Hybrid Propulsion Technology Development in Japan for Economic Space Launch

Toru Shimada, Saburo Yuasa, Harunori Nagata, Shigeru Aso, Ichiro Nakagawa, Keisuke Sawada, Keiichi Hori, Masahiro Kanazaki, Kazuhisa Chiba, Takashi Sakurai, Takakazu Morita, Koki Kitagawa, Yutaka Wada, Daisuke Nakata, Mikiro Motoe, Yuki Funami, Kohei Ozawa, Tomoaki Usuki

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Citations (Scopus)


The demand for the economic and dedicated space launchers for vast amount of lightweight, so-called nano-/microsatellites, is now growing rapidly. There is a strong rationale for the usage of the hybrid propulsion for economic space launch as suggested by the assessment conducted here. A typical concept of development of such an economic three-stage launcher, in which clustering unit hybrid rocket engines are employed, is described with a development scenario. Thanks to the benefits of hybrid rocket propulsion, assuring and safe, economic launcher dedicated to lightweight satellites can be developed with a reasonable amount of quality assurance and quality control actions being taken in all aspects of development such as raw material, production, transportation, storage, and operation. By applying a multi-objective optimization technique for such a launch system, examples of possible launch systems are obtained for a typical mission scenario for the launch of lightweight satellites. Furthermore, some important technologies that contribute strongly to economic space launch by hybrid propulsion are described. They are the behavior of fuel regression rate, the swirling-oxidizer-flow-type hybrid rocket, the liquid oxygen vaporization, the multi-section swirl injection, the low-temperature melting point thermoplastic fuel, the thrust and O/F simultaneous control by altering-intensity swirl-oxidizer-flow-type (A-SOFT) hybrid, the numerical simulations of the internal ballistics, and so on.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringer Aerospace Technology
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameSpringer Aerospace Technology
ISSN (Print)1869-1730
ISSN (Electronic)1869-1749


  • A-SOFT hybrid rocket
  • Dedicated launcher for lightweight satellites
  • Economic space launch
  • Hybrid rocket launch system
  • Multi-objective optimization
  • Swirling-oxidizer-flow-type hybrid rocket
  • Throttling with O/F control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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