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
Chiaverini, M.J., Kuo, K.K. and Lu, F.K. (2007) Fundamental of Hybrid Rocket Combustion and Propulsion. Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics. Volume 218, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Reston.
Karabeyoglu, M.A., Zilliac, G., Castellucci, P., Urbanczyk, P., Stevens, J., Inalhan, G. and Cantwell, B.J. (2003) Development of High-Burning-Rate Hybrid-Rocket-Fuel Flight Demonstrators. 339th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, Joint Propulsion Conferences, (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics), July 2003, 1-16. http://dx.doi.org/10.2514/6.2003-5196
Vergez, P.L. (1998) Tactical Missile Guidance with Passive Seekers under High off-Bore- sight Launch Conditions. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 21, 465-470.
McClendon, J.R. and Vergez, P.L. (1980) Applications of Modern Control and Estimation Theory to the Guidance of Tactical Air-to-Air Missiles. Proceedings of the Second Meeting of the Coordinating Group on Modern Control Theory.
Karabeyoglu, A., Zilliac, G., Cantwell, B., De Zilwa, S. and Castellucci, P. (2003) Scale-Up Tests of High Regression Rate Liquefying Hybrid Rocket Fuels. 41st Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, Aerospace Sciences Meetings, (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics), 1-19. http://dx.doi.org/10.2514/6.2003-1162
Karabeyoglu, A., Falconer, T., Cantwell, B. and Stevens, J. (2005) Design of an Orbital Hybrid Rocket Vehicle Launched from Canberra Air Platform. 41st AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit, Joint Propulsion Conferences, (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics), 10-13 July 2005, 1-22.
Hudson, M.K., Shanks, R.B., Snider, D.H., Lindquist, D.M., Luchini, C. and Rooke, S. (1998) UV, Visible, and Infrared Spectral Emissions in Hybrid Rocket Plumes. International Journal of Turbo and Jet Engines, 15, 71-87. http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/TJJ.19184.108.40.206
Wright, A.M., Foley, P., Tilahun, D., Reason, M., Bryant, C., Patton, J. and Hudson, M.K. (2000) The Effect of High Concentration Guanidinium Azo-Tetrazolate on Thrust and Specific Impulse of a Hybrid Rocket. 36th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, Joint Propulsion Conferences, (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics), 16-19 July 2000, 1-9. http://dx.doi.org/10.2514/6.2000-3885
Risha, G.A., Boyer, E., Evans, B., Kuo, K.K. and Malek, R. (2004) Characterization of Nano-Sized Particles for Propulsion Applications. Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings, (Materials Research Society), 800, 243-254.
Larson, D.B., Boyer, E., Wachs, T., Kuo, K.K., DeSain, J.D., Curtiss, T.J. and Brady, B.B. (2011) Characterization of the Performance of Paraffin/LiAlH4 Solid Fuels in a Hybrid Rocket System. 47th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit, Joint Propulsion Conferences, (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics), July, 1-15. http://dx.doi.org/10.2514/6.2011-5822
Sossi, A., Duranti, E., Manzoni, M., Paravan, C., DeLuca, L.T., Vorozhtsov, A.B., Lerner, M.I., Rodkevich, N.G., Gromov, A.A. and Savin, N. (2013) Combustion of HTPB-Based Solid Fuels Loaded with Coated Nanoaluminum. Combustion Science and Technology, 185, 17-36. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00102202.2012.707261