Interagency Propulsion Committee
The scope of PEDCS comprises work and issues associated with propellants, explosives, and other energetic formulations used in the development, manufacture, performance, and operation of weapons, propulsion systems, and gas generator devices. This subcommittee covers the technology areas required to develop, manufacture, and characterize propellants and ingredients. The manufacturing technologies of interest include mixing procedures, sampling and quality control, safety and handling practices, and the design and operation of mixing equipment. The characterization tests involve classical wet chemistry, instrumental analysis, chemical stability, compatibility, and calorimetric measurements. Propellant ballistic and mechanical properties and hazard evaluation tests are excluded from the scope of interest because these subjects are covered by other subcommittees.
In the area of liquid propellants, PEDCS is concerned with the development of improved methods of analysis of liquid propellants; development and characterization of new liquid engine propellants, gels, and liquid gun propellants; assessment of storage media compatibility and corrosion characteristics of various propellants, such as hydrazine-family fuels, nitrogen tetroxide, gels, and liquid gun propellants; liquid oxidizer and fuel supply status; and qualification of new or alternate suppliers.
In the area of explosives formulation and development, PEDCS is concerned with the development, processing, qualification, and field use of explosives and new explosive formulations, including thermobaric explosives (TBXs).
In the area of propellant and explosive process engineering, PEDCS is concerned with processing technology including measurement and characterization of rheological properties and their effect on processability, ballistics, and mechanical behavior. Of particular interest are continuous processing of energetic materials and lessons learned in propellants and explosives manufacture.
In the area of solid propellant ingredients, PEDCS is concerned with ingredient synthesis and production, industrial base and supplier status, chemical and physical characteristics (including reactivity), and recovery/reuse/disposal of ingredients, as well as the qualification and use of novel ingredients in propellant formulations.
In the area of propellant surveillance and aging, PEDCS is concerned with analysis techniques for the determination of the chemical aging behavior and safe storage of solid propellants. Of particular interest is the decomposition of solid propellants that contain nitrate esters and the autoignition risk that may result from their degradation.
In the area of guns and high gas output devices, PEDCS is concerned with new applications of existing ingredients, newly developed ingredients, propellant processing, storage, packaging, and shelf life.
In the area of green energetic materials (GEM), PEDCS is concerned with developments in energetic ingredients, formulations, and processing technologies that permit enhanced recycle, recovery, reuse, and waste reduction during manufacture, testing, operation and demilitarization; environmental/toxicological deficiencies in current energetic materials that may impact manufacture, use, or demilitarization; and modeling techniques to analyze or predict environmental impacts of energetic materials. PEDCS and SEPS have joint oversight of the GEM Panel.
Click here for descriptions of each mission area.
Mr. William A. Bagley, JHU/WSE ERG, Columbia, MD