Our Projects

Solid fuel rocket propellant and solid rocket motors

Project description and overview:

There is no sovereign manufacturer of solid rocket propellant and subsequently solid rocket motors (SRM’s) in Australia, which means all SRM’s are currently imported. This project proposes to manufacture solid rocket propellant and SRM’s locally for the civilian market initially (export and defence markets to follow) at far more economical prices and with quicker turnaround times.

It is expected that locally produced propellant and SRM’s will also alleviate the burdens for international customers coming to Australia attempting to import propellant from overseas due to International Traffic and Arms Regulations (ITAR). Black Sky Aerospace (BSA) are able to supply a significant export market for other countries that are burdened with these regulations which BSA is keen to develop. It is estimated the international market could generate a further $25-$30 million per annum within the next five years.

BSA undertook initial lab scale prototyping at their USA facility by adapting and modifying existing equipment. They identified deficiencies with the existing rocket propellant manufacturing process. Through this work, BSA were able to characterise propellant, comparing traditional methods versus their new methods. The new process, whilst still manually controlled is automated in the extrusion and vacuuming.

This project is the foundation for future BSA opportunities. The framework developed from manufacturing rocket propellant for SRMs will enhance and contribute to grow a sustainable market leading presence for BSA.

EXPECTED IMPACT

  • Increased focus on R&D
  • Increased collaboration with research institutions
  • Increase in staff with STEM skills
  • Larger geographical reach
  • Higher trade intensity
  • Increase in automation

EXPECTED GROWTH

  • BSA estimate they will generate $25-30 million revenue per annum

EXPECTED JOBS

This project will generate the following increase in employment

  • An additional 5-10 skilled jobs at BSA including researchers
  • An additional 300 jobs over the next 5 years across domestic project partners and prospective future proponents
  • Both ELA and Southern Launch expect to employ over 100 staff to manage their respective launch facilities 
Contributions:

Government Funds: $184,500 | Industry: $184,500 | In-Kind: $60,000

Project Participants