path to further continue development of these systems will be proposed.
- Guided Missiles
- Solid Propellant Rocket Engines