Volume 11, 2019Progress in Propulsion Physics – Volume 11
|25 - 64
|08 February 2019
The HyEnD stern hybrid sounding rocket project
DLR, Institute of Space Propulsion Langer Grund, Hardthausen 74239, Germany
2 Institute of Space Systems, University of Stuttgart 29 Pfaffenwaldring, Stuttgart 70569, Germany
The student team Hybrid Engine Development (HyEnD) of the University of Stuttgart is taking part with the Institute of Space Systems (IRS) in the DLR educational program STERN (Studentische Experimentalraketen). This program supports students at German universities to design, build, and launch an experimental rocket within a 3-year project time frame. HyEnD is developing a hybrid rocket called HEROS (Hybrid Experimental Rocket Stuttgart) with a design thrust of 10 kN, a total impulse of over 100 kN·s, and an expected liftoff weight up to 175 kg. HEROS is planned to be launched in October 2015 from Esrange in Sweden to an expected flight altitude of 40 to 50 km. The current altitude record for amateur rockets in Europe is at approximately 21 km. The propulsion system of HEROS is called HyRES (Hybrid Rocket Engine Stuttgart) and uses a paraffin-based solid fuel and nitrous oxide (N2O) as a liquid oxidizer. The development and the test campaign of HyRES is described in detail. The main goals of the test campaign are to achieve a combustion efficiency higher than 90% and provide stable operation with low combustion chamber pressure fluctuations. The successful design and testing of the HyRES engine was enabled by the evaluation and characterization of a small-scale demonstrator engine. The 500-newton hybrid rocket engine, called MIRAS (MIcro RAkete Stuttgart), has also been developed in the course of the STERN project as a technology demonstrator. During this test campaign, a ballistic characterization of paraffin-based hybrid rocket fuels with different additives in combination with N2O and a performance evaluation were carried out. A wide range of operating conditions, fuel compositions, injector geometries, and engine configurations were evaluated with this engine. Effects of different injector geometries and postcombustion chamber designs on the engine performance were analyzed. Additionally, the appearance of combustion instabilities under certain conditions, their effects, and possible mitigation techniques were also investigated. Concluding, the development and construction of an advanced, lightweight hybrid sounding rocket for the given requirements and budget within the DLR STERN program are described herein. The most important parts include a high thrust hybrid rocket engine, the development of a light weight oxidizer tank, pyrotechnical valves, carbon fiber rocket structure, recovery systems, and onboard electronics.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2019
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.