Volume 2, 2011Progress in Propulsion Physics
|Page(s)||375 - 388|
|Section||Hybrid Rocket Propulsion|
|Published online||01 October 2012|
Various challenging aspects of hybrid propulsion
SNPE Matériaux Energétiques France
The hybrid technology appears as an innovative, high performance, and promising propulsion technique in a number of space missions. By combining functions and advantages taken from both solid and liquid propulsion, this technology is expected to provide mainly high performance with throttleability and stop-restart capabilities. The safety conditions of engine operation and design reliability almost similar to solid propulsion increase the interest to this technology. However, the standard fuels (mainly based on a carbon polymer) exhibit low regression rates that require complex grain shapes and low loading ratio. Thanks to a dedicated study supported by the European Space Agency (ESA), SNPE in collaboration with Avio and University of Naples (DIAS department) performed an exhaustive state-of-the-art and a market survey of accomplishments in hybrid propulsion. Based on the resulting tradeoff study on potential future launchers and spacecraft applications, the most promising applications are selected to conduct preliminary designs. These applications can also be seen as the vector of hybrid propulsion development. This study concentrates on hybrid propulsion systems with advanced hybrid fuels for Lander platform and Upper Stage. High throttleability and high propulsive performance associated with stop and restart capability are needed to meet mission requirements for Lander and Upper Stage, respectively. Preliminary design shows the advantages provided by hybrid propulsion: a significant payload mass increase for the upper stage case and a soft landing for the Lander case.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2011