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Rocket fuel startup awarded military contracts

(photo courtesy of Purdue University)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A Purdue University-affiliated startup says it has secured more than $1.1 million in contracts from the U.S. Army and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. The university says the funding will support further development of Adranos Inc.’s ALITEC rocket fuel.

ALITEC is a solid rocket fuel the company says is more powerful environmentally friendly. 

Adranos Chief Executive Officer Chris Stoker says one of the contracts will utilize the heated air system at Purdue’s Zucrow Laboratories, which is able to simulate Mach 4 environments for hypersonic research.

“These tests will determine ALITEC’s functionality within a hypersonic propulsion system referred to as a solid-fuel ramjet,” said Stoker. “A solid-fuel ramjet is among the simplest of air-breathing rockets that can substantially increase firing range over traditional solid rocket motors.”

Adranos Chief Technology Officer Brandon Terry says prior research indicates ALITEC can be applied to both solid-rocket motors and air breathing systems.

The contracts come less than a year after Adranos closed a $1 million funding round. Last year, the company won the Army’s inaugural xTechSearch competition, which included additional funding.