Purdue University-affiliated company Adranos has won over $1.1m worth of contracts from the US Army’s Aviation and Missile Center and the OUSD (R&E)’s Rapid Reaction Technology Office to conduct hypersonic research.

Under the contracts, Adranos will conduct tests on its high-performance solid rocket fuel ALITEC’s functionality within a hypersonic propulsion system.

Adranos will use Purdue’s Zucrow Laboratories’ heated air system to simulate Mach 4 environments for hypersonic research.

Adranos’ CEO Chris Stoker said: “These tests will determine ALITEC’s functionality within a hypersonic propulsion system referred to as a solid-fuel ramjet.

“A solid-fuel ramjet is among the simplest of air-breathing rockets that can substantially increase firing range over traditional solid rocket motors.”

These systems will make use of an initial-stage, conventional solid rocket booster to achieve the required velocities that will then allow a second-stage air-breathing system to carry payloads to long distances.

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Adranos chief technology officer Brandon Terry said: “Prior research supports that ALITEC’s performance increases can be applied to both traditional solid-rocket motors and air-breathing systems.

“We expect ALITEC to increase firing range for both solid-rocket boosters and solid-fuel ramjets, maximising end-to-end system performance.”

Earlier this year, Adranos raised a funding of $1m for the research project.

In 2019, the company tested a prototype rocket that was powered by its ALITEC rocket fuel. It won the US Army’s first xTechSearch competition.

Adranos uses technology licensed through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization.