Study of the Deposition of Ammonium Perchlorate following the Static Firing of MK-58 Rocket Motors


  1. Thiboutot, S.
  2. Ampleman, G.
  3. Lapointe, M-C.
  4. Brochu, S.
  5. Brassard, M.
  6. Stowe, R.
  7. Farinaccio, R.
  8. Gagnon, A.
  9. Marois, A.
  10. Gamache, T
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN)
Static firings of AIM-7 rocket motors were conducted in June 2006 at the DRDC Valcartier test site to measure the environmental dispersion of ammonium perchlorate (AP) during normal burning conditions. The recent stringent threshold criterion for perchlorate in drinking water dictates that the sources of this contaminant be better defined. The AIM-7 Sparrow missile, which is propelled by an MK-58 AP-based motor, has been the main medium range air-to-air missile used by both the US and Canadian fighter jets for many years. Fifteen MK-58 motors were obtained for this study from the Canadian inventory and statically fired on a test bench to measure the residues that were expelled during combustion. The field set-up to catch perchlorate particles was based on a combination of aluminium witness plates and aqueous traps located in the exhaust plume area. The tests were conducted over four days and sampling was achieved after the burning of two, three, four and six motors. The set-up allowed the collection of a large portion of the exhaust plume, and perchlorate was detected in most of the samples collected, due to the use of a very sensitive analytical method. The results obtained were consistent and reproducible, and it was estimated that only 2 mg of perchlorate was deposited per MK-58 motor. Considering the motors flight range, it is concluded that their use in live fire training does not contribute to the accumulation of perchlorate in the environment.

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Ammonium perchlorate;environmental dispersion;rocket motors;contaminants;Environmental impacts of munitions
Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-TR-2008-240 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Oct 2008
Number of Pages

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