Igniter Insertion System

The IIS autonomously raises the igniter and inserts it into the solid rocket motor (SRM) cavity. The IIS is projected to be a steel rod with an end “cup” or “holder” for the igniter & cap: a steel blast plate is incorporated into the design to protect sensitive components such as the motor and gears. The system utilizes a rack-and-pinion style linear actuation to accomplish the task. The igniter insertion process requires precision and accuracy, and the rack and pinion system which can raise the igniter at a relatively slow and steady speed was selected. The insertion of the igniter is done by a steel rod that holds the igniter and the cap at its end. The rod is composed of two linear rack gears with their flat sides in contact with each other, and it is actuated by two pinion gears that are placed on the supporting base of the IIS.

   Base of the Igniter Insertion System                    

   Inserter (Steel Rod) that inserts the igniter & cap

One of the pinions is controlled by a DC motor, and the remaining pinion simply rotates as the rod is elevated and provides support and rigidity. Upon completion of the insertion task, the motor will be rendered passive in order to prevent damage to the motor and the gear system from launch vehicle exhaust thrust. The IIS will be installed under the launch pad.