This study demonstrated the performance of flight control systems of a hybrid rocket in a hovering flight test by developing a rocket designated HTTP-3AT powered by High Test Peroxide (HTP, a term used for concentrated hydrogen peroxide, H2O2). Hybrid rocket excels in system simplicity, operational safety, oxidizer storability, cost, and throttling capability compared to current solid and liquid rocket engine systems. Although issues such as the severe oxidizer-to-fuel (O/F) ratio shift during combustion and difficulty in gimbaled thrust vector control (TVC) caused by the lengthy chambers need to be solved, hybrid rocket propulsion is nevertheless a promising propulsion technology for future space exploration. To achieve accurate orbit insertion, thrust magnitude control and TVC of the rocket engines are necessary. However, no organizations have successfully implemented this technology on a practical hybrid rocket, not even using this technology for hovering flight tests. On September 8th, 2020, a hovering flight test of HTTP-3AT was conducted, achieving a steady hover 3 m above ground for 25 s utilizing both attitude and position controls. This test showed that a hybrid rocket could achieve a stable hovering flight with the capability of vertical takeoff and vertical landing (VTVL), demonstrating excellent throttling control and TVC capabilities of hybrid rocket propulsion.
- Hybrid rocket
- Hydrogen peroxide