Author Topic: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)  (Read 441006 times)

Offline momerathe

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #320 on: 05/26/2015 08:55 PM »
here's a half-assedly recoloured version of the diagram. the one things that jumps out at me is that the pre-burner.

The biggest difference I can spot is that in previously-described cycles, the cooled/compressed air is split between the nozzle and the pre-burner, and all the hydrogen flows through the pre-burner (i.e. the output from the pre-burner is hydrogen-rich). In this cycle it's the other way round. I'm not sure I could tell you what that signifies, though.

EDIT: ah-ha! looks like the frost-control cat is out of the bag.

Quote
an air intake [...] which includes a first heat exchanger for cooling incoming air, a water separator downstream of the first heat exchanger, a liquid oxygen injector downstream of the the water separator and a second heat exchanger downstream of the liquid oxygen injector. The injector reduces the airflow temperature so that water remaining in the airflow is converted to small dry ice crystals. [...] the liquid oxygen is used to reduce the temperature of the flow from between 5 and 13C to minus 50C or lower, such that a considerable amount of liquid oxygen needs to be used

hrm, interesting. how much is "considerable"? and how does this apply to self-ferry and/or Scimitar?
« Last Edit: 05/26/2015 09:29 PM by momerathe »
thermodynamics will get you in the end

Offline flymetothemoon

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #321 on: 05/26/2015 09:52 PM »
That's interesting news regarding the patents. I thought I heard somewhere that REL didn't want to patent the tech because they didn't want the information in the public domain. Is that memory of mine mistaken?

I seem to remember that too. Elon Musk definitely said that. Did REL say it too? Hmmm... Someone here will answer this soon.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #322 on: 05/27/2015 06:10 AM »
here's a half-assedly recoloured version of the diagram. the one things that jumps out at me is that the pre-burner.


EDIT: ah-ha! looks like the frost-control cat is out of the bag.
hrm, interesting. how much is "considerable"? and how does this apply to self-ferry and/or Scimitar?
I think the usual expression in patenese is "to those skilled in the art."  :)

The HX patent GB2519147 does go into considerable detail on how to solve the frost control problem.

One of the neatest parts is use of a solution of Methanol as anti freeze which gets sprayed and recollected as you move through the HX, allowing the Methanol to be recycled. This is a neat way to save on a non propellant consumable which over a full flight could be quite heavy.

Note using some LOX would be OK for SABRE but a definite problem for LAPCAT. Airliners don't (AFAIK) carry it at all. They tap the engine in flow for any air they need for cabin aircon.

Note 2 things about the HX patent.

They describe a way to solve this problem. It's probably what REL are using, but it might not be.

Anyone with any knowledge of mfg engineering will know that while what you have to make is described in quite a lot of detail it assumes you already have access to large amounts of specialized materials. In this application how you make it was as difficult a problem as what to make.

[EDIT A note about the British patent pages. They are in ascending order going down. The full patent document is usually the largest item at the end.  That's what's been patented.

My quick read of the "engine" patent is that the patent states the 3 diagrams show the same engine in different modes. It shows 2 combustion chambers because that's how the real SABRE works and the thing at the top is the "spill ramjet" used to reheat bypassed air as the engine speeds up. ]
« Last Edit: 05/27/2015 07:06 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.

Offline momerathe

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #323 on: 05/27/2015 08:48 AM »
Look again- there are two engine patents describing different configurations (SABRE 3 vs SABRE 4 perhaps?). One is similar (but more detailed) to what we've seen before; the other describes the twin combustion chambers in addition to the bypass duct.
thermodynamics will get you in the end

Offline john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #324 on: 05/27/2015 01:11 PM »
Look again- there are two engine patents describing different configurations (SABRE 3 vs SABRE 4 perhaps?). One is similar (but more detailed) to what we've seen before; the other describes the twin combustion chambers in addition to the bypass duct.
My mistake. It was only when I ran over all the patent links I found the 2nd one, ending  -155 rather than -152.

Parallel combustion chambers and the ability to side step frost control.

This sounds like the Scimatar engine for the lapcat M5 airliner but I'm not quite sure why you need rocket combustion chambers at all.
"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 oddbodd

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #325 on: 05/28/2015 09:01 PM »
Hi all, first time poster, long time lurker.

Seems there's more patents on the WIPO site that just recently got published that are also a little easier to read due to OCR and to refer back and forth to the drawings with:

1. 20150104316 TURBINE BLADES   US   16.04.2015
F01D 11/00   14296611   Reaction Engines Ltd.   Richard Varvill

2. 20150101308 ENGINE   US   16.04.2015
F02K 9/78    14296620   Reaction Engines Ltd   Alan Bond

3. 20150101333 ROTATIONAL MACHINE   US   16.04.2015
F02C 6/16     14296615   Reaction Engines Ltd   Alan Bond

4. 20150102129 MOUNTING ASSEMBLY   US   16.04.2015
F02K 9/84     14296618   Reaction Engines Ltd   Alan Bond

5. 20150101342 ENGINE   US   16.04.2015
F02C 7/228  14296624   Reaction Engines Ltd   Alan Bond

6. 20150101337 NOZZLE ARRANGEMENT FOR AN ENGINE   US   16.04.2015
F02K 9/97     14296628   Reaction Engines Ltd   Alan Bond

7. 20150101334 HEAT EXCHANGERS   US   16.04.2015
F02C 7/141   14296603   Reaction Engines Ltd   Alan Bond

Just do a search on "reaction engines ltd" including the quotes at https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/search.jsf

From what I've read and understood (IANARS - I am not a rocket scientist) I've understood the frost control (#7) to be the following:
Incoming air cooled down to a little above freezing passes over several layers of the thin tubes. Some methanol is mixed into the air flow around here. It then passes over a set of thicker tubes (Fig 13 &14) wrapped with a mesh that catches 95% of the liquid/moisture. It then passes through the remaining thin tubes and any remaining water/methonal gets crystalised as the air drops to the -150 C. Something I don't fully understand (methonol? very low water content?) causes the formation of crystals rather than the furry frost that would otherwise block the heat exchanger. I think there is then a recovery and recycling of the captured methanol to re-inject into the airflow. Figure 19D shows the thin and thick tubes, and 520 on the image shows the air travelling inwards.

To contradict momerathe, the section he quotes is from the background section and describes a different patent. I don't think REL's solution injects liquid oxygen at all, but I haven't read it in it's entirety, so apologies if I'm wrong.

In #2, #5 and #6 where the engines and nozzle arrangements are described and shows two nested nozzles. I think this may be a novel alternative to an expansion deflection rocket. The inner nozzle is for full on rocket mode. In air breathing mode the outer nozzle is used, and the rocket nozzle acts like the expansion deflection pintel.

Hope that was a useful first post  :)

[Edit] Rereading it seems the crystallization happens through sublimation, although surely that's the wrong word? Sublimation = Solid -> Gas, don't they mean Deposition = Gas -> Solid
« Last Edit: 05/28/2015 10:29 PM by oddbodd »

Offline oddbodd

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #326 on: 05/28/2015 09:07 PM »
 :-[ Missed the bit where JS19 had already picked up and ID'd the use of methanol. Please ignore me trying to sound clever on that bit.

Offline zodiacchris

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #327 on: 05/28/2015 09:21 PM »
Welcome Oddbodd! Good first post indeed  8)

Offline oddbodd

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #328 on: 05/28/2015 09:45 PM »
#4 the mounting assembly patent, Fig 2. Do my eyes deceive me, or is that a drag resistant aerospike? First time I've seen that in a drawing/image. I think someone might have mentioned it as a possible option previously though.

Offline 93143

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #329 on: 05/28/2015 11:05 PM »
Looks like one of their really old pictures of SABRE (see Figure 6 in Varvill & Bond (2003)).  The newer models all have a simple conical forebody.  Doesn't mean that's what they're going with, of course...
« Last Edit: 05/28/2015 11:07 PM by 93143 »

Offline oddbodd

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #330 on: 05/28/2015 11:24 PM »
In #2, #5 and #6 where the engines and nozzle arrangements are described and shows two nested nozzles. I think this may be a novel alternative to an expansion deflection rocket. The inner nozzle is for full on rocket mode. In air breathing mode the outer nozzle is used, and the rocket nozzle acts like the expansion deflection pintel.

Hmmm. Actually read it properly now, and it's even more interesting. It actually translates. The smaller inner nozzle cone moves back (relative to direction of travel), creating an annular flow for separate air breathing combustion chambers arranged around the central axis. On transition to rocket mode the smaller nozzle cone moves forward, with the larger truncated nozzle cone section extending the smaller one. In this mode the rocket combustion chamber of the smaller nozzle cone is used. But the point stands that it is using the smaller nozzle cone as a pintel to create the annular flow for higher efficiency across altitudes.  8)

Offline oddbodd

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #331 on: 05/28/2015 11:45 PM »
I really need to go to bed  :D

http://worldwide.espacenet.com/searchResults?ST=singleline&locale=en_EP&submitted=true&DB=worldwide.espacenet.com&query=%22reaction+engines+ltd%22

Mostly looks like overlap, with the same 7 US ones I posted before, a couple of additional GB ones, but probably overlap the US ones, and one WO one for engine ducts.

Looks like they're all originally from back in 2013, although it seems the international stuff was applied for mid last-year.

Offline Seer

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #332 on: 05/28/2015 11:53 PM »
Anyone want to have a guess as to how much helium is carried? I tried to estimate it from various RE mass budgets but could never get a particularly precise number. Is it possible to estimate it from first principles? I.e knowing the pump pressure and thrust of the main engines?

Offline oddbodd

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #333 on: 05/29/2015 12:32 AM »
Looks like one of their really old pictures of SABRE (see Figure 6 in Varvill & Bond (2003)).  The newer models all have a simple conical forebody.  Doesn't mean that's what they're going with, of course...

Ah yes, that's long before I'd even heard of REL/Skylon etc. Now I think about it maybe someone mentioned it disrupting flow into the engine, which would explain it's absence in newer images.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #334 on: 05/31/2015 07:59 AM »
:-[ Missed the bit where JS19 had already picked up and ID'd the use of methanol. Please ignore me trying to sound clever on that bit.
Welcome to the forum. Your patent list has brought a lot to the party and gives much food for thought.
"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: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #335 on: 05/31/2015 08:03 AM »
Anyone want to have a guess as to how much helium is carried? I tried to estimate it from various RE mass budgets but could never get a particularly precise number. Is it possible to estimate it from first principles? I.e knowing the pump pressure and thrust of the main engines?
The key issue would be what is the peak amount of heat (set by the air mass and temperature) you have to move around the cycle and at what temperatures and pressure do you have to work with.

Probably possible from first principles and the data in the Skylon C1 trajectory spreadsheet.
"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 FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #336 on: 05/31/2015 08:58 AM »
That's interesting news regarding the patents. I thought I heard somewhere that REL didn't want to patent the tech because they didn't want the information in the public domain. Is that memory of mine mistaken?

I seem to remember that too. Elon Musk definitely said that. Did REL say it too? Hmmm... Someone here will answer this soon.

Yes, Reaction Engines have always said they would never apply for UK ones because of what happened with HOTOL (ie patents ended up restricted to military on national security grounds). I guess they've decided that to protect themselves from potential U.S. involvement/applications they need US ones?

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #337 on: 05/31/2015 10:32 AM »
Oops.... the last link address is faulty  :(

Try this https://www.ipo.gov.uk/p-ipsum/Case/ApplicationNumber/GB1318108.6 and I also found these https://www.ipo.gov.uk/p-ipsum/Case/ApplicationNumber/GB1318098.9 and https://www.ipo.gov.uk/p-ipsum/Case/ApplicationNumber/GB1318109.4 submitted on 12 January 2015

Ok, so my previous post is obviously out of date - I hadn't caught up enough on this thread!

I'm guessing the legal situation in the UK has changed and/or the more favourable support from the UK government (60M funding) has made Reaction Engines confident enough now to patent. It's great that there is now a lot more technical info in the public domain, if only I had enough engineering expertise to understand it  :D

Offline momerathe

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #338 on: 05/31/2015 12:16 PM »
either way - now the patents are out there, the clock is ticking.. I just hope this means they're confident they can execute on their roadmap.
thermodynamics will get you in the end

Offline john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #339 on: 05/31/2015 03:41 PM »
either way - now the patents are out there, the clock is ticking.. I just hope this means they're confident they can execute on their roadmap.

I don't think REL have every really doubted their ability to build SABRE provided a)The pre cooler worked as expected and b) The could get the funding.

The pre cooler has now been extensively tested and worked as expected. Progress milestones then depend on their getting the necessary funding when it's needed.
"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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