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Experimental and Theoretical Research Review of Hybrid Rocket Motor Techniques and Applications

DOI: 10.4236/aast.2016.13007, PP. 71-82

Keywords: Hybrid Rocket Motor, Sounding Rockets, Tactical Rockets, Space Engines, Thrust Augmentation, Large Launch Boosters, Fuel Additives, Regression Rate

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Abstract:

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 grains.

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