P08105: METEOR Hybrid Rocket Motor
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Identify Customer Needs

Table of Contents

Step 1. Gather Raw Data From Customers

Interaction with Customers

General Interview Questions

Interview 1 - 4 April 2007

Interview 2 - 6 April 2007

Step 2. Interpret Raw Data in Terms of Customer Needs

Project METEOR Needs

  1. Product needs to deliver payload into low-earth orbit
  2. Needs to be cost effective (cheaper than current option)
  3. Needs to offer improved reliability
  4. Needs to be controllable (human, other)
  5. Needs to ensure safety to participants

Project P08105 Needs

  1. Needs to deliver payload from 30km to 100km
  2. Needs to disengage from other stages effectively and reliably
  3. Needs to have some type of guidance system
  4. Needs to be controllable in upper atmospheric conditions
  5. Needs to have a reliable ignition system
  6. Needs to provide consistent thrust
  7. Needs to provide consistent burn rates
  8. Spent stages need not pose threat to the community
  9. Needs to offer repeatability
The primary needs for Project P08105 thus far are as follows:

The primary need of the customer is a hybrid rocket engine stage with a specific impulse of more than 220 seconds. This can be achieved by simultaneously optimizing:

Up to 40% of the thrust can be lost to a non-optimum nozzle geometry. A graduate student has designed a 3D bell-shaped nozzle. The team will design a cone-shaped nozzle. Both will be tested by the team with the ultimate goal to achieve supersonic exit velocity.

There are two ways that the fuel grain of the rocket can affect the latter performance: its geometry and its composition. Changing the geometry will affect the total surface area exposed to the liquid oxidizer, and implicitly the burn rate. Changing the composition will affect the chemical reaction during the combustion process, and hence the design specifications for an optimum nozzle.

The thrust can be throtlled by changing the flow rate of the oxidizer. After the team creates a nozzle design that will produce supersonic exhaust, it will continue experimenting with variable flow rate. The results will be reported to the Guidance team (P07106), who will be in charge of creating the navigation and thrust vector control system for the flying rocket stage. The second need is a lightweight and reliable iginition system.

Step 3. Organize the Needs into a Hierarchy

After listing the needs in list order here, this is a great place to include an objective tree as a graphical representation of your interpretation of the customer needs.

Step 4. Establish the Relative Importance of the Needs

Needs Summary
Item # Needs to Importance
Need 1.1 Thorough, explicit, and readily available safety procedures 5
Need 1.2 Reasonable factors of safety 4
Need 1.3 Spent stages need not pose threat to the community 5
Need 1.4 Needs to be controllable 5
Need 1.4a Controllable testing 5
Need 1.4b Controllable flight 3
Need 2.1 Provide consistent (predictable) thrust 4
Need 2.1a Accurate and repeatable thrust measurements 4
Need 2.1b Consistency in fabrication and testing processes 5
Need 2.1c Consistent burn rates 4
Need 2.2 Reliable ignition system 5
Need 2.2a Raise temperature of HTPB to approximately 575 oC 5
Need 2.2b Possible built in redundancy 3
Need 2.3 Needs to disengage from other stages effectively 5
Need 2.3a Should cause no harm to other stages during separation 4
Need 3.1 Provide fiscal advantage over current launch capabilities 4
Need 3.1a Utilize low cost materials and processes in development 4

Step 5. Reflect on the Results and the Process

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