Application for experimental small launcher
We are now proceeding with development of a larger-size CAMUI hybrid rocket for practical use as a small launcher for meteorologica lobservation and microgravity experiments. The launch profile is shown in Fig. 4. In the meteorological-observation mission, the launcher will ascend to an altitude of 60km carrying 4kg of experimental instruments to collect samples of atmospheric constituents. In the microgravity-experiment mission, it will lift up 10kg of experimental instruments to an altitude of 110km and provide a microgravity environment for three minutes during its ballistic flight at altitudes of 70 to 100km.
Wings will be mounted on the vehicle so that, after reentering the atmosphere, it can glide with a circular flight down to the landing area. To reduce air resistance at launch, the wings are swing type. GPS equipment is also onboard to autonomously decide the circling direction. Finally, it belly-flops down onto water or snow and is recovered. The vehicle is reusable by refilling with propellant. Initial weight and weight at recovery are about 37kg and 20kg respectively with the meteorological observation model, and about 125kg and 56kg with the microgravity-experiment model. The wing area for respective models is 0.8m2 and 2.2m2, enabling a gliding flight at a velocity of 40m/s in both models. The inner diameter of the combustion chamber is 145mm for the meteorological observation model and 230mm for the microgravity-experiment model, generating 400kgf and 1tonf thrusts respectively, both using polyethylene as solid fuel.
We plan to complete the development of the meteorological observation model by the end of FY2005 and, subsequently, we are going to develop a microgravity-experiment model in three years. We estimate that the launch cost will be over one million yen for the meteorological observation model and less than five million yen for the microgravity-experiment model.