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Aerospace 2019, 6(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6030036

Viability of an Electrically Driven Pump-Fed Hybrid Rocket for Small Launcher Upper Stages

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica e Aerospaziale, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 11 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
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Abstract

An electrically driven pump-fed cycle for a hybrid rocket engine is proposed and compared to a simpler gas-pressurized feed system. A liquid-oxygen/paraffin-based fuel hybrid rocket engine which powers the third stage of a Vega-like launcher is considered. Third-stage ignition conditions are assigned, and engine design and payload mass are defined by a proper set of parameters. Uncertainties in the classical regression rate correlation coefficients are taken into account and robust design optimization is carried out with an approach based on an epsilon-constrained evolutionary algorithm. A mission-specific objective function, which takes into account both the payload mass and the ability of the rocket to reach the required final orbit despite uncertainties, is determined by an indirect trajectory optimization approach. The target orbit is a 700 km altitude polar orbit. Results show that electrically driven pump-fed cycle is a viable option for the replacement of the conventional gas-pressurized feed system. Robustness in the design is granted and a remarkable payload gain is achieved, using both present and advanced technologies for electrical systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: hybrid rocket engines; multidisciplinary design optimization; robust optimization; electric feed system hybrid rocket engines; multidisciplinary design optimization; robust optimization; electric feed system
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Casalino, L.; Masseni, F.; Pastrone, D. Viability of an Electrically Driven Pump-Fed Hybrid Rocket for Small Launcher Upper Stages. Aerospace 2019, 6, 36.

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