Author Topic: DARPA ALASA  (Read 27614 times)

Online Kryten

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Re: DARPA ALASA
« Reply #40 on: 10/07/2015 08:58 PM »
Quote
Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust  3m3 minutes ago
[DARPA's Pam] Melroy: doing static ground tests of ALASA’s mixed monopropellant now. First launch? “more to tell” in the spring. #ispcs

Offline arachnitect

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Re: DARPA ALASA
« Reply #41 on: 11/30/2015 01:38 PM »
Air launch plans shelved due to safety concerns:

http://spacenews.com/darpa-airborne-launcher-effort-falters/

Quote
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has scrapped plans to launch small satellites from a modified F-15 fighter jet after two tests of a new rocket fuel ended in explosions this year.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: DARPA ALASA
« Reply #42 on: 11/30/2015 03:10 PM »
Has any thought been given to using a drone rather than a manned aircraft, for these launches?  They fly F-4s and F-16s converted to QF-4s and QF-16s as aerial targets at Tyndall.  These can apparently either auto-land or be controlled by a remote pilot for landing if needed.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 11/30/2015 03:14 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Skyrocket

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Re: DARPA ALASA
« Reply #43 on: 11/30/2015 03:14 PM »
Has any thought been given to using a drone rather than a manned aircraft, for these launches?  They fly F-4s converted to QF-4s as aerial targets at Tyndall.  These can apparently either auto-land or be controlled by a remote pilot for landing if needed.

 - Ed Kyle

I guess, this might be an option for the future - but one of the basic ideas for ALASA was to use an unmodified carrier plane for highest possible flexibility.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: DARPA ALASA
« Reply #44 on: 11/30/2015 04:58 PM »
At least XS1 is still alive and kicking for now.

Offline Skyrocket

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Re: DARPA ALASA
« Reply #45 on: 11/30/2015 05:07 PM »
BTW: here is a patent application: NITROUS OXIDE FUEL BLEND MONOPROPELLANTS

http://www.faqs.org/patents/app/20090133788

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: DARPA ALASA
« Reply #46 on: 11/30/2015 05:22 PM »
Has any thought been given to using a drone rather than a manned aircraft, for these launches?  They fly F-4s converted to QF-4s as aerial targets at Tyndall.  These can apparently either auto-land or be controlled by a remote pilot for landing if needed.

 - Ed Kyle

I thought the last QF-4's where retired this year, leaving only the smaller QF-16's.

http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/military/2015/05/30/qf4-targeting-drone-last-flight/28015077/
« Last Edit: 11/30/2015 05:24 PM by kevin-rf »
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Offline savuporo

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Re: DARPA ALASA
« Reply #47 on: 11/30/2015 05:41 PM »
How does that affect SALVO which was supposed to be a sort of pathfinder ?

http://spacenews.com/40769darpa-developing-operational-pathfinder-for-alasa-air-launch-system/
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Offline sunbingfa

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Re: DARPA ALASA
« Reply #48 on: 11/30/2015 06:08 PM »
Bummer. I'm really looking forward to this project because it's quite different from things going on anywhere else and it's potentially revolutionary to commercial and military small satellite launch. Just ~2weeks ago there are reports saying ALASA is still on track, but now the news is that the failure occurred early this year. Hoping for more updated information released, although I know it's probably not easy for DARPA

Offline dror

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Re: DARPA ALASA
« Reply #49 on: 11/30/2015 07:33 PM »
Air launch plans shelved due to safety concerns:

http://spacenews.com/darpa-airborne-launcher-effort-falters/

Quote
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has scrapped plans to launch small satellites from a modified F-15 fighter jet after two tests of a new rocket fuel ended in explosions this year.

It also says:
Quote
As a result, DARPA has abandoned plans, described in the agency’s 2016 budget request, to conduct as many as a dozen ALASA test flights during the upcoming year.
-They have canceled plans for testing in 2016. Naturally.
And
Quote
Boeing, subcontractor Orbital ATK of Dulles, Virginia, and DARPA nonetheless plan to continue developing the technology. A third propellant test is imminent.
-They continue to develop and test the propelant.

So I'm confused.  Is it canceled?
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Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: DARPA ALASA
« Reply #50 on: 11/30/2015 07:50 PM »
Has any thought been given to using a drone rather than a manned aircraft, for these launches?  They fly F-4s and F-16s converted to QF-4s and QF-16s as aerial targets at Tyndall.  These can apparently either auto-land or be controlled by a remote pilot for landing if needed.

 - Ed Kyle

As posted up thread. The QF4 are retire.

The QF-16 is not capable of carrying the ALASA stack.

Maybe they can modified a few mothballed F-15s into QF-15 launcher drones.

Offline a_langwich

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Re: DARPA ALASA
« Reply #51 on: 11/30/2015 08:02 PM »
So I'm confused.  Is it canceled?

Not yet.  Just the flight tests have been put on hold.  The contractors will have to show a little more safety before flight tests can start. 

Offline Comga

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Re: DARPA ALASA
« Reply #52 on: 11/30/2015 08:03 PM »
BTW: here is a patent application: NITROUS OXIDE FUEL BLEND MONOPROPELLANTS

http://www.faqs.org/patents/app/20090133788

Is this the group that developed NOFBx, which became In-Space Propulsion (ISP) ?
NOFBx was de-manifested from the Dragon external cargo run to the ISS after their own energetic happenings.
Is there a link to a discussion of the monopropellant fuel for ALSA?
Can we conclude that a monopropellant system is necessary for ALSA to adequately reduce cost and complexity?
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline a_langwich

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Re: DARPA ALASA
« Reply #53 on: 11/30/2015 08:15 PM »
Can we conclude that a monopropellant system is necessary for ALSA to adequately reduce cost and complexity?

I don't think so.  DARPA doesn't do many projects where we know enough to conclude a particular approach must be used; instead we don't know ANY approach that works, and particular teams take a shot at the problem with a high failure rate. 

I think monoprop was just a choice by this team.  That choice was probably driven by looking at how energetic this propellant was, then seeing it might work as a mono, and looking at the cost and complexity reductions that resulted.  But now, looking at propellant stability, it might make more sense to separate the energetics.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: DARPA ALASA
« Reply #54 on: 11/30/2015 10:35 PM »
Has any thought been given to using a drone rather than a manned aircraft, for these launches?  They fly F-4s converted to QF-4s as aerial targets at Tyndall.  These can apparently either auto-land or be controlled by a remote pilot for landing if needed.

 - Ed Kyle

I thought the last QF-4's where retired this year, leaving only the smaller QF-16's.

http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/military/2015/05/30/qf4-targeting-drone-last-flight/28015077/
QF-4s are still flying at Holloman AFB.  https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-qf-4s-set-for-2017-out-of-service-date-418868/

The drone control systems are installed by BAE Systems in Mojave, so it seems likely that F-15 could be so equipped if funding were provided.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 11/30/2015 10:37 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: DARPA ALASA
« Reply #55 on: 11/30/2015 11:27 PM »
Has any thought been given to using a drone rather than a manned aircraft, for these launches?  They fly F-4s converted to QF-4s as aerial targets at Tyndall.  These can apparently either auto-land or be controlled by a remote pilot for landing if needed.

 - Ed Kyle

I thought the last QF-4's where retired this year, leaving only the smaller QF-16's.

http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/military/2015/05/30/qf4-targeting-drone-last-flight/28015077/
QF-4s are still flying at Holloman AFB.  https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-qf-4s-set-for-2017-out-of-service-date-418868/

...

 - Ed Kyle

It is not clear if the QF-4s at Holloman AFB are in the USAF inventory. They could be counted as contractor operated hardware. In any casr there is not much point in modifying and upgrading them for a new role.


Offline jcm

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Re: DARPA ALASA
« Reply #56 on: 12/01/2015 04:42 AM »
How does that affect SALVO which was supposed to be a sort of pathfinder ?

http://spacenews.com/40769darpa-developing-operational-pathfinder-for-alasa-air-launch-system/

I am wondering the same thing. Anyone have an update on SALVO?
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