Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Charles A. Bleckmann, PhD


Solid Rocket Motors (SRMs) power the initial flight of the Space Shuttle and Titan IV rocket. During those first two minutes after liftoff, the exhaust plumes from these motors emit large quantities of chlorine compounds and alumina particles into the atmosphere. For years scientists have argued that such a large chlorine input, injected directly into the stratosphere, would photochemically react with the surrounding air to cause significant ozone depletion. To answer the question of whether SRM exhaust causes a significant ozone depletion, Version 7 data from the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) instrument was analyzed for the 30 days prior to a launch to determine any trends and natural ozone variability, and a linear regression analysis was run to calculate a 95% Prediction Interval for the expected ozone range on the day of launch. Of the 23 Overpass data sets and 14 Field of View data sets analyzed, all of the TOMS post-launch total column ozone measurements were found to lie either within or higher than the 95% Prediction Interval range. This analysis indicated no significant reductions in the total column ozone process following a space shuttle or Titan rocket launch, either from Cape Canaveral AFS or Vandenberg AFB.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number