Thursday, December 04, 2008

Ammonium dinitramide

I had never heard of this compound until earlier today when I read NASA was investigating it as a replacement for AP in the Ares SRBs. Wikipedia notes it has a slightly higher ISP than AP (good), that it is more sensitive to detonation than AP (bad), and is more expensive (bad). Just because it it more sensitive does not mean that it is significantly more hazardous. And, as noted, the price would go down if all the big consumers (NASA, DoD, etc) started using it. I also see it is lighter that AP by as much as 40%. If this is true, we might be close to full G or maybe even baby-baby H's within the 62.5g limit. (?)