Author Topic: Nike-X Sprint Missile model  (Read 2111 times)

Offline sghill

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Nike-X Sprint Missile model
« on: 02/01/2015 12:06 AM »
My grandfather is a steely-eyed missile man. He was an engineer at Bell Labs. He helped design the computers, navigation technology, and hand-off technology on the nuclear-tipped Nike X-Sprint ABM missile project. http://missilethreat.com/defense-systems/nike-x/

The hand-off technology he helped develop was directly applied to the prototype cellular system Bell Labs (later AT&T) deployed in Manhattan which became the first operational cellular network. Granddad still has one of the prototype phones- which worked right up until the 700 mhz system was turned off!

These two engineering models from the 1960's were given to him at the end of his involvement in the Nike-X-Sprint program.  They are each about 15 inches (40cm) tall.

If anyone wants to build a model let me know, and I can send you better pics.



"The missile was sealed in a climate controlled silo prior to launch. The silo cover was explosively fragmented with shaped charge explosives in the instant prior to launch. The missile was ejected from the silo with a gas generator driven piston before the first stage was ignited. One second after first stage ignition, the missile's nose was red hot from aerodynamic friction. The first stage disintegrated from aerodynamic forces as soon as it was explosively separated from the second stage.

The second stage was entirely covered by an ablative heat shield that due to aerodynamic friction became hotter than the interior of its rocket motor and glowed incandescently in daylight.

Specifications:

Height: 27 ft
Max diameter: 4.5 ft
Weight: 7,600 lb
First stage: 650,000 lb thrust for 1.8 sec.
Second stage: 150,000 lb thrust for 2 sec.
Acceleration: 1st stage - 130 G, 2nd stage - 90 G, Maneuvers - 60 G
Max velocity: 10,200 ft/s
Warhead: W66 thermonuclear warhead (a low kiloton range neutron bomb)"
« Last Edit: 02/02/2015 03:28 PM by sghill »
Bring the thunder Elon!

Offline tea monster

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Re: Nike-X Sprint Missile model
« Reply #1 on: 02/01/2015 02:07 PM »
That 's really cool. Thank 's for sharing that.

Offline speedevil

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Re: Nike-X Sprint Missile model
« Reply #2 on: 12/31/2017 03:58 AM »
Somewhat better quality videos.

original version at somewhat lower quality.

From the longer AT+T video (also at lower quality)

A simply amazing vehicle.

Offline tyrred

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Re: Nike-X Sprint Missile model
« Reply #3 on: 12/31/2017 04:10 AM »
What was the maximum effective range? Sprint was a terminal phase ABM, no?

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Nike-X Sprint Missile model
« Reply #4 on: 12/31/2017 09:32 AM »

A simply amazing vehicle.
Both of them were. Safeguard was designed to hit an ICBM at ICBM ranges. Sprint was for terminal defense.

There's a certain amount of information about the system on the old sci.space.* newsgroups.

Sprint broke Mach 1 about 100 feet into the air. It used "double base" propellants IE Nitroglycerine/Nitrocellulose which were apparently cast in layers. During the casting some kind of robot arm sprinkled "caltraps" of Aluminum or Magnesium through the mix to improve the regression rate. I have a memory of 50 inches a second, but not sure if that was it or if that was the target for the next-generation motor development programme. AIUI that's considered pretty aggressive by normal SRB burn rate standards.

Building a guidance system into Sprint was just too tough. Instead the MSR radar beam was modulated with steering commands when it painted the Sprint vehicle. Sprint moved so fast in such dense atmosphere it had an ionization sheath that normally mean it was in a radio blackout, but the MSR output power was in the MW range, and literally punched through the sheath. that would probably make it the worlds biggest (and most lethal) RC model.  :)

I'm not sure if the 2 stages were actually physically separate, or shared a single shell, but the separation was done by a linear shaped charged around the perimeter between them after first stage burnout, around 1.8 secs after launch.

My memory (from when I looked this stuff up) was that the computer system hardware was from Univac. It was designed to be single point failure tolerant, including pulling out individual cables at random. Mostly programmed in the relevant assembler, but there were trials to test structured programming techniques, rather than endless jump statements (the low level equivalent of GOTOs).  Note the total processing power of the 7 processor server farm was 20 MIPS. BTW the software architecture (like that of IBM mainframes) was designed to be single point failure resistant to errors in the program code itself.

This may have included techniques developed by Bell Labs during the development of their first generation computer controlled telephone exchanges, ESS1, the hardware architecture of which seems to have been designed to survive WW III (that is not a figure of speech). I think the OS and apps had various watchdog timers which would kill a rogue process in the system if it stop responding. 

The ESS design built redundancy into its management data structures so processes could periodically scan them for discrepancies. If they were found the data structures could be repaired and the memory tied up by the faulty segments released for reuse, eliminating memory leaks. In a system with perfect software there will never be any discrepancies and no repairs are ever made.  IRL that was very far from true, but by spotting the problems before they managed to propagate it was possible to implement continuous process improvement and lower error rates over time.

Yes children, software that is not bug free but does not fail is not a utopian fantasy. But it is not cheap.  :(

The warhead was an Enhanced Radiation, Reduced Blast design, also called a Neutron bomb (although that term doesn't seem to have been been popular before the 80's). AFAIK all warheads by then were compression designs, rather than gun types. With the electronics destroyed the precise explosive detonation sequence needed to trigger a full nuclear reaction would not work and (in principle) they would fail safe, a lump of fissile material wrapped in an (hopefully) inert explosive coat. Worst case the explosive would go off in an uncoordinated way and you'd have a "dirty bomb," in the modern terrorist sense of the term. Nasty but nowhere the danger of a full nuclear explosion at near ground level.
« Last Edit: 12/31/2017 09:38 AM by john smith 19 »
"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.
So you're going to Mars to seek a better life. What does that mean to you? Always spot a fanbois by how they react to their idols failures.

Offline rocketguy101

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Re: Nike-X Sprint Missile model
« Reply #5 on: 12/31/2017 03:58 PM »
Someone sent me this drawing, which sounds like the model you have pictured (14.5 inches tall).  They also sent the cutaway diagram.
David

Offline rocketguy101

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Re: Nike-X Sprint Missile model
« Reply #6 on: 12/31/2017 04:14 PM »
Here are some pictures I took of the display at the Ft. Sill Artillery Museum.  The first includes my son for scale :)

There is an interesting reinforcement band on the lower stage.
David

Offline rocketguy101

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Re: Nike-X Sprint Missile model
« Reply #7 on: 12/31/2017 04:16 PM »
Here are some more details on the nose and air vane
David

Offline rocketguy101

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Re: Nike-X Sprint Missile model
« Reply #8 on: 12/31/2017 04:17 PM »
yet more details on the air vane and mounting pad..
David

Offline Electric Paint

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Re: Nike-X Sprint Missile model
« Reply #9 on: 12/31/2017 04:24 PM »
Magnificent vehicles! These performance specs are cartoonishly mad!

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Nike-X Sprint Missile model
« Reply #10 on: 12/31/2017 05:34 PM »
Here are some pictures I took of the display at the Ft. Sill Artillery Museum.  The first includes my son for scale :)

There is an interesting reinforcement band on the lower stage.
I think your 2nd picture shows the separation line between the 2 stages, which looks quite continuous, hence the need for a linear shaped charge.

The earlier video indicated the rear edges of the fins had gas jets coming out of them for maneuvering in space but obviously they've been blocked.
"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.
So you're going to Mars to seek a better life. What does that mean to you? Always spot a fanbois by how they react to their idols failures.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Nike-X Sprint Missile model
« Reply #11 on: 12/31/2017 05:37 PM »
Magnificent vehicles! These performance specs are cartoonishly mad!
That's what you need if you want engage an object coming at you at around Mach 15-20.

Even the modern GPS guided artillery shells, fired by warships can't match the top speed (although their acceleration is in the 1000s, not 10s of g's).
"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.
So you're going to Mars to seek a better life. What does that mean to you? Always spot a fanbois by how they react to their idols failures.

Offline rocketguy101

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Re: Nike-X Sprint Missile model
« Reply #12 on: 12/31/2017 06:33 PM »

I think your 2nd picture shows the separation line between the 2 stages, which looks quite continuous, hence the need for a linear shaped charge.

The earlier video indicated the rear edges of the fins had gas jets coming out of them for maneuvering in space but obviously they've been blocked.
According to the cross section diagram I posted, the stage separation line is higher up, just below the fins...here are pics of that area...as you can see, the display model is in pretty bad shape.

Yeah, I am not sure these were operational fins.
David

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Nike-X Sprint Missile model
« Reply #13 on: 01/03/2018 03:55 PM »

I think your 2nd picture shows the separation line between the 2 stages, which looks quite continuous, hence the need for a linear shaped charge.

The earlier video indicated the rear edges of the fins had gas jets coming out of them for maneuvering in space but obviously they've been blocked.
According to the cross section diagram I posted, the stage separation line is higher up, just below the fins...here are pics of that area...as you can see, the display model is in pretty bad shape.

Yeah, I am not sure these were operational fins.
That clears up my  puzzle. They were 2 separate stages riveted together, rather than a continuous casing.

Bearing in mind this is an outdoor site and it's over 40 years old it looks in reasonable shape.

Still a unique missile. I'm not sure the Russians actually had an equivalent to it. That also would be a very impressive feat of engineering.
"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.
So you're going to Mars to seek a better life. What does that mean to you? Always spot a fanbois by how they react to their idols failures.

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