Pyrotechnics & Propulsion Advanced Master - Detailed program

The course covers 2 semesters:

  • 1 semester of applied training (starting on September) and
  • 1 semester devoted to a final thesis in an industrial or academic environment in France or abroad, with a thesis to be defended in September.

All courses are given at ENSTA Bretagne either by research faculty members or by engineers who are specialists in their field of industry :SNPE, SNECMA, CEA, EADS, CNES, DGA, MBDA...

CU 5.1 Pyrotechnic Systems and Explosive Safety

  • Nitrite derivatives     7.5 h
  • Propellant powders     5h
  • Internal ballistics     10h
  • Air-land ammunition     5h
  • The LOVA (Low Vulnerability Ammunition) Concept     2.5h
  • Initiators     3.75h
  • Pyrotechnic compositions     7.5h
  • Pyrotechnic safety and regulations     15h


  • know the properties of energetic materials
  • be able to dimension a propellant charge
  • be able to run pyrotechnic work safety studies
  • become a professional pyrotechnics engineer

CU 5.2 Propulsion

  • Launchers and pyrotechnic chains     7.5h
  • Missiles     7.5h
  • Propellants     7.5h
  • Rocket propellants     15h
  • Pre-dimensioning a rocket motor     15h
  • Safety pyromechanisms     3.75h


  • know the properties of energetic materials
  • know the theory behind propulsion systems
  • know how to define a propellant charge in relation to required performance

CU 5.4 Elective project

Studies led in the pyrotechnics industry can require delicate handling due to their multidisciplinary aspect. The main objective of this project is thus to enable a student to fully appreciate the inherent difficulties in this field. It enables:

  • the application, through case studies and practical work, of the concepts introduced during theory classes (shock waves, detonation, combustion, energetic materials),
  • the application of project management and result communication tools,
  • the experience of team work.


The subjects are proposed by companies in the field of pyrotechnics and correspond to concrete case studies and the real concerns of these companies. They are treated in a group. A supervisor from the world of industry is automatically assigned to each subject. He is not only the students’ spokesperson, but also their mentor and client.

Examples of subjects: Dimensioning a 15t Rocket Motor (SPS), Modeling a Pyrotechnic Expandable Tube (Dassault Aviation), Study of the Plasticization of a Projectile (CNES), Analysis of Debris Impact on a Space Structure (LCD) etc

CU 5.5 Dynamic Behaviour of Materials

  • Explicit dynamic calculations     23.75 h
  • Laws of behavior     6.25 h
  • Underwater explosions     11.25 h
  • Terminal ballistics     11.25 h


  •  know the numerical method principle
  • be able to use a commercial numerical code
  • know how to model the main phenomena encountered in pyrotechnics

UV 5.6 Shockwaves and Detonations

  • Detonation in the gaseous phase     15 h
  • Shock waves in the condensed phase     20 h
  • Formulation of explosives     6.25 h
  • Detonation in the condensed phase     10 h
  • Resistant structures     5 h


  • understand the physical phenomena
  • appreciate their destructive role
  • know the orders of magnitude
  • be able to implement simple models rapidly

CU 5.7 Combusion

  • Combustion theory     33.75 h
  • Heterogeneous combustion     15 h
  • Thermochemistry     7.5 h


  • understand the physical phenomena
  • know the orders of magnitude
  • be able to implement simple models rapidly


More information