Author Topic: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2  (Read 404303 times)

Offline AncientU

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1560 on: 12/06/2017 10:33 PM »
Right.
Iridium chose F9 due to low cost, and is now choosing reused F9 vehicles to get schedule improvements.
#1 = cost
#2 = schedule
As stated above.

Ariane 5 is available during the 21 flights that OneWeb chose to fly on Soyuz and the 39 flights on Launcher One.

The obvious omission in my post above is that not only didn't Ariane 5 get any of these flights (which may represent the bulk of next decade's payloads), but Atlas V also didn't get any, likely because it is even more costly.  Making Vulcan significantly larger to service the NSS Heavy market may be pricing it out of the constellation sat launch market. 

Vulcan is supposed to be available before New Glenn comes to market, and Atlas V will still be available.  They each should be competitors against New Glenn for these payloads -- 400 of which have been awarded to new Glenn, but no awards have been announced for either ULA vehicle.
« Last Edit: 12/06/2017 10:33 PM by AncientU »
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Online Chris Bergin

Let's keep this focused. The thread title helps you all.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1562 on: 12/07/2017 08:45 AM »
Launch costs are not the only consideration today for satellite delivery and will unlikely be so in the future. The sole benefit of dedicated small launch vehicles in development is not really lower launch costs. Per kilo of payload, many of these vehicles are actually more expensive than existing EELV class launchers. Responsive dedicated launch for this payload class is the selling point. Iridium chose to fly its next batch of sats on reused F9 boosters, primarily to improve schedule rather than lower costs.
True.

IIRC the Orbital ATK Pegasus is the most expensive LV on lb/$ pricing.

However your payload is the primary on the vehicle, just as it would be on other smallsat LV's.

Cost wise a big LV is likely to be cheaper on a per unit mass basis, which is the theory behind Saturn V, FH and BFS.

WRT this thread the question is could ULA be responsive enough to manage a "mass launch" of lots of small  individual (100s, not 1000s of Kg) payloads, all different?
« Last Edit: 12/07/2017 08:48 AM by john smith 19 »
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Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1563 on: 12/07/2017 03:27 PM »
WRT this thread the question is could ULA be responsive enough to manage a "mass launch" of lots of small  individual (100s, not 1000s of Kg) payloads, all different?
But won't the satellites be more or less identical if they are forming constellations?
If it is a different, evolved satellite every time, that's irrelevant. They're not necessarily identical, or a constellation.

Vulcan as a launch solution does not address this launch need.

What may limit Vulcan launches might be big NSS disappearing. (Which might put pressure on serving a wider audience competitively, to retain the capability which isn't going away to use it, while having launch frequency to support it.)

Big NSS use might return in some capability downstream, but not in the same form as it has been justified.

As to strategy of the "payload game", keep in mind if you're always improving your capability (technologically, not volume) when your opponent takes out your "weaknesses", they are making you stronger and are complicit in assisting you in the process, while denying themselves with those resources, the same to strengthen their own game. The mathematics of the economic "game theory" work in your favor.

Just like we have a need to keep solids used in munitions viable, evolving, ... in use, we'll still need to have large NSS capability. So this doesn't mean Vulcan goes away on disaggregation alone. But it does mean a challenge to policy to keep it alive.

My hunch is that ULA/others will need to field a different means for that. And that likely Vulcan needs to get more large govt and possibly commercial payloads than forecast for that manifest.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1564 on: 12/07/2017 03:42 PM »
There are indications that the GEO sats will get individually larger but not increase in numbers.

That MEO sats will probably stay same size (might shrink a little) but have some increse in numbers.

That LEO sats will decrease in size greatly and increase in numbers greatly.


Vulcan is primarily a GEO and BEO launcher. It's best economic use is in launching to higher delta V requirement orbits. Launching to LEO and even MEO puts Vulcan a severe economic disadvantage to other launchers. Even though it is marginally competitive for GEO and BEO.

Offline AncientU

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1565 on: 12/07/2017 05:00 PM »
There are indications that the GEO sats will get individually larger but not increase in numbers.

That MEO sats will probably stay same size (might shrink a little) but have some increse in numbers.

That LEO sats will decrease in size greatly and increase in numbers greatly.


Vulcan is primarily a GEO and BEO launcher. It's best economic use is in launching to higher delta V requirement orbits. Launching to LEO and even MEO puts Vulcan a severe economic disadvantage to other launchers. Even though it is marginally competitive for GEO and BEO.
Head of U.S. Strategic Command Air Force General John Hyten recently said that he favors replacing costly big satellites with constellations of cheaper smaller satellites.  It stands to reason that assets in GEO and MEO would be replaced in part by constellations in similar orbits.  These would be most-effectively launched in bunches rather than one at a time.

 - Ed Kyle

That makes no sense.  If you are collecting sigint with a 100m dish at GEO(40,000km), a 1m dish at VLEO(400km) has the equivalent collecting area.  Same with optical (ground) resolution... lower orbits have inverse square advantage.

GEO benefit of 'seeing' a large footprint is offset by the disadvantage of being 40,000km away from that footprint.  The constellation has to be much more sophisticated because of handoffs between sats to cover a specific 'interesting' target on the ground, but has the advantage of being able to cover thousands of such targets almost continuously over the entire globe.

Robustness*-wise, there is no comparison... which is what's driving the move toward disaggregation.

* USAF discussions call this 'resilience'
« Last Edit: 12/07/2017 06:25 PM by AncientU »
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Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1566 on: 12/07/2017 05:17 PM »
The technology has also changed to allow "amorphous" sensor dispersal/organization/kind to give a unified "picture".

Not a constellation as Hyten's remarks might seem, however as to describe to others/policy makers, they might get the idea as similar.

So its a stupid, silly, assumption that the competitive response to this need will all launch on a large LV to GEO.

And if one depends on those to manifest, one may need to fill those big holes in the manifest later when they don't happen. Ouch.

add:
Forgot to mention the term "aperture synthesis". Now doable in LEO.
« Last Edit: 12/07/2017 05:19 PM by Space Ghost 1962 »

Offline Jim

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1567 on: 12/07/2017 06:23 PM »
One quote says it all:
Quote
As one of nine U.S. combatant commanders, Hyten has a say in how the Pentagon plans investments in new technology. With regard to military satellites, STRATCOM will advocate for a change away from “exquisite” costly systems that take years to develop in favor of “more resilient, more distributed capabilities.”

This is the thinking of the new “space enterprise vision” adopted by the Air force and the National Reconnaissance Office, Hyten said. “That vision is about defending ourselves. In that vision you won’t find any of those big, exquisite, long-term satellites.
Emphasis mine

Your and his emphasis don't carry any weight

Those satellites are not his to manage.

« Last Edit: 12/07/2017 06:25 PM by Jim »

Offline Jim

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1568 on: 12/07/2017 06:24 PM »
If a hundred or thousand VLEO sats at 400km with 1m phased arrays are collecting that sigint with highly focused beams,

Not viable.  They are in view too short of time and can't cover all the frequencies.  Also, can't have hundred or thousand VLEO sats constellations for each type of mission (sigint, imint, missile warning, tac comm and strat comm)

Offline Jim

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1569 on: 12/07/2017 06:28 PM »

That makes no sense.  If you are collecting sigint with a 100m dish at GEO(40,000km), a 1m dish at VLEO(400km) has the equivalent collecting area.

It doesn't matter, 1m dish at VLEO(400km) is only in sight for a couple of minutes.   Also, it will miss many directional signals.

Offline AncientU

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1570 on: 12/07/2017 06:29 PM »
If a hundred or thousand VLEO sats at 400km with 1m phased arrays are collecting that sigint with highly focused beams,

Not viable.  They are in view too short of time and can't cover all the frequencies.  Also, can't have hundred or thousand VLEO sats constellations for each type of mission (sigint, imint, missile warning, tac comm and strat comm)

So, we have a choice... believe you or believe General Hyten:

Quote
“I’ve made a call at U.S. Strategic Command that we’ll embrace that as a vision of the future because I think it’s the correct one,” he added. STRATCOM will “drive requirements,” Hyten noted, “And, as a combatant commander, I won’t support the development any further of large, big, fat, juicy targets. I won’t support that,” he insisted. “We are going to go down a different path. And we have to go down that path quickly.”

http://spacenews.com/stratcom-chief-hyten-i-will-not-support-buying-big-satellites-that-make-juicy-targets/
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Offline john smith 19

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1571 on: 12/07/2017 06:34 PM »
Just like we have a need to keep solids used in munitions viable, evolving, ... in use, we'll still need to have large NSS capability. So this doesn't mean Vulcan goes away on disaggregation alone. But it does mean a challenge to policy to keep it alive.
Solids make great weapon systems. The lack of an indigenous big solids capability was probably the reason the UK bought Polaris/Poseidon/Trident in the first place for example.

Outside of that their use in weapons their Pegaus contributed greatly to how expensive a system it is on a mass/cash ratio.

They may remain more cost effective on Vulcan because they are not mandatory and if they become too expensive there seem to still be (just) enough solids mfgs in the US to re-bid the contract.

IMHO over time the weapons uses have diverged so far from LV use (as I found out during threads on the Shuttle SRBs, whose materials were completely different from the  ICBM force) that anyone designing a new commercial LV (especially if you're planning to be crew rated in the long term ) on purely commercial grounds would not use solids.

Quote from: Space Ghost 1962
My hunch is that ULA/others will need to field a different means for that. And that likely Vulcan needs to get more large govt and possibly commercial payloads than forecast for that manifest.
Let's not forget the rather optmistic launch business models that Boeing and LM were touting for the EELV programme, and how they didn't materialize in practice.

Needing a bigger number of big launches to make your business case close is not the same as getting them.  :(
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Offline john smith 19

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1572 on: 12/07/2017 06:40 PM »
Your and his emphasis don't carry any weight

Those satellites are not his to manage.
Are we sure about that?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Strategic_Command
Quote
USSTRATCOM is responsible for strategic deterrence, global strike, and operating the Defense Department's Global Information Grid. It also provides a host of capabilities to support the other combatant commands, including strategic warning; integrated missile defense; and global command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR).

Which kind of suggests that anyone in charge of this command would have
a)Some interests in NSS satellite programmes and
b)Have some say in how those functions are implemented.

but I could be wrong.

BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline AncientU

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1573 on: 12/07/2017 06:46 PM »
Quote
This is the thinking of the new “space enterprise vision” adopted by the Air force and the National Reconnaissance Office, Hyten said. “That vision is about defending ourselves. In that vision you won’t find any of those big, exquisite, long-term satellites.”
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Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1574 on: 12/07/2017 08:53 PM »
So its a stupid, silly, assumption that the competitive response to this need will all launch on a large LV to GEO.
It would help if you didn't call people "stupid".

 - Ed Kyle
Sorry if it appeared to call you "stupid". That wasn't my intent. You're not, and I'd never be that unprofessional.

(Am used to helping smart people from making and furthering "stupid" mistakes. By making assumptions that they later regret that they had made. The faster I slam on the brakes, the quicker the repair, the less face lost by the smart person.)

People are people. They project agenda too fast and dig in hard when it goes wrong.

So why are you resistant to the change described? Do I need to clarify anything on the subject mentioned?

add:
As I think old_atlas_e_guy has the right idea about staying on topic, I don't want to do another post to reply to Ed.

Ed, please be sincere in looking at what I wrote and not dismissing it as you have been doing, as it becomes frustrating communicating with you.

My meaning in this post of "change described" was that of the earlier posts I wrote, regarding Hyten's remarks on constellations, which DON'T launch on a singular vehicle as I clearly described.

Since we all know your "not stupid", it should be easy enough to understand what I am saying, and what you are appearing to dodge. Congrats on making me look stupid, that worked well BTW.

(This kind of thing leads to a lot of crap posts on this board, and generally works down everyone. I know I find it tiresome.)

Thus, no more posts on the subject that appears to be purposely ignored.
« Last Edit: 12/07/2017 11:02 PM by Space Ghost 1962 »

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1575 on: 12/07/2017 09:19 PM »
That makes no sense.  If you are collecting sigint with a 100m dish at GEO(40,000km), a 1m dish at VLEO(400km) has the equivalent collecting area.  Same with optical (ground) resolution... lower orbits have inverse square advantage.
So that may be the case for sigint, but aren't the big optical satellites in LEO/SSO?

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1576 on: 12/07/2017 10:45 PM »
We have wandered away from Vulcan. My point was that Vulcan is an optimized vehicle for GEO/BEO and in that role is competitive but not in the role of LEO.

The future is that GEO and BEO is not going to change much in the next 5 to 10 years. But LEO could change significantly. This is true for commercial and US NSS.

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1577 on: 12/08/2017 12:02 AM »
Could we may be start a new thread to move discussion about orbits and constellations off this thread so this thread can be Vulcan system only.

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1578 on: 12/08/2017 02:09 AM »
If a hundred or thousand VLEO sats at 400km with 1m phased arrays are collecting that sigint with highly focused beams,

Not viable.  They are in view too short of time and can't cover all the frequencies.  Also, can't have hundred or thousand VLEO sats constellations for each type of mission (sigint, imint, missile warning, tac comm and strat comm)

So, we have a choice... believe you or believe General Hyten:

Quote
“I’ve made a call at U.S. Strategic Command that we’ll embrace that as a vision of the future because I think it’s the correct one,” he added. STRATCOM will “drive requirements,” Hyten noted, “And, as a combatant commander, I won’t support the development any further of large, big, fat, juicy targets. I won’t support that,” he insisted. “We are going to go down a different path. And we have to go down that path quickly.”

http://spacenews.com/stratcom-chief-hyten-i-will-not-support-buying-big-satellites-that-make-juicy-targets/

2 years ago, the same argument raged over telecom constellations.  Just give it another 2 years.  Maybe a bit more since the pipeline is deeper, but if the capability is there, DOD will take advantage of it.
« Last Edit: 12/08/2017 02:10 AM by meekGee »
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Offline woods170

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1579 on: 12/08/2017 06:35 AM »
If a hundred or thousand VLEO sats at 400km with 1m phased arrays are collecting that sigint with highly focused beams,

Not viable.  They are in view too short of time and can't cover all the frequencies.  Also, can't have hundred or thousand VLEO sats constellations for each type of mission (sigint, imint, missile warning, tac comm and strat comm)




That makes no sense.  If you are collecting sigint with a 100m dish at GEO(40,000km), a 1m dish at VLEO(400km) has the equivalent collecting area.

It doesn't matter, 1m dish at VLEO(400km) is only in sight for a couple of minutes.   Also, it will miss many directional signals.


Someone here is acting like a Struthio camelus and IMO it is not AncientU.
Again Jim I advice you to read up on latest technology developments. The no-go's you list here are either silly (you assuming that it is impossible for constellation-type sats to support more than one type of mission) or overtaken by technological developments.
Also, "constellation" does not automatically translate in hundreds (or thousands) of satellites and is not restricted to (V)LEO only.
Additionally: disaggregation of on-orbit assets can be done by other means than just having multiple dedicated "large" constellations.

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