HYDRO-X at AIAA Aviation Forum 2023

Our CEO and founder Ivane Maisaia presented paper “Optionally Piloted Hypersonic Aerospace Vehicle With Inflight Hydrogen Generation Propulsion System” on High Speed Vehicles session at the San-Diego AIAA Aviation Forum 2023.

The article presents a conceptual design of an aerospace vehicle, Hydro-X, which has the
capability to extract hydrogen from the atmosphere during hypersonic flight and use it as
fuel. By utilizing the energy generated during flight, this approach extends the flight
endurance and creates new capabilities for hypersonic flight. The article discusses the
concepts of an in-flight refueling system, brief computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis
of the hydrogen extraction system, potential materials for the vehicle structure and nanofilters, and mission capabilities. The article concludes by discussing the challenges and
future research directions required to realize the Hydro-X concept.

Hydro-X has the potential to be a game-changer for the future of atmospheric and space flight by creating an efficient and eco-friendly solution. However, further research is required for proof of concept. Challenges include precise modeling of hydrogen extraction from the atmosphere, considering chemistry, aerodynamics, thermodynamics, and electrical processes to provide clear evidence of water dissociation feasibility. Material research is necessary for nanofilters that can withstand high temperatures and pressures without degradation. Additionally, the efficiency of the hydrogen extraction system must be studied across various altitudes, clouds, and atmospheric conditions. Design optimization is needed to reduce the total surface area and find the optimal nano-filter area. Investigations into the optimal mission types for manned, unmanned, atmospheric, and space flights are also essential.