A review, with 2 refs., of the development and trends in application of gas generator systems. These gas generators are distinguished from conventional propellants by generation of gas at subsonic pressures for reasons other than providing thrust. Topics discussed include applications (e.g., airbag systems, gas generators for functional mech. devices, fire extinguishing, suppression of gas and dust explosions), general tech. requirements; gas inflator assemblies using solid, liq., and hybrid fuels, for internal (passenger) and external use; handling and operational safety, and disposal of airbags with possibly recycling.