August 10, 2010

Army Working on Nanomissiles for Launching 10-23 kilogram Nanosatellites

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The Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) is working to develop a Nanomissile system. A nanomissile is as a liquid-fueled core booster with various strap-on solid-rocket motors.

The nanomissiles can be used as a missile defense target, sounding rocket and hypersonic test vehicle as well

Dynetics has information on their nanomissile project.

Dynetics has completed the first round of testing of a 250 lbf Nitrous/Ethane rocket engine. The test data is being used to anchor the design of a 2500 lbf engine that will be fired in the near future. The goal of this activity is to develop long duration 250 lbf and 2500 lbf flight weight engines and corresponding propulsion systems
* nanosatellites are being built with price points that are between $300,000 and $1 million per satellite
* In its most basic configurations, Multipurpose Nanomissiles could be purchased for as little as $150,000 apiece if they are being produced in quantity
* In a launch vehicle configuration, the liquid core booster alone could carry payloads of about 10 kilograms to low Earth orbit, and if fully outfitted with solid-rocket motors for additional thrust, the payload capacity is around 23 kilograms, London said. The estimated production cost for the launch vehicle configuration is around $1 million, not including range and payload integration costs
* the Army in 2008 contracted with Colsa Corp. and Dynetics Corp., both based in Huntsville. The Army has spend about $7 million to date on the Multipurpose Nanomissile System and needs about $17 million more to complete development
* The booster is almost 12 feet (3.6 meters) tall and nearly 24 inches (60 cm) in diameter.

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