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International Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3765796, 8 pages
Research Article

Monte Carlo Uncertainty Quantification Using Quasi-1D SRM Ballistic Model

1Department of Aerospace Science and Technology, SPLab, Politecnico di Milano, 20156 Milan, Italy
2Space Propulsion Design Department, AVIO S.p.A., 00034 Colleferro, Italy

Received 5 January 2016; Accepted 23 March 2016

Academic Editor: William W. Liou

Copyright © 2016 Davide Viganò et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Compactness, reliability, readiness, and construction simplicity of solid rocket motors make them very appealing for commercial launcher missions and embarked systems. Solid propulsion grants high thrust-to-weight ratio, high volumetric specific impulse, and a Technology Readiness Level of 9. However, solid rocket systems are missing any throttling capability at run-time, since pressure-time evolution is defined at the design phase. This lack of mission flexibility makes their missions sensitive to deviations of performance from nominal behavior. For this reason, the reliability of predictions and reproducibility of performances represent a primary goal in this field. This paper presents an analysis of SRM performance uncertainties throughout the implementation of a quasi-1D numerical model of motor internal ballistics based on Shapiro’s equations. The code is coupled with a Monte Carlo algorithm to evaluate statistics and propagation of some peculiar uncertainties from design data to rocker performance parameters. The model has been set for the reproduction of a small-scale rocket motor, discussing a set of parametric investigations on uncertainty propagation across the ballistic model.