Adranos, Inc, a Purdue-affiliated startup manufacturer of advanced solid rocket motors, officially opened a production facility for its high-performance, aluminum-lithium alloy solid rocket fuel called ALITEC.
Adranos broke ground on the site in 2020 and completed its first ALITEC fuel production runs in early 2022. The Purdue Research Foundation and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) provided significant support setting up the facility, which is located in the Purdue Research Park.
Organizations across Indiana’s aerospace ecosystem have been instrumental in developing ALITEC, recognizing its game-changing potential for defense, space and hypersonic systems. ALITEC was invented at Purdue University by Adranos co-founder and CTO Brandon Terry, Ph.D., and has been investigated in collaboration with U.S. Navy researchers at the Naval Surface Warfare Center - Crane Division (NSWC Crane), located near Bloomington, Indiana.
ALITEC fueled solid rocket motors dramatically enhance the range, payload capacity, and speed of space and defense launch systems. ALITEC maximizes performance by releasing more energy per unit weight of fuel versus traditional solid rocket fuels.
The site will be essential to bridging the gap between invention and commercialization by enabling production of ALITEC in large volumes. The facility will have the capacity to produce and deliver more than 50,000 kilograms of ALITEC fuel per year, which is sufficient to support multiple programs.
“In the last three years, Adranos has worked with its Department of Defense and commercial customers to demonstrate the substantial performance increase that ALITEC fuel delivers. With this facility completed, we can produce ALITEC at scales necessary to meet the needs of national security and commercial space customers,” said Adranos co-founder and CEO Chris Stoker.
“We’re proud of every organization that has opened or located in our business parks but none more so than those like Adranos who are totally homegrown,” Purdue President Mitch Daniels said. “This investment is the latest example that the small seed of research that happens in a Purdue lab often turns into something big.”
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Adranos leadership was joined by Daniels, Indiana state representative Sheila Ann Klinker, Purdue Research Foundation leadership, and other state, local and federal stakeholders, including the offices of United States Senator Mike Braun and Senator Todd Young as well as United States Representative Jim Baird.
“I am proud that this state-of-the-art facility is opening in Indiana [and is] the first of its kind in the world,” Senator Mike Braun said. “Adranos’ new rocket fuel will dramatically enhance the capability of our missile and hypersonic systems.”
Adranos has plans to further expand ALITEC production footprint in Indiana to address growing demand for the advanced solid rocket fuel.