A West Lafayette-based company that has developed a high-performance rocket fuel is continuing its upward trajectory. Adranos Inc. has received a $2.1 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense to scale up testing of the fuel, known as ALITEC, in larger launch systems.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Chief Executive Officer Chris Stoker said the funding stems from previous, smaller-scale tests the company had done.
“We previously did a live launch using some Army funds and that was with a rocket that was about six feet tall and maybe about five inches in diameter,” said Stoker. “This effort is primarily designed to scale up to much bigger systems. It’s sort of like the customer said, ‘Hey, we love what we saw on the small scale. Let me see what I can do on a much bigger scale,’ which is much more comparable to the actual tactical systems that are put in place today.”
The funds come from the DoD’s Joint Enhanced Munitions Technology Program, which aims to “increase range, performance and lethality of the U.S. military’s firing systems.”
Adranos says ALITEC can increase the range or payload capacity of launch systems by up to 40% and is more environmentally friendly.
Stoker says the goal of the testing that will result from the new funding is to move forward into the production phase.
“In the world that we’re in, you can have a product and then, of course, the military has to test it and test it and test it and test it,” said Stoker. “Getting on the other side of those tests is what I call production, meaning you’ve tested it, they believe in it and instead of making 10 to test, you’re making hundreds, if not thousands, of units.”
Stoker says getting to that point in the process will accelerate the company’s growth. He says the company has already grown from one to nine employees over the last 18 months with more expected to be added.
“The long-term goal is that our fuel is the fuel for all solid rockets used by the U.S. military and certain space applications,” said Stoker.
The $2.1 million contract is the latest in a series of accomplishments for Adranos. Last month, the company was named to Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School’s Most Fundable Companies list.
Stoker says the funding stems from previous, smaller-scale tests the company had done.