Author Topic: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2  (Read 303734 times)

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1600 on: 12/05/2017 09:53 PM »
Because the rapid evolution of the payload buys you more than just flooding space with targets. It increases the threat level too.

Online AncientU

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1601 on: 12/05/2017 11:08 PM »
I don't see how the Battlestar discussion changes the EELV landscape much.  If large numbers of smaller satellites must be launched, it would be most effective to launch them in multi-satellite bunches using big rockets.  If anything, the EELV Heavy class will be busier launching constellations of smallsats rather than only the occasional largesat.

 - Ed Kyle

I believe that the launch industry will in fact be much busier.  But small sats are inexpensive and can tolerate risk much more than the billion dollar sats.  Launch cost will become the sole selection factor, or maybe one of two... when can we launch being the second.  Notice that Ariane 5 received zero of the OneWeb launches -- 21 for Soyuz, 5 for New Glenn (400 sats), and 39 for Launcher One (?).
« Last Edit: 12/05/2017 11:11 PM by AncientU »
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Offline Darkseraph

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1602 on: 12/06/2017 07:52 PM »
I don't see how the Battlestar discussion changes the EELV landscape much.  If large numbers of smaller satellites must be launched, it would be most effective to launch them in multi-satellite bunches using big rockets.  If anything, the EELV Heavy class will be busier launching constellations of smallsats rather than only the occasional largesat.

 - Ed Kyle

I believe that the launch industry will in fact be much busier.  But small sats are inexpensive and can tolerate risk much more than the billion dollar sats.  Launch cost will become the sole selection factor, or maybe one of two... when can we launch being the second.  Notice that Ariane 5 received zero of the OneWeb launches -- 21 for Soyuz, 5 for New Glenn (400 sats), and 39 for Launcher One (?).
Ariane 5 is going into retirement but Ariane 6 has an option to deliver OneWeb sats.

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.
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Online AncientU

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1603 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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Offline 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 #1605 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 edkyle99

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1606 on: 12/07/2017 02:51 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?
If that is what the Pentagon wants, of course ULA will respond, as will other launch providers.  But won't the satellites be more or less identical if they are forming constellations?

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Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1607 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.

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1608 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 edkyle99

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1609 on: 12/07/2017 04:51 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

Online AncientU

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1610 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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Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1611 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 #1612 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 »

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1613 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)

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1614 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.

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1615 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 #1616 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.  :(
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1617 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.

"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1618 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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Re: ULA Vulcan Launch Vehicle - General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1619 on: 12/07/2017 06:47 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.

Aperture synthesis with electronic scanning has the gain, bandwidth, localization, and other capabilities to be aggregated differentially with multiple altitude ranged sats with overlap to provide better quality sigint product, with a fraction of the latency to ground, at less cost.

It also improves with Moore's law, where the GEO doesn't, and can't scale. Also durable to other kinds of attack. And has new advantages too.

edit:
Damn you autocorrect feature!
« Last Edit: 12/07/2017 06:48 PM by Space Ghost 1962 »

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