Igniters are a big part of a rocketeers provisions. We use the tiny nichrome MMX igniters to the bigger HPR igniters to light the motors. Have you ever thought what it takes to light the big rockets. When I say big I mean like the solid shuttle booster motors or the upcoming solid Ares boosters. They also need a similar means to ignite their motors. A couple of weeks ago the Ares igniters were tested. Wow – the description says it all. Now that’s an igniter!
” The Ares I igniter is an enhanced version of the flight-proven igniter used in the space shuttle’s solid rocket boosters. The igniter takes advantage of upgraded liner and insulation materials that have improved thermal properties which protect the igniter’s case from the burning solid propellant.
The new igniter is approximately 18 inches in diameter and 36 inches long. It is a small, high-burn-rate solid rocket motor that is secured in the forward segment of a five-segment booster. Once the command is sent to the igniter, a sequence begins that sends a flame down the core of the 142-foot solid rocket motor. In less than a second, the booster generates more than 3.5 million pounds of thrust, triggering liftoff of the rocket. ” -NASA http://www.nasa.gov