A hybrid rocket motor combines components from both solid fuel and liquid fuel
rocket motors. The fuel itself is a solid grain, (often paraffin or hydroxyl-terminated
polybutadiene, known as HTPB) while the oxidizing agent is liquid (often hydrogen
peroxide or liquid oxygen). These components are combined in the fuel chamber
which doubles as the combustion chamber for the hybrid motor. This review looks at
the advances in techniques that have taken place in the development of these motors
since 1995. Methods of testing the thrust from rocket motors and of measuring the
rocket plume spectroscopically for combustion reaction products have been developed.
These assessments allow researchers to more completely understand the effects
of additives and physical changes in design, in terms of regression rates and thrust
developed. Hybrid rocket motors have been used or tested in many areas of rocketry,
including tactical rockets and large launch vehicles. Several additives have shown
significant improvements in regression rates and thrust, including Guanidinium azotetrazolate
(GAT), and various Aluminum alloys. The most recent discoveries have
come from research into nano-particle additives. The nano-particles have been
shown to provide enhancements to many parameters of hybrid rocket function, and
research into specific areas continues in the sub-field of nano-additives for fuel
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