The proposed hybrid system will serve as the primary propulsion system for a small launch vehicle, offering a safe, low-cost, and logistically simple opportunity for delivery of small payloads into LEO. The ride-share method is currently the most reliable and most often used option available for delivering CubeSat's (5 kg) and other small satellite payloads (< 180 kg) into Low Earth Orbit. However, it is anticipated that the number of small satellites delivered to LEO will continue to increase, and thus cheaper and more readily available transport options are required. The hybrid concept also allows for throttling, making it a feasible design for upper stage systems. Additionally, the innovative system offers scale up capabilities that would allow for development of a hybrid propulsion system for launch vehicles carrying large satellite payloads.
The proposed hybrid propulsion technology will be of significant interest to multiple DoD agencies as well as the commercial space launch industry. For tactical systems, tailoring of the fuel grain port geometry is often required to achieve specific thrust profiles; this is currently not feasible with state-of-the-art hybrid systems, as multi-port fuel grain geometries are needed to improve regression rate. In the proposed system, the high regression rate and allows for a single port fuel grain, and thus, tailoring of the port geometry is viable. Throttling capabilities are provided by the hybrid system, which can also be utilized for thrust modulation. The composite fuel technology developed for the hybrid system can also be applied to tactical air-breathing systems such as ducted rockets, ramjets, and scramjets. The challenges associated with poor regression rate and flame stability in these systems can be mitigated by using the innovative composite fuel. The hybrid system can also be used for launch vehicles being developed within commercial space launch industry. Sub-orbital tourism is another industry in which hybrid propulsion is of keen interest, and thus, a viable application for the proposed system.