Hybrid Rocket Engine

Home Team Hybrid Engine Design Documentation

 

Welcome to the Hybrid Rocket Engine Page!

Interested in joining this project? Please contact Christine Mehr at cmehr2@illinois.edu

Project Overview

The Hybrid Rocket Engine has been an actively ongoing project within ISS for the last four years. The team’s goal is to design, build, and test a completely student-developed hybrid rocket engine, with the final goal of incorporating and launching the engine in a high-power rocket. Early work focused on constructing a small proof-of-concept engine, fueled by acrylic tubes and pure oxygen. After the success of that engine, which has since been converted into one of ISS’s most popular educational outreach exhibits, the team moved forward with analysis and designs for a full-scale engine capable of 250 pounds of thrust.

The second, larger iteration of the hybrid engine employs a combination of paraffin wax and nitrous oxide to deliver a more powerful thrust profile. Using CAD design and custom-machined parts, the ISS team repurposed a commercially-available solid rocket motor casing to house an oxidizer injection system, combustion chamber, and integrated nozzle. This latest engine makes use of custom black power ring ignitors and spin casted wax fuel grains, each assembled by ISS team members. In conjunction with development of the engine itself, the team also constructed a steel test stand to facilitate cold and hot fire testing at a suitable test site near Champaign-Urbana’s Willard Airport. This past October, after initial testing and modifications, the team achieved the first successful sustained ignition of the latest hybrid rocket engine. Current work is focused on optimizing the engine’s nozzle and injector systems using CFD analysis, developing new star-shaped fuel grains, and adding LabVIEW-integrated load cells and additional cameras to the test stand.

 

Updates

08/09/2017

The Hybrid Project team lead is TBD and so is the weekly meeting time and location. Check in later for more information. Make sure to come to the first ISS general meeting on August 29, 2017, at 6 pm.

Check out a video of the latest hybrid hot fire below!