In ME 140: Advanced Thermal Systems, our research team was tasked with analyzing and improving a hybrid rocket motor, which combines a liquid oxidizer with a fixed bed of solid fuel, with a focus on optimizing our motor’s specific impulse. We began in MATLAB, estimating theoretical values to set a baseline for future performance. To fabricate the solid propellent, we turned and milled high density polyethylene (HDPE) stock according to different fuel grain designs. We also designed and machined a new converging-diverging nozzle out of graphite. All of our design iterations were tested in the course test fire system, and produced increasingly successfully results.
Turning (HDPE & graphite)
CAD (SolidWorks & AdobeIllustrator)
Theoretical analysis (MATLAB)