The RNTS focuses on the application of advanced composite materials, including carbon-carbon, ceramic matrix, and carbon phenolic composites, and other advanced materials, as applied to solid rocket nozzles and their components, nozzle-based propulsion control systems; and related technology developments for liquid and electric propulsion.

The 32nd Rocket Nozzle Technology Subcommittee sessions will focus on materials, processing, testing, evaluation, design, analysis, and other topics of interest in the rocket nozzle technology area. Additional information concerning these areas or the topics being solicited should be directed to the appropriate Area Chair. Papers are sought in the specific areas listed below.

RNTS Mission Areas

Areas of interest included in the Call for Papers are:

Mission Area I: Nozzle Thermal, Structural, Fluids Analysis and Modeling

Dr. Heath T. Martin, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center / Huntsville, AL
Telephone:  (256) 544-5993

Suggested topics for papers in this session include:

  • Advances in Charring Material Ablator (CMA) style modeling of nozzle composite materials
  • Advances in CFD modeling of nozzle heat and mass transfer processes
  • Advances in structural composite materials modeling and failure criteria
  • Coupled thermo-structural modeling of heated composites using explicit methods
  • Coupled fluid-thermal surface ablation modeling with two-phase surface interaction
  • Porous media, pyrolysis gas, and pore pressure modeling
  • Semi-empirical laboratory methods used for gathering of heated composite property data

Mission Area II: Nozzle Design, Test and Evaluation

Mr. Clyde E. Carr, Jr., Orbital ATK / Elkton, MD
Telephone:  (410) 392-1877

Nozzle design, test, and evaluation areas of interest include:
  • Evaluation - Health monitoring for material aging and material characterization
  • Nozzle Design ‘lessons learned’
  • Test - performance based acceptance test/post-test evaluation and new, improved test methods
  • New materials characterization and fabrication, including constituent/composite material behavior throughout all phases of processing
  • In-process characterization techniques and instrumentation
  • Assessment of the state-of-the-art, vision of the future, and research/development paths is requested

Papers addressing qualitative and quantitative goals relevant to technical, and system level challenges are specifically sought. Discussion of new technologies/materials and future expectations is also invited.

Mission Area III: Thrust Control

Mr. J. Robert Esslinger, Jr., Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center / Redstone Arsenal, AL
Telephone:  (256) 842-1358

Specific topics of interest include nozzle designs that use active or passive control to achieve thrust control; weight, volume, size, and cost reduction techniques; component and system modeling and analysis, to include system performance benefits of thrust management control or thrust vector control; control techniques, to include control systems, control algorithms, actuation methods or mechanisms; thrust management control via pulsing, and motor extinguishment and re-ignition; pintle controlled nozzles; VAN (variable area nozzle) designs; nozzle designs that incorporate thrust vector control (exclusive of jet vane systems) as well as thrust level control; developments in jet vane/tab, moveable nozzle, hot gas valve, probe, fluid injection, or any other standard or novel TVC technologies; TVC appliations of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS); and component and system test results.

Mission Area IV: Innovative Nozzle Materials and Manufacturing

Ms. Amanda B. Napier,Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center / Redstone Arsenal, AL
Telephone:  (256) 876-1641

Mr. Timothy W. Lawrence, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL
Telephone:  (256) 684-5221

Specific topics of interest include new/innovative materials addressing the following area(s) for aluminized, reduced-smoke or minimum-smoke solid rocket motors:

  • Lightweight and high temperature capability components
  • Low erosion materials for use as liners or monolithic components
  • Structural insulators
  • Manufacturing techniques
  • Reduced cost for advanced/high temperature materials

Mission Area V: Damage Tolerance / Fracture / Failure [Joint Mission Area with SMBS]


Mr. David M. McCutcheon, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL
Telephone:  (256) 544-8835

This mission area will focus on experimental and modeling studies into damage tolerance, fracture, and/or failure pertaining to non-metallic materials which can be used on space systems such as rocket motors or re-entry vehicles. Examples of areas of research could include investigation into fracture or failure behavior of propellants, liners, insulation, adhesives, nozzle ablative liners, re-entry insulators, etc. Emphasis will be placed on material characterization of flaw behavior and failure initiation and analytical methods used to simulate these behaviors. Areas of study would include propagation, arrest, failure, and fatigue and related topics. Current and historical investigations into anomalies and failures as related to damage tolerance and fracture will also be addressed.

Rocket Nozzle Technology Subcommittee Chair

Mr. J. Robert Esslinger, Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center / Redstone Arsenal, AL
Telephone:  (256) 842-1358

JHU WSE ERG Technical Representative

Mr. David B. Owen, JHU WSE ERG / Columbia, MD
Telephone:  (443) 718-5006