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

At the completion of the course students will be able to: 

  • Compare propulsion devices for a particular tactical missile. 
  • Determine combustor and overall motor performance as well as operating characteristics and Insensitive Munitions (IM) assessment. 
  • Propellant/fuel selection, grain design, and internal ballistics calculations (including performance losses). 
  • Understand the performance and limitations of both rocket and air-breathing propulsion systems, including their thermodynamic cycle, operating envelopes, and mission application. 
  • Calculate the motor/engine performance for a given propellant composition, combustion chamber conditions and nozzle configuration utilizing equilibrium combustion codes. 
  • Evaluate propellant performance and the effects of non-compositional effects, erosive burning, and temperature sensitivity. 
  • Select and size appropriate grain profiles for given mission requirements. 
  • Analyze supersonic intake performance for on and off-design flight Mach numbers.
  • Analyze ramjet and scramjet combustor performance including flame holding impact on system specific impulse.


Offerings database access
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Application Deadlines

  •  08 Jul 2024

    Fall Quarter applications due

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