Author Topic: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)  (Read 421893 times)

Online A_M_Swallow

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #720 on: 10/29/2015 12:57 AM »
{snip}
The challenge will be to balance what is needed with what you could have, swamping the system with data which is not strictly necessary to carrying out the core tasks. The classic mistake in this area was during Shuttle testing where there were issues around the tail flap. Unfortunately the instrumentation engineers had only budgeted about 1 sample per second for this to measure angle ( I think this was it could only be commanded to change angle quite slowly). However aerodynamic forces were large and the actual movement (as forced by the airflow) could be much faster.

In principal modern bus speeds should mean there will always be spare capacity to increase data rates if something needs faster sampling below the hardware design limit of the ADC. More precision will likely need a new converter board.

But at the back of my mind I'm thinking "640KB, more than enough for any  computer program home users will ever need"  :( .

Packet networks run best when keep below 1/3 full. The other 2/3 can then be used to automatically sort out any congestion and empty the buffers after a data burst.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-tail_traffic#cite_note-r16-18

A satellite may operate with a constant data input but launch vehicles do not. LV do things like sitting on the launch pads for hours and then starting all their engines at the same time.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #721 on: 11/01/2015 07:41 AM »
Packet networks run best when keep below 1/3 full. The other 2/3 can then be used to automatically sort out any congestion and empty the buffers after a data burst.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-tail_traffic#cite_note-r16-18

A satellite may operate with a constant data input but launch vehicles do not. LV do things like sitting on the launch pads for hours and then starting all their engines at the same time.
True, but what you're missing is that the process is much more structured than the kind of "bursty" traffic you see on internal networks or the general internet. SCADA networks are more likely to prefer smaller packets (IIRC the one packets on the Shuttle were often 32 bytes) as they don't need to need large files. The downside is the larger proportion of overhead but the upside is more consistency, which is important for control functions.

Another factor is the extent that data sources and sinks can be located on the same switches, so the data never needs to go across the main bus.

SABRE/Skylon is not the Shuttle. The big changes are the extent to which devices can have local processing to limit the data transfers. On the Shuttle star trackers, radar, inertial navigation, radar altimeters were all separate (large) boxes  Today quite a few of those boxes could be eliminated or combined into one.
"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 topsphere

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #722 on: 11/01/2015 09:42 PM »
BAE buys 20% stake in Reaction Engines

Financial Times story here http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a25d2798-7f1b-11e5-98fb-5a6d4728f74e.html

I appreciate most people won't have an FT account, so the main points of the article:

- BAE Systems agree to buy a 20% stake in Reaction Engines Ltd worth £20.6m, which entitles them to a seat on the board and a position as "preferred supplier".

- The investment in REL will unlock a further £60m grant package from the UK government.

- However, the group has had to scale back its ambitions for a test engine in order to clinch the funding deal.

- The group now has "no immediate funding needs".
« Last Edit: 11/01/2015 09:53 PM by topsphere »

Offline lkm

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #723 on: 11/01/2015 11:03 PM »
BAE buys 20% stake in Reaction Engines

Financial Times story here http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a25d2798-7f1b-11e5-98fb-5a6d4728f74e.html

I appreciate most people won't have an FT account, so the main points of the article:

- BAE Systems agree to buy a 20% stake in Reaction Engines Ltd worth £20.6m, which entitles them to a seat on the board and a position as "preferred supplier".

- The investment in REL will unlock a further £60m grant package from the UK government.

- However, the group has had to scale back its ambitions for a test engine in order to clinch the funding deal.

- The group now has "no immediate funding needs".
Well that must be the bargain of the century.
Given REL's potential to own a multi billion dollar industry plus it's significantly valuable IP which has wide commercial applications a valuation of 100 million pounds seems a little low.

Offline Dreyrden

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #724 on: 11/01/2015 11:17 PM »
There's also an article on the BBC here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34694935

That's some pretty big news.

Offline topsphere

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #725 on: 11/02/2015 12:01 AM »
I agree that the valuation seems a little low, maybe there is something behind the scenes we are not being told about? I find the section saying this deal has secured BAE as "preferred supplier" for REL very interesting, they must be favourites to build the airframe now??

Also agreed that this is potentially very big news, as an aside it might be time soon to move these threads out of "Advanced Concepts", it seems a bit harsh on REL that they are in the same bracket as EM Drive and rotating space stations, despite developing into a very respectable company. Oh, and the BBC's decision to call them just "Reaction" annoyed me a little, but that's just me being cranky :)

Offline Asteroza

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #726 on: 11/02/2015 12:05 AM »
How far back are they scaling the test engine work though? That might hurt more than the funding help...

Offline adrianwyard

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #727 on: 11/02/2015 01:00 AM »
I'm not so sure this 'scaling back' is news, at least I doubt REL would put it in those terms. I say this because the FT article puts it this way: they say REL were hoping for £250M, and contrast that with what they have: £60+20M. But the authors may have got that £250M figure from a 2012 FT.com article linked from this one that begins "Aerospace engineer are seeking £250M..."

REL have in the past thrown around some large numbers for development funding, and I'm sure more is better, but it's unclear that the current £80M is a problem, or even leads to a delay. As topsphere already quoted, there are "no immediate funding needs."
« Last Edit: 11/02/2015 01:00 AM by adrianwyard »

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #728 on: 11/02/2015 02:30 AM »
- BAE Systems agree to buy a 20% stake in Reaction Engines Ltd worth £20.6m, which entitles them to a seat on the board and a position as "preferred supplier".

Well that must be the bargain of the century.
Given REL's potential to own a multi billion dollar industry plus it's significantly valuable IP which has wide commercial applications a valuation of 100 million pounds seems a little low.

The obvious conclusion is that no big industry partner believed the odds of REL owning a multi-billion dollar industry were high.  Value equals size of payoff times probability of achieving the payoff.

How far back are they scaling the test engine work though? That might hurt more than the funding help...

Obviously REL doesn't believe it hurts more than it helps or they wouldn't have taken the deal.

This is undoubtedly good for REL.  It gives them far more funding than they've ever had before, and a big partner to give them respectability.  It's not the dream scenario REL fans would like, but it's something that lets them move forward and have a shot, even if it's a long shot.
« Last Edit: 11/02/2015 02:31 AM by ChrisWilson68 »

Online A_M_Swallow

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #729 on: 11/02/2015 04:01 AM »
The refrigeration technology may permit spinoffs. I wonder if there are any none aerospace applications that need rapid cooling to cryogenic temperatures?

Offline Asteroza

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #730 on: 11/02/2015 04:30 AM »
The refrigeration technology may permit spinoffs. I wonder if there are any none aerospace applications that need rapid cooling to cryogenic temperatures?

The heat exchanger work miiiiight be applicable to recuperated jet engines, as some of the more advanced ultrahigh bypass ratio turbofan deigns are considering recuperation. Notably MTU, which had a ducted geared counterrotating propfan engine with recuperation (CLAIRE, CRISP, and NEWAC programs). Though that's dealing with turbine exhaust and compressor heat with an all air medium.

Offline Star One

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #731 on: 11/02/2015 06:27 AM »

I agree that the valuation seems a little low, maybe there is something behind the scenes we are not being told about? I find the section saying this deal has secured BAE as "preferred supplier" for REL very interesting, they must be favourites to build the airframe now??

Also agreed that this is potentially very big news, as an aside it might be time soon to move these threads out of "Advanced Concepts", it seems a bit harsh on REL that they are in the same bracket as EM Drive and rotating space stations, despite developing into a very respectable company. Oh, and the BBC's decision to call them just "Reaction" annoyed me a little, but that's just me being cranky :)

Please don't throw around my concept is more respectable than your concept, as it ill becomes this part of the forum.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #732 on: 11/02/2015 06:45 AM »
The REL website now has a press release and Sabre info graphic (attached).
« Last Edit: 11/02/2015 06:47 AM by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #733 on: 11/02/2015 06:51 AM »

I agree that the valuation seems a little low, maybe there is something behind the scenes we are not being told about? I find the section saying this deal has secured BAE as "preferred supplier" for REL very interesting, they must be favourites to build the airframe now??

Also agreed that this is potentially very big news, as an aside it might be time soon to move these threads out of "Advanced Concepts", it seems a bit harsh on REL that they are in the same bracket as EM Drive and rotating space stations, despite developing into a very respectable company. Oh, and the BBC's decision to call them just "Reaction" annoyed me a little, but that's just me being cranky :)

Please don't throw around my concept is more respectable than your concept, as it ill becomes this part of the forum.

What's wrong with discussing respectability?  Respectability matters.  It's a measure of the general feeling about a concept within some audience.  For any given audience, some concepts are considered realistic by more people than by others.

I think it's beyond doubt that among those who follow the aerospace industry and are aware of both REL and EmDrive, there's a lot more respect for REL's technology as a realistic concept than there is for EmDrive as a realistic concept.

People might be right or wrong to believe that, but there's no doubt that's what they believe, and it's silly to just pretend that's not true or try to silence anyone who wants to mention the fact.

The Advanced Concepts section exists so people who are interested in concepts that are generally considered less realistic can follow them there and others can avoid such concepts and follow other kinds of discussions.  Again, there's nothing wrong with that.  There's also nothing wrong with discussing whether any particular concept belongs in advanced concepts or not.

Any really new idea belongs in Advanced Concepts when it is first introduced.  If it eventually leads to an operational system, that operational system does not belong in Advanced Concepts.  At some point along the line, it has to move.

Offline t43562

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #734 on: 11/02/2015 07:53 AM »
The refrigeration technology may permit spinoffs. I wonder if there are any none aerospace applications that need rapid cooling to cryogenic temperatures?

The heat exchanger work miiiiight be applicable to recuperated jet engines, as some of the more advanced ultrahigh bypass ratio turbofan deigns are considering recuperation. Notably MTU, which had a ducted geared counterrotating propfan engine with recuperation (CLAIRE, CRISP, and NEWAC programs). Though that's dealing with turbine exhaust and compressor heat with an all air medium.

I wonder how well it might work in suppressing IR signatures - if that's even not a ridiculous suggestion. Perhaps even being able to do so for a short time might be helpful.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #735 on: 11/02/2015 08:11 AM »
The refrigeration technology may permit spinoffs. I wonder if there are any none aerospace applications that need rapid cooling to cryogenic temperatures?

The heat exchanger work miiiiight be applicable to recuperated jet engines, as some of the more advanced ultrahigh bypass ratio turbofan deigns are considering recuperation. Notably MTU, which had a ducted geared counterrotating propfan engine with recuperation (CLAIRE, CRISP, and NEWAC programs). Though that's dealing with turbine exhaust and compressor heat with an all air medium.

I wonder how well it might work in suppressing IR signatures - if that's even not a ridiculous suggestion. Perhaps even being able to do so for a short time might be helpful.

The REL heat exchanger is based on using liquid hydrogen to rapidly cool incoming air.  That makes sense for a vehicle using liquid hydrogen already as its fuel.  How applicable that would be to a vehicle using kerosene at room temperature as a fuel isn't clear.

Offline t43562

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #736 on: 11/02/2015 08:28 AM »
It seems cheap to me too and there's the possibility that REL simply had no choice.   

This phrase, however, might be another way to look at it:
Quote
The working partnership will draw on BAE Systems’ extensive aerospace technology development and project management expertise and will provide Reaction Engines with access to critical industrial, technical and capital resources to progress towards the demonstration of a ground based engine – a key milestone in the development of the technology.

In other words REL can use their labs, factories, test equipment and perhaps things like wind tunnel time that one might not even be able to buy on the open market (I don't know this, I'm just guessing).  This path might be the only option for a UK company that can't afford the billions to set all that up independently.  So perhaps REL doesn't have enough money to pay BAE for borrowing its toys and BAE might not want to make money that way.   Instead a "cheap" investment might be even cheaper for BAE  if some of the money comes back to BAE in fees for use of it's infrastructure.  In fact, it might even be imaginable that more than £20 million would come back to them - some of the government money too.

For REL there's just the access to things that would cost an inordinate amount to have otherwise so that perhaps for them it is much more than a 20 million pound investment in a sense.

For the government.....well one supposes that there is some military aspect to all of this thanks to the AFRL work and other hints.  So it might want to ensure that a "UK" defense company (quotes because BAE has large foreign shareholdings IIRC) had a slice of that, and perhaps could benefit from the military aspect.   

Anyhow, as usual, when one knows nothing, speculation is great fun :-)
« Last Edit: 11/02/2015 08:30 AM by t43562 »

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #737 on: 11/02/2015 09:44 AM »
Interesting that that attached Infographic about the Sabre Engine is showing Sabre 3 with it's -150 C cooling requirement with frost control system, and not Sabre 4.

I thought Reaction Engines were probably going with with Sabre 4 which doesn't need to deep cool as much, so doesn't need the frost control system. The recent paper posted on here suggested they were.


Offline lkm

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #738 on: 11/02/2015 11:37 AM »
- BAE Systems agree to buy a 20% stake in Reaction Engines Ltd worth £20.6m, which entitles them to a seat on the board and a position as "preferred supplier".

Well that must be the bargain of the century.
Given REL's potential to own a multi billion dollar industry plus it's significantly valuable IP which has wide commercial applications a valuation of 100 million pounds seems a little low.

The obvious conclusion is that no big industry partner believed the odds of REL owning a multi-billion dollar industry were high.  Value equals size of payoff times probability of achieving the payoff.
Sure but compared to some Silicon Valley unicorns REL has a better shot of owning it's market and the book value of its patents is surely more than the valuation put on the company. Hopefully the reality of this deal is that the majority of the financial value of this deal comes from the resources, both in people and infrastructure, that BAE has committed to providing. Over 4 years those could easily be worth several multiples of their cash investment.   
 
How far back are they scaling the test engine work though? That might hurt more than the funding help...

Obviously REL doesn't believe it hurts more than it helps or they wouldn't have taken the deal.

This is undoubtedly good for REL.  It gives them far more funding than they've ever had before, and a big partner to give them respectability.  It's not the dream scenario REL fans would like, but it's something that lets them move forward and have a shot, even if it's a long shot.

Except it's not more funding than they've ever had before.
I think up to the beginning of phase 3 they'd spent £100m and when the government investment was announced 2 years ago I believe it was said they already had £20m of private investment for the phase 3 round lined up, they must have already spent £35m from the first year of government investment plus some significant portion of private investment and if this BAE investment of £20.6m unlocks the remaining £25m of government money and completes phase 3 funding then either phase 3 costs have been cut by £150m or BAE investment is smaller than the combined value of all REL's other private investment this funding round.

Offline Star One

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The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #739 on: 11/02/2015 12:16 PM »
One of the most important things about this is that a company as well known as BAE is willing to invest in them, in the first place.

I do think it also increases steeply the likelihood that military applications are paramount here knowing where BAE places it business focus these days. As it says in the link below BAE are primarily a defence company.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/bae-systems-buy-20-stake-reaction-engines-1526711

Now will they be able or wanting to attract other big investors perhaps someone like Airbus?
« Last Edit: 11/02/2015 12:34 PM by Star One »

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