Ursa Major space propulsion is set to revolutionize the manufacturing of solid rocket engines with its new technology. The company, known for its expertise in hypersonic technology and rocket engines, has announced Link, a new approach to manufacturing solid rocket engines faster and more flexibly than traditional industrial methods.
The idea for Link was born two years ago when Ursa Major received a demand signal from the Ministry of Defense. The demand came after the company had shown great success in the hypersonics and space fronts. The Ministry wanted to know what Ursa Major thought about solid rocket motors (SRMs). According to Joe Laurienti, founder and CEO of Ursa Major, “We’ve been looking at the SRM space for quite some time now.”
The need for SRMs stems from Big Bear’s desire to produce more motors to equip allies and maintain US stockpiles large enough to deter adversaries such as China. However, Big Dipper is taking a different approach by rapidly building SRMs in the factory that can be easily reconfigured to run on different types of engines. Link 101 refers to the manufacturing process used by Ursa Major, not an individual engine. It will use additive manufacturing to speed up production significantly, with one 3D printer capable of producing 1,650 motors per year for some smaller SRMs.
Additive manufacturing allows for greater flexibility in building multiple platforms from one machine in rapid succession. This could include anything from the Stinger missile system to a man-portable air defense system or even a space platform. According to Laurienti, this technology could help Ursa Major in its quest for space and hypersonic capabilities as well. “Some lessons learned about the rigorous qualification process and streamlined production line required to build the SRM could help us in our quest for space,” he said.
While Link doesn’t mean that Ursa Major is abandoning its work in space or hypersonics entirely, it does show that the company is expanding its focus beyond just these areas. With this new technology, we can expect even more advancements from Ursa Major in the future as they continue their mission to push boundaries in propulsion systems.