Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Robert A. Frederick, Jr.

Committee Member

David M. Lineberry

Committee Member

George J. Nelson


Solid propellants--Combustion., Solid propellant rockets., X-rays--Industrial applications.


The burning rate of solid propellants can be difficult to measure for unusual burning surface geometries, but X-ray imaging can be used to measure burning rate. The objectives of this work were to measure the baseline burning rate of an electrically-controlled solid propellant (ESP) formulation with real-time X-ray radiography and to determine the uncertainty of the measurements. Two edge detection algorithms were written to track the burning surface in X-ray videos. The edge detection algorithms were informed by intensity profiles of simulated 2-D X-ray images. With a 95% confidence level, the burning rates measured by the Projected-Slope Intersection algorithm in the two combustion experiments conducted were 0.0839 in/s ±2.86% at an average pressure of 407 psi ±3.6% and 0.0882 in/s ±3.04% at 410 psi ±3.9%. The uncertainty percentages were based on the statistics of a Monte Carlo analysis on burning rate.



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