How the Correct Propellants Were Identified for the No-Dong-A
By © Charles P. Vick, 2004-7, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The opinions and evaluations stated here in are only the author = s and cannot be construed to reflect those of any Government agency, company, institute or association. It is based on public information, circumstantial evidence, informed speculation, declassified U.S. intelligence community documents, official Iranian, Pakistani and North Korean government documents and histories, oral histories, interviews and engineering analysis. As with all data regarding the Iranian, Pakistani and North Korean strategic space and ballistic missile programs, this analysis is subject to revision--and represents a work in progress.
Propellant Identification Issues
The No-dong -A and Taep’o-dong -1 missiles propellant identification is based on a very careful analysis of publicly available video’s and photo’s collected by my self over the last ten years of their launches and other known missiles with their known propellants combinations. Those flames clearly showed a black soot like hydrocarbon trail typical of a Petroleum based hydro-carbon (Gasoline and or Kerosene) based propellant with its typical bright flame characteristic identical to the same propellants utilized by the Scud-B missile. This further clarifies the Scud-B technology heritage of the No-dong -A missile.
Those flames did not exhibit the characteristics of a typical UDMH (Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine) and Nitric Oxide such as (NTO- Nitrogen Tetroxide) (Heptyl) near clear to yellow white flame such as seen on a Titan-II or SS-18 launch. They equally do not exhibit the LOX tanks external Ice or flames associated with LOX/Kerosene (RP-1) or Russian GR-1 such as seen on the Atlas and Titan-1 launches. Equally they do not resemble the Prithvi use of Tonka-250-50% Triethylamine & 50% Xylidene plus Inhibitor with Inhibited Red Fuming Nitric Acid (IRFNA) which produces a relative bright orange yellow flame with no hydrocarbon sooty trail. There is however quite a typical reddish brown cloud of IRFNA smoke visible with a Prithvi launch. The fuel TG-02, a mixed Amine 50% triethylamine, 50% xylidine/T-1 Kerosene, and oxidizer AK-20I=(AK-20K) = IRFNA(80% I-HNO3) +20% N2O4
It does however closely resemble but is not identical to the Soviet SS-4/R-12, RD-214 engines Kerosene, IRFNA yellow flame with the typical reddish brown fumes smoke cloud and sooty hydrocarbon trail. This provides a Isp. of 230 seconds sea level. It even more close resembles the French Diamond-A launch vehicles which uses Turpentine and IRFNA producing a yellow white bright flame with its typical IRFNA fumes reddish brown smoke cloud. The Soviet era SS-7/R-16 uses UDMH with nitric oxide IRFNA and 27% N2O4 producing a white to yellow color flame with no sooty trail. This provides a Isp. of 246-248 seconds sea level. The bottom line here is that it only matches the Scud-B propellant combination with an Isp of 230 seconds sea level using a fuel of TM-185, 20% Gasoline 80% Kerosene and a oxidizer of AK-27I, 27% N204 (Nitrogen Tetroxide) 70% HN03 (IHN03) Nitric Acid with Iodium Inhibitor. However Pakistani released information suggests that the propellant mass is close to between 13-14 metric tons (about 13,326 kg) metric tons with a total No-dong-A missile mass is between 15-16 metric tons (15,852-16,250 kg depending on the war head mass [760-1,158 kg] with a missile mass of 15,092 kg). Unofficial information released suggests that the propellants are UDMH as the fuel with nitric oxide as the oxidizer. The hydrocarbon sooty trail left in the launch of the No-dong-A missile brings into question the suggested UDMH, nitric oxide propellant combination verses the Scud–B propellant combination.
The only evidence of Solid propellant with its typical white gray brown smoke tail on No-dong is only exhibited in the No-dong Solid Charge Starters with their typical gray brownish smoke puff prior to main thrust chamber ignition during engine start up. A typical screaming like wining noise of a pump turbine spin up is also heard from the firing of the Solid Charge as the engine is started up. Just prior to this event the propellant line squibs can also be heard to rupture from small explosively in the lines with their associated typical noise. All of these recognized procedures are typical of Soviet engine start up operations. Equally of very great significance is the visible a open cycle liquid rocket engine turbine exhaust that is apparent once the No-dong is in flight on one side near the base of the thrust chamber exit nozzle where the exhaust duct is located in a typical arrangement like that seen on the Scud-B.
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