Purdue Hybrid Rocket Project wins AIAA Best Paper Award

Hot Fire Photo
Hybrid Flight photo
The technical paper entitled, "Development and Launch of the Purdue Hybrid Rocket Technology Demonstrator," AIAA Paper 2009-4842 has been named the 2009 AIAA Best Paper by the AIAA Hybrid Rockets Technical Committee.

The team consited of Dr. John Tsohas – Project Lead

Mr. Brad Appel

Mr. Andrew Rettenmaier

Mr. Mike Walker

Dr. Stephen D. Heister

The certificate will be given at the awards luncheon on Wednesday, 28 July 2010, during the AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, 25 - 28 July 2010, at the Nashville Convention Center & Renaissance Hotel in Nashville, TN.

The School of Aeronautics and Astronautics is developing a hybrid rocket technology demonstrator to serve as a test bed for technologies critical to the development of vehicles capable of delivering microgravity experiments to altitudes exceeding 100 km.

These technologies will be demonstrated sequentially over a series of test flights which will allow the designers to validate each of these sub-systems before adding more complexity, risk and features to the technology demonstrator. The group has designed, manufactured and tested three different hybrid rocket motors in over 40 hot-fire tests at the Purdue Zucrow rocket laboratories.

The first generation hybrid flight-vehicle was successfully launched and reached an altitude of 6,100 ft and Mach 0.6 in June 2009, making an important step towards flight operations for this series of hybrid rocket technology demonstrators.

This Purdue hybrid sounding rocket has been the largest hydrogen-peroxide hybrid rocket launched to date. A second generation (GEN II), high propellant mass fraction flight-vehicle is currently being developed for supersonic flights to altitudes exceeding 30,000 ft and Mach 2.