Advanced Missile Propulsion

Course #AE4452

Est.imated Completion Time: 3 months


Analysis and design of solid propellant rockets, ramjets, dual-combustion ramjets, ducted rockets, and detonation-based propulsion systems. Propellant selection criteria and characteristics, combustion models and behavior, performance analysis, combustor design, combustion instabilities and damping, mission and flight envelope effects on design requirements and technology requirements. Use of chemical equilibrium analysis software, performance, and grain design codes.   Laboratory test firings for comparison with measured performance.

Included in degrees & certificates

  • 118
  • 608
  • 613


  • AE3851

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of AE4452, students should be capable of the following skills:

1. Describe the performance and limitations of both rocket and air-breathing propulsion systems, including their thermodynamic cycle, operating envelopes, and mission application.

2. Calculate the motor/engine performance for a given propellant composition, combustion chamber conditions and nozzle configuration utilizing equilibrium combustion codes.

3. Evaluate propellant performance and the effects of non-compositional effects, erosive burning, and temperature sensitivity.

4. Select and size appropriate grain profiles for given mission requirements.

5. Analyze supersonic intake performance for on and off-design flight Mach numbers.

6. Analyze ramjet and scramjet combustor performance including flameholding impact on system specific impulse.

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Academic Calendar

  •  06 Jun 2023

    Spring quarter pre-graduation awards ceremony

  •  09 Jun 2023

    Spring quarter last day of classes

  •  13 Jun 2023

    Spring quarter final examinations begin