PSAS/ news/ 2003-07-20

Hybrid Kick-Off Meeting 07/20/03

In attendance: Vernon Blomquist, Peter Bold, Jim Cloer, Karl Hallowell, Brian O’Neel, Duftan Sandoz, Jim Ward

The hybrid motor team kicked off its first meeting to discuss building a gaseous oxygen/ paraffin lab scale motor.

With the eventual goal of building a liquid oxygen version for flight with the LV2 rocket a small scale motor is an appropriate place to start to give us some experience with designing, building and operating a hybrid rocket motor. It will also be necessary to collect data on the regression rate of the paraffin fuel since there is little available published information on it.

A LOX/Paraffin hybrid has many advantages over solid propellant motors.

1) Capability of throttling and thrust vector control
2) Higher theoretical specific impulse
3) 2 phase system is inherently safer
4) Exhaust is environmentally friendly
5) Less expensive to operate

For the first meeting we talked about our long range vision for building a thrust vector controlled motor to be used in a closed loop system with the flight computer and inertial measurement unit. We discussed the selection of fuel and oxidizer, the pro’s and con’s of eventually using liquid oxygen over another oxidizer such as nitrous oxide. We discussed the advantage of the high regression rate that the paraffin seems to exhibit and how we can go about collecting our own data to see if we are in the ball park of what the researchers at Stanford have found.

Stanfords Aero Fluid Mechanics Lab
AIAA 2001-4503 'Development and Testing of Paraffin-Based Hybrid Rocket Fuels'
AIAA 2003-1162 'Scale-up Tests of High Regression Rate Liquefying Hybrid Rocket Fuels'

Since this was the first meeting and we spent a lot of time introducing ourselves and our backgrounds no tasks were assigned beyond that of reading some of the selected technical articles on small lab scale systems that others have built and static fired.

At this point much of the initial design work has been done for the lab scale motor and most of the supplies have been aquired. Karl purchased 50 lbs of hurricane wax and Jim is rounding up a load cell.