Author Topic: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine  (Read 249768 times)

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #500 on: 11/05/2017 12:29 AM »
Define "human rated" in a way that isn't 1) talking about an entire system (i.e. launch vehicle) or 2) cargo cult nonsense.
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Offline Raptor 42

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #501 on: 11/13/2017 12:22 PM »
On the Blue Origin website it says that "allows for the removal of a solid rocket motor at more than $10 million per flight for comparable missions."

Offline Nilof

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #502 on: 11/20/2017 12:17 AM »
Define "human rated" in a way that isn't 1) talking about an entire system (i.e. launch vehicle) or 2) cargo cult nonsense.

"Does not undergo RUD's on a significant fraction of engine tests" sounds like a good start.

Above that, it depends on the exact level of safety you want, and on reusable engines there's also an element of how practical achieving that safety is. The RS-25 is a great example of an engine that was human rated and never had a failure on manned flight, but only with very expensive maintenance between flights.
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 FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #503 on: 11/21/2017 01:39 PM »
Some good news for BE-4 funding in the recent NDAA:

Good article by Eric Berger on the NDAA funding language and thus the flexibility it does, and does not, give the USAF:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/11/a-new-law-gives-air-force-some-wiggle-room-in-picking-its-new-rockets/

Two crucial quotes:

Quote
Further, the bill defines “rocket propulsion system” as a main booster, first-stage rocket engine, or motor. The term does not include a launch vehicle, an upper stage, a strap-on motor, or related infrastructure.

Quote
Another provision in the bill relates to the engines under development for Vulcan. This language states that the Air Force may terminate funding for other rocket propulsion systems when “the Secretary of the Air Force certifies to the congressional defense committees that a successful full-scale test of a domestic rocket engine has occurred.”

So first stage funding is fine, but not second or other stages, and AR-1 funding can be dropped once BE-4 achieves a 'full-scale test'.

Best follow-up in the original (space policy) thread.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #504 on: 01/08/2018 01:04 PM »
Quote
Latest BE-4 engine test footage where we exceeded our Isp targets. We continue to exercise the deep throttling of our full scale 550,000 lbf BE-4, the reusability of our hydrostatic pump bearings and our stable start/stop cycles. More to follow from ongoing tests. #BE4 #NewGlenn

https://twitter.com/blueorigin/status/950365085091811330

Vid to follow

Edit: video now attached
« Last Edit: 01/08/2018 01:08 PM by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline Davidthefat

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #505 on: 01/08/2018 02:16 PM »
Did a thermocouple or something get blasted off during shutdown? (Black wire looking thing flying around in the bell)

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #506 on: 01/08/2018 03:21 PM »
Nice progress to see Blue!

You can see clear improvements across all aspects of engine operation visible.

(One of the later things to see with such an engine will be be long duration tests, don't expect them soon.)

As to ULA, I'd think that combustion stability with many repeatable runs with varying conditions is helpful to the decision to down select on engines. From what's shown, looks likely we'll hear an announcement in 1-2 months to go ahead with BE-4 on Vulcan.

(Also, suspect that relentless pursuit of reliability and performance of this in successive video's we'll eventually see will become a hallmark of this engine. And while Vulcan will get the economical, performant engine it needs, it won't stop there - they'll give the Energomash designs a run for the money and then some.)

Nice news.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #507 on: 01/08/2018 03:56 PM »
Have they done full power test yet? Even for few seconds.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #508 on: 01/08/2018 04:08 PM »
Have they done full power test yet? Even for few seconds.
Probably not.

That wouldn't be a priority right now, and likely not useful. From the data accumulated, likely they can tell the bounds of engine performance they can reach.

Most important is that they determine that the engine operates like expected/model, through various conditions. Plenty to do for that.

There's many concurrent issues before you treat a propulsion system like it might be used on a LV. For you want it to work for the right reasons, not just any reason, for it to be a reliable/proven system that you need.

This is the right amount of progress, in the right way.

Offline AncientU

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #509 on: 01/08/2018 04:24 PM »
Nice progress to see Blue!

You can see clear improvements across all aspects of engine operation visible.

...

Can you describe the 'improvements' that you see?
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Offline Davidthefat

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #510 on: 01/08/2018 04:39 PM »
Nice progress to see Blue!

You can see clear improvements across all aspects of engine operation visible.

...

Can you describe the 'improvements' that you see?

Not blowing up? Wasn't there a breach in the power pack in the previously released information on testing?

Offline PahTo

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #511 on: 01/08/2018 04:54 PM »
Have they done full power test yet? Even for few seconds.
Probably not.

That wouldn't be a priority right now, and likely not useful. From the data accumulated, likely they can tell the bounds of engine performance they can reach.

Most important is that they determine that the engine operates like expected/model, through various conditions. Plenty to do for that.

There's many concurrent issues before you treat a propulsion system like it might be used on a LV. For you want it to work for the right reasons, not just any reason, for it to be a reliable/proven system that you need.

This is the right amount of progress, in the right way.

Thanks SG1962.  I asked the below in a Vulcan thread some time ago, and you've essentially answered here...

"Also, what is the expected frequency of tests for the BE-4?  Given the "recent" 50% test, should we expect a "long duration"at 50%?  Short run at 100%?"
« Last Edit: 01/08/2018 04:54 PM by PahTo »

Online meberbs

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #512 on: 01/08/2018 05:07 PM »
Nice progress to see Blue!

You can see clear improvements across all aspects of engine operation visible.

...

Can you describe the 'improvements' that you see?

Not blowing up? Wasn't there a breach in the power pack in the previously released information on testing?
No, that was last spring and before they put a full scale engine on a stand.

They released a previous video of a firing back in October, and they have been continuing to do tests since then. This is the second public video of a test of the full engine.

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #513 on: 01/08/2018 07:49 PM »

Offline jpo234

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #514 on: 01/08/2018 08:28 PM »
Short article to mark these tests:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/01/blue-origin-be-4-engine-testing/

Quote
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Offline theinternetftw

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #515 on: 01/08/2018 08:33 PM »
Short article to mark these tests:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/01/blue-origin-be-4-engine-testing/

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).

This option is competing against the current baseline of the RL-10 and an alternative MB-60 LOX-LH2 engine from Japan.

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

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #516 on: 01/08/2018 10:35 PM »
Nice progress to see Blue!

You can see clear improvements across all aspects of engine operation visible.

...

Can you describe the 'improvements' that you see?
Compare the video's side by side.

First is "trimmed" so you don't see start-up/shutdown. Second you do. Perhaps because both did not appear ideal?

Second showed nothing but an appropriate start-up/shutdown for those absences.

First has artifacts visible that show unreacted in flow (saps iSP) and irregular, lower thrust. Not visible in second.

Second has some throttling and mach diamonds appearing well defined as changing. First was less defined and at a constant thrust level. Changing thrust on a LRE risks combustion instability. (Many LRE didn't have much/any throttle capability.)

In short, the second appropriately characterizes what the BE-4 has been represented to be - a throttleable, restartable ORSC engine. Unlike the prior, which just showed it to be a LRE that can function as one.

And, like with what the first showed of operation, all elements of the second including operation, show across the board effective improvement from the first.

So what's missing? Duration, thrust levels, operating/starting/shutdown conditions, wear assessment, ... these come eventually.

What they are telling us in this video is that they made the engine they told us they would and it works as designed.

What they can't yet tell us is when it becomes a viable propulsion system for use by a LV.

Offline daveklingler

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #517 on: 01/09/2018 01:43 AM »
AFAIK It's still the only cryogenic SC (of any variant) to be developed in the US (before Blue and SX).

No.  Pratt & Whitney developed a series of hydrolox high-pressure staged-combustion engines to airline engine reusability standards during the 1960's.

According to the book, "Advanced Engine Development at Pratt and Whitney", credit for original invention of the staged combustion engine goes to John Chamberlain at P&W.  While studying ways to increase combustion chamber pressure on the RL-10, Chamberlain thought of burning a little oxygen in the hydrogen working fluid before the turbine. They began testing the concept successfully in 1960.

P&W went on to develop a series of hydrolox staged combustion engines for, or so they thought, the coming wave of NASA's reusable rockets.  Beginning in the late 1950's, P&W developed the 10K, 50K, RL20 (225Klbs thrust), 250K and 350K engines to airline-standards of reusability. Along the way, Chamberlain also invented transpiration cooling for rocket engines, and by mid-1963, the 10K chamber was up to 3300 PSI.  The 5600 psi turbopumps for the 350K engine were complete by mid-1967, and they reached 6700 PSI for the 250K engine's turbopump.

All of these engines were developed for essentially unlimited reusability in reusable space transports over a little over a decade with a view toward the SSME. Despite the fact that they had never done any work in high-pressure reusable staged-combustion engines, Rocketdyne was given the contract for the SSME anyway and P&W was forced to send Rocketdyne their development notes.  P&W was later asked by NASA to return and make the SSME work and ended up working on it quietly through the end of the Shuttle program.
« Last Edit: 01/09/2018 02:01 AM by daveklingler »

Offline Chasm

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #518 on: 01/09/2018 03:45 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.

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #519 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 »

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