Hobby rocket engine and model company Estes Industries has launched a spin-out company Estes Energetics that aims to be an agile developer and supplier of low-cost solid rocket motors for munitions makers and the small space launch industry.
Estes Energetics, which is based in Penrose, Colo., said its initial focus for research and development will be on low-cost rocket motors for insensitive munitions for the Defense Department, meeting the needs of the small space launch industry, and developing integrated solutions that go beyond energetics to include aerodynamics, thermal, structural analysis and advanced control systems.
Karl Kulling, CEO of Estes Energetics, told Defense Daily that the company is currently focused on tactical-sized motors up to eight-inches in diameter, “but we are evaluating other parts of the market.”
The company said that in addition to its R&D capabilities, it will also offer rapid prototyping, testing, integration and manufacturing.
“I am excited to be launching this new venture that will deliver the full lifecycle of rocket motor products, from research and development of new propulsion technologies to implementation and integration in government and commercial solutions,” Kulling said in a statement. “With the support of Estes Industries, we are starting from a solid foundation that provides us the full spectrum of capabilities needed to bring complete solutions to market.”
Estes Energetics said it recently developed a booster motor for a rocket-launched unmanned aircraft system for a prime defense contractor, taking less than six months to go from the initial concept to initial production. Kulling said that so far the company’s customers have not allowed Estes to disclose their names or projects.
Estes Industries has about 70 employees, which augment the Estes Energetics team, Kulling said in an email reply to questions.