Investigation of an Alternative Geometry Hybrid Rocket for Small Spacecraft Orbit Transfer
SURREY SATELLITE TECHNOLOGY LTD GUILDFORD (UNITED KINGDOM)
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The following testing was carried out in support of the Surrey Space Centre SSC Alternative Geometry Hybrid Rocket research and development program. Although VFP testing was conducted in a low cost environment, the research program collected a wealth of valuable data with regard to this all-new hybrid rocket engine. The combustion efficiency is outstanding within the VFP. The scalability test has demonstrated that the VFP indeed scales well, providing high performance over the regimes tested as well as reliable, predictable, fuel liberation based upon the engine radius. The chamber pressure mapping did not reveal any pressure gradient across the diameter of the VFP rocket engine over the regimes tested. Flight propellant testing was promising in a number of areas. The VFP has demonstrated the ability to operate smoothly for long durations up to 45 seconds tested, and return to within 1.5 of operational values upon relight pulsed operations. It is likely that the engine may be burned near completion without the fear of solid fuel slivers blocking the rocket nozzle. The VFP test campaign provides solid evidence that the VFP is superior to conventional hybrid design in almost every respect and holds great promise for small spacecraft applications.
- Rocket Engines