Advanced Hybrid technology

As a follow on to the success of the Hyperion I program, the Air Force Research Lab's Propulsion Directorate (Phillips Laboratory) in conjunction with eAc continued development of hybrid propulsion systems that used high-density storable oxidizers such as S-5 HAN, ANNA, and colloidal oxidizers with gas generator fuels. Studies involved advanced tactical hybrids with the end goal of programmable thrust profiles to optimize trajectory to the target. The secondary goal was to achieve the maximum density impulse. eAc carried out a series of tests with a 6" diameter motor to characterize these advanced gas generator fuels with an azide based polymer such as GAP and BAMO. The tests demonstrated very high fuel regression rates, stable combustion, on-demand throttling, and the ability to extinguish during burn and restart. Multiple patents were issued based on these studies.

Having specialized in N2O oxidizers and developed high-density oxidizer systems for tactical applications, our scope has expanded to include liquid oxygen. LOX is the preferred oxidizer for space propulsion because of it's cost and performance advantages. A series of six inch test motors have been developed and fired using LOX. A second series of 12" lox motors is in development and will be fired shortly. A 20k lb thrust demonstration motor is in the early stages.

Nozzle erosion is an issue for all rocket propulsion systems and hybrids are no exception. eAc has done a series of tests to develop nozzle throat technologies. The primary objective is to minimize erosion in an oxidative exhaust environment. Nozzle samples supplied by Cesaroni Technologies and Plasma Processing have been tested in long burn 6" motors with a water-cooled copper nozzle as a baseline.

Current work includes development of neutral surface area rod and tube grain geometry that allows easy integration with aerospike nozzles. Additional development programs include aft-injected hybrids and cold and hot-gas inertial reaction control.

 

LOX multilayer firing.mpg
Nozzle erosion test, graphite throat.mpg
Nozzle erosion test, water cooled throat.mpg
Aerospike development program.mpg

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