July 26, 2010:
Dynetics has successfully completed a test firing series of the Multipurpose NanoMissile System (MNMS) first-stage demonstration booster being developed for the Strategic Commanded for the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces (USASMDC/ARSTRAT). The series included a 60-second test of the 3,000 lbf nitrous oxide/ethane rocket engine. The MNMS booster was developed over 24 months with numerous rocket motor development tests.
Dynetics is working with the USASMDC/ARSTRAT and COLSA Corporation to develop the propulsion system for MNMS, a revolutionary low-cost, low-complexity, multi-configuration missile for use in a variety of tactically relevant suborbital and orbital applications.
The need for on-demand intelligence and communications in remote geographical locations is increasing the requirement for rapidly deployable and tailorable assets such as the MNMS. MNMS uses a very low-cost, modular and safe storable liquid boost propulsion system to greatly improve reliability and responsiveness. The system requires only 24 hours from storage call-up to launch readiness.
The MNMS is an integrated tank/booster/engine design with a benign bi-propellant liquid engine, using existing launch support and launch site hardware.
The configurable boosters can be tailored to many specific missions, including missile defense target vehicle, infrared and radar sensor exerciser, hypersonic test vehicle for aerospace components, pop-up reconnaissance system and highly responsive orbital launch vehicle for nanosatellite payloads (10 kg to low-Earth orbit).
Unlike past attempts to develop low-cost, small launchers, the MNMS system is designed from the start to meet the operationally responsive mission. To accomplish this objective in a cost-effective and environmentally safe way, it utilizes the following features: lowest cost materials; a safe fuel and oxidizer (ethane and nitrous oxide); pressure-fed propellants; reliability and low-part count over performance; modular assembly for “made to order capability; “ship and shoot” approach; and minimal range requirements.
John London, program manager for SMDC-Operational Nanosatellite Effect (ONE), said: “We are very pleased with the outcome of the recent test firing. The MNMS will give the warfighter enhanced capabilities from space by providing the ability to fly into and through space to include both suborbital and orbital missions. It will also boost key space and missile defense technologies into their required trajectories or orbits, facilitating the testing and exercising of these technologies. We appreciate Dynetics’ significant role in this program.”
Tom Baumbach, Dynetics president, said, “With the development and long duration test of the MNMS booster, Dynetics continues to show our ability to rapidly put innovative, low-cost total system solutions together for our customers.