Author Topic: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine  (Read 222838 times)

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #520 on: 01/09/2018 03:51 AM »

Quote from: Chris Bergin in said short article

Interestingly, L2 information notes Blue Origin’s BE-3E engine is making progress in a trade study being conducted at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) for use on the Space Launch System’s Exploration Upper Stage (EUS).

Marking the tests, and throwing in just the slightest bit of eyebrow-raising and tree-shaking I see ;)

Yes, what is the BE-3E. Previously we only heard about the BE-3U being worked on.

They are the same engine. (or it is a very close cousin, like the RL-10 variants)
« Last Edit: 01/09/2018 05:18 AM by Lars-J »

Online J-V

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #521 on: 01/09/2018 06:11 AM »
Can anyone estimate from the mach diamonds in the new video what is the throttle range used in the test? I mean we don't know if the maximum used is 100% (probably not), but is the highest thrust e.g. 2x the minimum thrust used during the test?

Offline Boost

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #522 on: 01/09/2018 11:09 PM »
All real booster engines are overexpanded at sea level, many have the exit pressure at about 0.6 atm. This improves overall performance during flight.
Was it even the case for the Shuttle SRB ? They seem slightly underexpanded since liftoff.

Offline Chasm

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #523 on: 01/10/2018 05:03 AM »
YT version of the BE-4 test video


Offline Chasm

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #524 on: 01/10/2018 05:09 AM »
Yes, what is the BE-3E. Previously we only heard about the BE-3U being worked on.

They are the same engine. (or it is a very close cousin, like the RL-10 variants)

Perhaps fixed vs extensible nozzle.
Looking at the Orbital ATK articles again the contract was "for development of [...], and an extendable nozzle for Blue Origin's BE-3U/EN upper stage engine."

Offline Nilof

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #525 on: 01/10/2018 11:59 PM »
Maybe E for expendable, just like the upper stage it will be used on? Which would imply that Blue would be considering reuse for their own upper stage.
« Last Edit: 01/11/2018 12:00 AM by Nilof »
For a variable Isp spacecraft running at constant power and constant acceleration, the mass ratio is linear in delta-v.   Δv = ve0(MR-1). Or equivalently: Δv = vef PMF. Also, this is energy-optimal for a fixed delta-v and mass ratio.

Offline silverthorne

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #526 on: 01/22/2018 04:46 PM »
Sorry if I missed this in the discussion earlier...

Anyone know what the BE-4 nominal mixture ratio s supposed to be, compared to the Aerojet AR-1 (2.2?)?

Wouldn't that have a definite impact on tank sizing?  If so, how can ULA be designing it's Vulcan booster stage, tanks and all, if it hasn't committed 100% to one engine?

Offline woods170

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #527 on: 01/22/2018 04:50 PM »
Sorry if I missed this in the discussion earlier...

Anyone know what the BE-4 nominal mixture ratio s supposed to be, compared to the Aerojet AR-1 (2.2?)?

Wouldn't that have a definite impact on tank sizing?  If so, how can ULA be designing it's Vulcan booster stage, tanks and all, if it hasn't committed 100% to one engine?

Easy. Double design, double CDR.

Offline silverthorne

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #528 on: 01/22/2018 04:55 PM »
From what I understand from friends I have at ULA, they are working towards a single CDR.

Offline Ictogan

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #529 on: 01/22/2018 04:58 PM »
Sorry if I missed this in the discussion earlier...

Anyone know what the BE-4 nominal mixture ratio s supposed to be, compared to the Aerojet AR-1 (2.2?)?

Wouldn't that have a definite impact on tank sizing?  If so, how can ULA be designing it's Vulcan booster stage, tanks and all, if it hasn't committed 100% to one engine?
Comparing mixture ratio is not really useful as they are using entirely different fuels, but that is already making designing Vulcan to be able to accept both engines impossible. Note that the diameter of Vulcan will also be different depending on which engine it ends up with(source).

My guess is that they have already decided on BE-4 internally, but want to keep the possibility of switching to the AR-1 just in case testing the engine to flight performance doesn't work out.
« Last Edit: 01/22/2018 04:59 PM by Ictogan »

Offline mme

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #530 on: 01/22/2018 05:15 PM »
...
Wouldn't that have a definite impact on tank sizing?  If so, how can ULA be designing it's Vulcan booster stage, tanks and all, if it hasn't committed 100% to one engine?

Easy. Double design, double CDR.
Which is why I'm confused that ULA doesn't seem to be in a rush to down select.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Online envy887

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #531 on: 01/22/2018 05:24 PM »
...
Wouldn't that have a definite impact on tank sizing?  If so, how can ULA be designing it's Vulcan booster stage, tanks and all, if it hasn't committed 100% to one engine?

Easy. Double design, double CDR.
Which is why I'm confused that ULA doesn't seem to be in a rush to down select.

Who says they haven't downselected? They don't have to announce it right away.

Offline mme

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #532 on: 01/22/2018 05:42 PM »
...
Which is why I'm confused that ULA doesn't seem to be in a rush to down select.

Who says they haven't downselected? They don't have to announce it right away.
True, I'm basing it on a recent tweet by Jeff Foust and an article from November.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/954065403449364486
Quote
Jeff Foust‏
@jeff_foust

Tshudy: no downselect yet on Vulcan engine, but anticipate it “this year.”

10:58 AM - 18 Jan 2018

ULA feels no schedule pressure to select Vulcan engine[/ula]
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Offline Electric Paint

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #533 on: 01/22/2018 07:39 PM »
Maybe E for expendable, just like the upper stage it will be used on? Which would imply that Blue would be considering reuse for their own upper stage.
Or it may stand for "Exploration" as it is being considered for the Exploration Upper Stage. That may involve design specifications to accommodate longer loiter times than the BE-3U is designed for. I have seen recent images released by Bigelow on Instagram that suggest that they are considering the EUS as a propulsion block for their modular spacecraft designs.

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #534 on: 01/22/2018 07:58 PM »
Maybe E for expendable, just like the upper stage it will be used on? Which would imply that Blue would be considering reuse for their own upper stage.
Or it may stand for "Exploration" as it is being considered for the Exploration Upper Stage. That may involve design specifications to accommodate longer loiter times than the BE-3U is designed for. I have seen recent images released by Bigelow on Instagram that suggest that they are considering the EUS as a propulsion block for their modular spacecraft designs.
BE-3E was originally known as BE-3U-EN (BE-3 Upper Stage - Extensible Nozzle)  BE-3E is similar to the deployable nozzle on an RL-10B-2 and RL-10C-2/C-3 but with greater thrust and throttle range unless AR CECE technology is rolled into an operational RL-10 or RL-60 engine class series.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #535 on: 01/23/2018 04:20 AM »
Anyone know what the BE-4 nominal mixture ratio s supposed to be, compared to the Aerojet AR-1 (2.2?)?

Blue has given very little technical information. The only thing we know is the thrust at 2447 kN (550 klbf). My expectation would be around 3.5:1 for a staged combustion methalox engine. The AR-1 is probably around 2.6:1 for a kerolox engine (RD-180 is 2.72:1).
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline woods170

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #536 on: 01/23/2018 06:51 AM »
From what I understand from friends I have at ULA, they are working towards a single CDR.

No, that is wrong. Tony Bruno reported via Twitter that CDR had begun. That was well over a month ago.

They haven't formally chosen an engine yet. And with it comes the choice of fuel. For BE-4 that is LNG and for AR-1 it is RP-1.

The result is two different sets of requirements for mixture ratio, tankage volume, vehicle plumbing, GSE set-up, etc. etc. etc.

What I suspect is that ULA has been designing the vehicle as "generic" as possible to make CDR, with specific components having been designed twice (for AR-1 vs BE-4).

But once the engine choice has been made it is a safe bet that a series of delta-CDR's is coming to accommodate the design-changes, and final designs, resulting from the final engine-choice.
« Last Edit: 01/23/2018 07:00 AM by woods170 »

Offline brickmack

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #537 on: 01/23/2018 01:47 PM »
Or it may stand for "Exploration" as it is being considered for the Exploration Upper Stage. That may involve design specifications to accommodate longer loiter times than the BE-3U is designed for. I have seen recent images released by Bigelow on Instagram that suggest that they are considering the EUS as a propulsion block for their modular spacecraft designs.

Thats an ACES, not EUS. If you missed the news, http://www.ulalaunch.com/bigelow-aerospace-and-ula-lunar-depot.aspx

Offline Sknowball

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #538 on: 01/23/2018 02:54 PM »
From what I understand from friends I have at ULA, they are working towards a single CDR.

No, that is wrong. Tony Bruno reported via Twitter that CDR had begun. That was well over a month ago.

The latest information that has been provided is that their CDR is composed of two parts and that the first part was completed last month.

Offline Chasm

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #539 on: 01/23/2018 02:58 PM »
As far as I can tell ULA did only one PDR, and that was not for the AR-1 engine.
Explicitly for the BE4, in the Vulcan (Common) Centaur configuration at the time.

[ULA press release, March 2016]

The introduction of Centaur V makes tracking the CDR(s) a bit more complex to track

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