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Recent research activities on hybrid rocket in Japan

  • Harunori, Nagata
    • Proceedings of the Korean Society of Propulsion Engineers Conference
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    • pp.1-2
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    • 2011
  • Hybrid rockets have lately attracted attention as a strong candidate of small, low cost, safe and reliable launch vehicles. A significant topic is that the first commercially sponsored space ship, SpaceShipOne vehicle chose a hybrid rocket. The main factors for the choice were safety of operation, system cost, quick turnaround, and thrust termination. In Japan, five universities including Hokkaido University and three private companies organized "Hybrid Rocket Research Group" from 1998 to 2002. Their main purpose was to downsize the cost and scale of rocket experiments. In 2002, UNISEC (University Space Engineering Consortium) and HASTIC (Hokkaido Aerospace Science and Technology Incubation Center) took over the educational and R&D rocket activities respectively and the research group dissolved. In 2008, JAXA/ISAS and eleven universities formed "Hybrid Rocket Research Working Group" as a subcommittee of the Steering Committee for Space Engineering in ISAS. Their goal is to demonstrate technical feasibility of lowcost and high frequency launches of nano/micro satellites into sun-synchronous orbits. Hybrid rockets use a combination of solid and liquid propellants. Usually the fuel is in a solid phase. A serious problem of hybrid rockets is the low regression rate of the solid fuel. In single port hybrids the low regression rate below 1 mm/s causes large L/D exceeding a hundred and small fuel loading ratio falling below 0.3. Multi-port hybrids are a typical solution to solve this problem. However, this solution is not the mainstream in Japan. Another approach is to use high regression rate fuels. For example, a fuel regression rate of 4 mm/s decreases L/D to around 10 and increases the loading ratio to around 0.75. Liquefying fuels such as paraffins are strong candidates for high regression fuels and subject of active research in Japan too. Nakagawa et al. in Tokai University employed EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) to modify viscosity of paraffin based fuels and investigated the effect of viscosity on regression rates. Wada et al. in Akita University employed LTP (Low melting ThermoPlastic) as another candidate of liquefying fuels and demonstrated high regression rates comparable to paraffin fuels. Hori et al. in JAXA/ISAS employed glycidylazide-poly(ethylene glycol) (GAP-PEG) copolymers as high regression rate fuels and modified the combustion characteristics by changing the PEG mixing ratio. Regression rate improvement by changing internal ballistics is another stream of research. The author proposed a new fuel configuration named "CAMUI" in 1998. CAMUI comes from an abbreviation of "cascaded multistage impinging-jet" meaning the distinctive flow field. A CAMUI type fuel grain consists of several cylindrical fuel blocks with two ports in axial direction. The port alignment shifts 90 degrees with each other to make jets out of ports impinge on the upstream end face of the downstream fuel block, resulting in intense heat transfer to the fuel. Yuasa et al. in Tokyo Metropolitan University employed swirling injection method and improved regression rates more than three times higher. However, regression rate distribution along the axis is not uniform due to the decay of the swirl strength. Aso et al. in Kyushu University employed multi-swirl injection to solve this problem. Combinations of swirling injection and paraffin based fuel have been tried and some results show very high regression rates exceeding ten times of conventional one. High fuel regression rates by new fuel, new internal ballistics, or combination of them require faster fuel-oxidizer mixing to maintain combustion efficiency. Nakagawa et al. succeeded to improve combustion efficiency of a paraffin-based fuel from 77% to 96% by a baffle plate. Another effective approach some researchers are trying is to use an aft-chamber to increase residence time. Better understanding of the new flow fields is necessary to reveal basic mechanisms of regression enhancement. Yuasa et al. visualized the combustion field in a swirling injection type motor. Nakagawa et al. observed boundary layer combustion of wax-based fuels. To understand detailed flow structures in swirling flow type hybrids, Sawada et al. (Tohoku Univ.), Teramoto et al. (Univ. of Tokyo), Shimada et al. (ISAS), and Tsuboi et al. (Kyushu Inst. Tech.) are trying to simulate the flow field numerically. Main challenges are turbulent reaction, stiffness due to low Mach number flow, fuel regression model, and other non-steady phenomena. Oshima et al. in Hokkaido University simulated CAMUI type flow fields and discussed correspondence relation between regression distribution of a burning surface and the vortex structure over the surface.

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The Variations of Stratospheric Ozone over the Korean Peninsula 1985~2009 (한반도 상공의 오존층 변화 1985~2009)

  • Park, Sang Seo;Kim, Jhoon;Cho, Nayeong;Lee, Yun Gon;Cho, Hi Ku
    • Atmosphere
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    • v.21 no.4
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    • pp.349-359
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    • 2011
  • The climatology in stratospheric ozone over the Korean Peninsula, presented in previous studies (e.g., Cho et al., 2003; Kim et al., 2005), is updated by using daily and monthly data from satellite and ground-based data through December 2009. In addition, long-term satellite data [Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS), Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), 1979~2009] have been also analyzed in order to deduce the spatial distributions and temporal variations of the global total ozone. The global average of total ozone (1979~2009) is 298 DU which shows a minimum of about 244 DU in equatorial latitudes and increases poleward in both hemispheres to a maximum of about 391 DU in Okhotsk region. The recent period, from 2006 to 2009, shows reduction in total ozone by 6% relative to the values for the pre-1980s (1979~1982). The long-term trends were estimated by using a multiple linear regression model (e.g., WMO, 1999; Cho et al., 2003) including explanatory variables for the seasonal variation, Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) and solar cycle over three different time intervals: a whole interval from 1979 to 2009, the former interval from 1979 to 1992, and the later interval from 1993 to 2009 with a turnaround point of deep minimum in 1993 is related to the effect of Mt. Pinatubo eruption. The global trend shows -0.93% $decade^{-1}$ for the whole interval, whereas the former and the later interval trends amount to -2.59% $decade^{-1}$ and +0.95% $decade^{-1}$, respectively. Therefore, the long-term total ozone variations indicate that there are positive trends showing a recovery sign of the ozone layer in both North/South hemispheres since around 1993. Annual mean total ozone (1985~2009) is distributed from 298 DU for Jeju ($33.52^{\circ}N$) to 352 DU for Unggi ($42.32^{\circ}N$) in almost zonally symmetric pattern over the Korean Peninsula, with the latitudinal gradient of 6 DU $degree^{-1}$. It is apparent that seasonal variability of total ozone increases from Jeju toward Unggi. The annual mean total ozone for Seoul shows 323 DU, with the maximum of 359 DU in March and the minimum of 291 DU in October. It is found that the day to day variability in total ozone exhibits annual mean of 5.7% in increase and -5.2% in decrease. The variability as large as 38.4% in increase and 30.3% in decrease has been observed, respectively. The long-term trend analysis (e.g., WMO, 1999) of monthly total ozone data (1985~2009) merged by satellite and ground-based measurements over the Korean Peninsula shows increase of 1.27% $decade^{-1}$ to 0.80% $decade^{-1}$ from Jeju to Unggi, respectively, showing systematic decrease of the trend magnitude with latitude. This study also presents a new analysis of ozone density and trends in the vertical distribution of ozone for Seoul with data up to the end of 2009. The mean vertical distributions of ozone show that the maximum value of the ozone density is 16.5 DU $km^{-1}$ in the middle stratospheric layer between 24 km and 28 km. About 90.0% and 71.5% of total ozone are found in the troposphere and in the stratosphere between 15 and 33 km, respectively. The trend analysis reconfirms the previous results of significant positive ozone trend, of up to 5% $decade^{-1}$, in the troposphere and the lower stratosphere (0~24 km), with negative trend, of up to -5% $decade^{-1}$, in the stratosphere (24~38 km). In addition, the Umkehr data show a positive trend of about 3% $decade^{-1}$ in the upper stratosphere (38~48 km).