Author Topic: Ursa Major Technologies  (Read 8710 times)

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #20 on: 10/16/2016 06:31 AM »
The main engine of a spacecraft may be a large engine but its RCS can be medium sized. Using the same propellant can simplify the design of the vehicle.

Start up are short of money and have a small time to market. An off the shelf engine reduces both.

You typically don't see staged combustion thrusters for RCS.  There is a reason for this-they take too long to startup and shutdown.  In order to get RCS-type speeds you can't really have turbomachinery.  Imagine if your steering wheel took 1 second to turn on and then another to turn off when you were driving.  You would crash.

The same applies for escape motors.  Hence why superdraco is pressure-fed.  Also, pressure-fed hypergolic is about the easiest possible engine to develop.

So do not use stage combustion on (smaller) engines aimed at the RCS market.

Offline Davidthefat

Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #21 on: 02/15/2017 02:30 AM »
Seems they did some tests with their engine. Look like the pump assembly is mounted directly on top of the thrust chamber. Ox rich turbine exhaust goes straight to the thrust assembly looks like.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQgeqdfh000/?taken-by=ursamajortechnologies
« Last Edit: 02/15/2017 10:43 PM by Davidthefat »

Offline jongoff

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #22 on: 02/15/2017 02:42 AM »
Seems they did some tests with their engine. Look like the pump assembly is mounted directly on top of the thrust chamber. Fuel rich turbine exhaust goes straight to the thrust assembly looks like.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQgeqdfh000/?taken-by=ursamajortechnologies

Oh very cool. I knew they were getting close, but wasn't sure when they'd start into real testing.

~Jon
« Last Edit: 02/15/2017 02:43 AM by jongoff »

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #23 on: 02/15/2017 06:32 AM »
The photo in the link.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline savuporo

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #24 on: 04/03/2017 02:43 AM »
More fire

https://www.instagram.com/p/BSUTaznh7Y2/

Moar color:
Quote
vonbraunnabe: Is this a hot fire of the full engine?! Or just the preburner?
ursamajortechnologies: Full engine
« Last Edit: 04/03/2017 02:43 AM by savuporo »
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Offline ringsider

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #25 on: 04/03/2017 09:50 AM »
More fire

https://www.instagram.com/p/BSUTaznh7Y2/

Moar color:
Quote
vonbraunnabe: Is this a hot fire of the full engine?! Or just the preburner?
ursamajortechnologies: Full engine
Is it just me or is that an unhealthy  shape for a rocket expansion?

Offline Davidthefat

Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #26 on: 04/03/2017 04:38 PM »
More fire

https://www.instagram.com/p/BSUTaznh7Y2/

Moar color:
Quote
vonbraunnabe: Is this a hot fire of the full engine?! Or just the preburner?
ursamajortechnologies: Full engine
Is it just me or is that an unhealthy  shape for a rocket expansion?

Looks like a big burp test.

Offline Davidthefat

Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #27 on: 05/17/2017 07:09 AM »

Offline ringsider

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #28 on: 05/17/2017 07:24 AM »

Offline baldusi

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #29 on: 05/17/2017 01:36 PM »
And looks like a proper hot fire:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BUK8tdql7TK/?taken-by=ursamajortechnologies
It does looks like a proper hot fire. Congratulations!

Offline jongoff

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #30 on: 05/17/2017 02:58 PM »
I need to see if I can arrange a site visit now that they're into hot-fire testing.

I'm really excited to see them put this engine through its paces. When it's done, it really should be one of the highest-performance smallsat launcher engines in the world. Being ORSC, it should get much better Isp than a gas generator engine (like what Virgin is doing), while at the same time providing much higher system T/W than the electropumps that Ventions and Rocketlabs are doing. And with a primarily 3d printed design, I could see them being cost competitive with both.

It's still several steps between "first mach diamonds" to "demonstrated better performance and cost than their competitors", let alone "convincing RocketLabs and/or Virgin to outsource their engine needs instead of building their own engines in-house". But this is still really cool news.

~Jon

Offline Nomic

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #31 on: 05/18/2017 01:05 PM »
Great to see them progressing.

The choice of ORSC is interesting, at low turbine inlet temperatures can still get good chamber pressures (1000+ psi) compared to gas generators, but with a penalty of increased weight and complexity. This also leaves a large margin for improvements down the line. Mounting the turbopumps directly on the MCC and 3D printing should help the weight.

Not sure what application this is aimed at. The 5klb engine seems like a learner engine, though it could make an interesting in space motor, particularly if its capable of restarts. 35klb at the small sat launcher market, but for a booster stage does the extra weight compared to a gas generator make sense?

Offline Katana

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #32 on: 05/18/2017 05:52 PM »
Great to see them progressing.

The choice of ORSC is interesting, at low turbine inlet temperatures can still get good chamber pressures (1000+ psi) compared to gas generators, but with a penalty of increased weight and complexity. This also leaves a large margin for improvements down the line. Mounting the turbopumps directly on the MCC and 3D printing should help the weight.

Not sure what application this is aimed at. The 5klb engine seems like a learner engine, though it could make an interesting in space motor, particularly if its capable of restarts. 35klb at the small sat launcher market, but for a booster stage does the extra weight compared to a gas generator make sense?

Maybe 3D printed parts could not withstand high turbine tip speed or temperature of a good gas generator engine. This depends on the price of the printer.

Other possibility: to use RC model turbojet turbine with low pressure ratio, easier than printed  one. 3D printer manufacturers are still advising with "printed turbine" demos, maybe too early to be practical.

NK-33 is also designed by Kuznetsov Design Bureau with mostly turbojet experience.
« Last Edit: 05/18/2017 06:01 PM by Katana »

Offline savuporo

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #33 on: 07/15/2017 07:05 PM »
We got some flamey video

https://www.instagram.com/p/BWYrUQ1lc87/

Quote
Test fire video of our Hadley engine. America's first Oxidizer Rich Staged Combustion (ORSC) rocket engine. Fully designed and built in #Colorado #USA. Turbopump included.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline savuporo

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #34 on: 07/15/2017 07:07 PM »
Also, interview with CEO and founder Joe Laurienti

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Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #35 on: 07/16/2017 05:33 AM »
We got some flamey video

https://www.instagram.com/p/BWYrUQ1lc87/

Here's that video. Thrust is 5 klbf (22 kN).
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #36 on: 07/25/2017 07:45 PM »
That was what, 15-20yrs ago now? Has anyone revisited his assessment based on modern manufacturing, materials, and CAE capabilities?
i think the issues are that below that size turbines have very tight tolerance. Some phenomena scale down very badly. A blade that was 100x the boundary is suddenly 5x the boundary layer thickness. Surface finishes have to be much better, seal clearances. Basically the combustion chemistry and flow properties have not changed.

What has changed is the wider availability of small size, high accuracy CNC to make such components. My instinct is this is not an area where 3D printing scores, as it needs a lot of post processing to get the surface finish and grain quality, as smaller parts are going to spin a lot faster. This is (potentially) offset by a better ability to make the blades lighter (more like a honecomb)   

Personally I'd like to see someone go with an engine made using photo etched foils diffusion bonded together. Aerojet make a big play of this for combustion chambers and injectors, but I think it could be taken a lot further. A few ideas occurred to me that I've not seen implemented         

Quote from: jongoff
2- They're then planning to do a ~35klbf LOX/Kero or LOX/Methane engine, also leveraging 3D printing and staged combustion.

Ursa's pretty clear that their 35klbf LOX/HC concept is focused on addressing what they think the microsat launch market is looking for in a first stage booster engine, not trying to compete with XCOR/AJR/Blue for the ACES upper stage engine contract. And ULA is not going to switch from LOX/LH2 for ACES. Full-stop.

But, that doesn't mean Ursa couldn't subsequently adapt this to LOX/LH2 and add a nozzle extension for upper-stage operations. The Ursa team does have the LOX/LH2 experience to do so from their BE-3 days, but it would depend on them identifying a clear and believable market opportunity. That's just not something that I think is on their radar currently.
Fair point.  35Klb does sound like a nice granular size for a first stage microsat booster engine.  One think I note though is that any SC engine that does not have 2 turbines, one Ox rich, one fuel rich will always have a critical seal between the between the preburner and one or the other propellant pumps.  Only a twin, ox and fuel rich SC engine can eliminate that failure mode, and the necessary sealing and purge complexity to eliminate the risk of it happening.

 It seemed odd to me that if you're going to go the SC route why wouldn't you go all in? Get the good T/W and Isp of the SC cycle and simplify the engine design.
"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 HMXHMX

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #37 on: 07/26/2017 04:49 AM »
That was what, 15-20yrs ago now? Has anyone revisited his assessment based on modern manufacturing, materials, and CAE capabilities?
i think the issues are that below that size turbines have very tight tolerance. Some phenomena scale down very badly. A blade that was 100x the boundary is suddenly 5x the boundary layer thickness. Surface finishes have to be much better, seal clearances. Basically the combustion chemistry and flow properties have not changed.

What has changed is the wider availability of small size, high accuracy CNC to make such components. My instinct is this is not an area where 3D printing scores, as it needs a lot of post processing to get the surface finish and grain quality, as smaller parts are going to spin a lot faster. This is (potentially) offset by a better ability to make the blades lighter (more like a honecomb)   

Personally I'd like to see someone go with an engine made using photo etched foils diffusion bonded together. Aerojet make a big play of this for combustion chambers and injectors, but I think it could be taken a lot further. A few ideas occurred to me that I've not seen implemented         

Quote from: jongoff
2- They're then planning to do a ~35klbf LOX/Kero or LOX/Methane engine, also leveraging 3D printing and staged combustion.

Ursa's pretty clear that their 35klbf LOX/HC concept is focused on addressing what they think the microsat launch market is looking for in a first stage booster engine, not trying to compete with XCOR/AJR/Blue for the ACES upper stage engine contract. And ULA is not going to switch from LOX/LH2 for ACES. Full-stop.

But, that doesn't mean Ursa couldn't subsequently adapt this to LOX/LH2 and add a nozzle extension for upper-stage operations. The Ursa team does have the LOX/LH2 experience to do so from their BE-3 days, but it would depend on them identifying a clear and believable market opportunity. That's just not something that I think is on their radar currently.
Fair point.  35Klb does sound like a nice granular size for a first stage microsat booster engine.  One think I note though is that any SC engine that does not have 2 turbines, one Ox rich, one fuel rich will always have a critical seal between the between the preburner and one or the other propellant pumps.  Only a twin, ox and fuel rich SC engine can eliminate that failure mode, and the necessary sealing and purge complexity to eliminate the risk of it happening.

 It seemed odd to me that if you're going to go the SC route why wouldn't you go all in? Get the good T/W and Isp of the SC cycle and simplify the engine design.

Diffusion bonded small scale turbomachinery?  You mean like this:

Offline Katana

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #38 on: 07/26/2017 12:00 PM »
That was what, 15-20yrs ago now? Has anyone revisited his assessment based on modern manufacturing, materials, and CAE capabilities?
i think the issues are that below that size turbines have very tight tolerance. Some phenomena scale down very badly. A blade that was 100x the boundary is suddenly 5x the boundary layer thickness. Surface finishes have to be much better, seal clearances. Basically the combustion chemistry and flow properties have not changed.

What has changed is the wider availability of small size, high accuracy CNC to make such components. My instinct is this is not an area where 3D printing scores, as it needs a lot of post processing to get the surface finish and grain quality, as smaller parts are going to spin a lot faster. This is (potentially) offset by a better ability to make the blades lighter (more like a honecomb)   

Personally I'd like to see someone go with an engine made using photo etched foils diffusion bonded together. Aerojet make a big play of this for combustion chambers and injectors, but I think it could be taken a lot further. A few ideas occurred to me that I've not seen implemented         

Quote from: jongoff
2- They're then planning to do a ~35klbf LOX/Kero or LOX/Methane engine, also leveraging 3D printing and staged combustion.

Ursa's pretty clear that their 35klbf LOX/HC concept is focused on addressing what they think the microsat launch market is looking for in a first stage booster engine, not trying to compete with XCOR/AJR/Blue for the ACES upper stage engine contract. And ULA is not going to switch from LOX/LH2 for ACES. Full-stop.

But, that doesn't mean Ursa couldn't subsequently adapt this to LOX/LH2 and add a nozzle extension for upper-stage operations. The Ursa team does have the LOX/LH2 experience to do so from their BE-3 days, but it would depend on them identifying a clear and believable market opportunity. That's just not something that I think is on their radar currently.
Fair point.  35Klb does sound like a nice granular size for a first stage microsat booster engine.  One think I note though is that any SC engine that does not have 2 turbines, one Ox rich, one fuel rich will always have a critical seal between the between the preburner and one or the other propellant pumps.  Only a twin, ox and fuel rich SC engine can eliminate that failure mode, and the necessary sealing and purge complexity to eliminate the risk of it happening.

 It seemed odd to me that if you're going to go the SC route why wouldn't you go all in? Get the good T/W and Isp of the SC cycle and simplify the engine design.

SLA resin 3D printing + investment casting could produce smooth surface.
And the problem of surface friction drag scaling happens mainly in cold end pump parts (which have relatively low strength requirements), not in hot end turbine parts.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #39 on: 07/26/2017 01:12 PM »

Diffusion bonded small scale turbomachinery?  You mean like this:
I really had thought this subject had been so done to death by various NASA studies, and the original Aerojet patents, there was very little IP left that hadn't been patented, or had been but was long out of patent.

Incidentally A similar process was patented by IIRC Raytheon in WWII to mfg cavity magnetrons, although they brazed the sheets, rather than DB.

What they seem to be talking about is the idea of constructing blade shapes from a standard section pattern but each additional foil(s) are rotated slightly as you go up the stack. I first saw this down as a promotion device, with one of those big square section postit note stacks. It fascinated me. Obviously I was not alone.

Of course there are a few obvious improvements that could be made.  I'll leave them to work those out.

SLA resin 3D printing + investment casting could produce smooth surface.
And the problem of surface friction drag scaling happens mainly in cold end pump parts (which have relatively low strength requirements), not in hot end turbine parts.
Probably, as could lost foam machining and investment casting. I'll admit 3D printing can be very useful, and used cleverly it can make "impossible" objects, but at the end of the day it's just another mfg method people should be aware of and use if they think it's appropriate IE that it has a high probability it can deliver a part in spec at an affordable price. 

I'm aware people have run air bearings up to 250 K RPM and higher with silicon micromachined parts but the problems start when you need to generate the drive flow within the system itself. Driving it from a mains powered compressor is easy, from a system made from a series of stacked wafers, not so much.
"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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