Author Topic: Saturn Launch Vehicle Toroidal Tank Development Program  (Read 938 times)

Online catdlr

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Saturn Launch Vehicle Toroidal Tank Development Program ~ 1966 General Dynamics Convair Astronautics

Jeff Quitney
Published on Oct 30, 2017


"In conjunction with studies of advanced spacecraft, General Dynamics Astronautics has developed configurations for use with both the Saturn IB and Saturn V launch vehicles. One of the favored concepts designed for a lunar logistics system... Unique in its design is the application of compact tankage. The compact tankage provides gains in design efficiency by effectively utilizing the available space within the basic vehicle structure. Design versatility is achieved by using toroidal, unisoidal or cylindrical tank shapes. The compact tank, when used in the Saturn IB upper stage, contributes design advantages that greatly increase the third stage performance... "


The Saturn family of American rocket boosters was developed by a team of mostly German rocket scientists led by Wernher von Braun to launch heavy payloads to Earth orbit and beyond. Originally proposed as a military satellite launcher, they were adopted as the launch vehicles for the Apollo moon program. Three versions were built and flown: Saturn I, Saturn IB, and Saturn V.

The Saturn name was proposed by von Braun in October 1958 as a logical successor to the Jupiter series as well as the Roman god's powerful position.

President John F. Kennedy identified the Saturn I SA-5 launch as being the point where US lift capability would surpass the Soviets, after having been behind since Sputnik. This was last mentioned by him in a speech he gave at Brooks AFB in San Antonio on the day before he was assassinated.

To date, the Saturn V is the only launch vehicle to transport human beings beyond low Earth orbit. A total of 24 humans were flown to the Moon in the four years spanning December 1968 through December 1972. No Saturn rocket failed catastrophically in flight.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convair

Convair was an American aircraft manufacturing company which later expanded into rockets and spacecraft. The company was formed in 1943 by the merger of Consolidated Aircraft and Vultee Aircraft and went on to produce aircraft such as the Convair B-36 bomber, the F-102 Delta Dagger, the F-106 Delta Dart, the B-58 Hustler bomber, as well as the Convair 880 and Convair 990 jet airliners. It also manufactured the first Atlas rockets, including the rockets that were used for the manned orbital flights of Project Mercury. The company's subsequent Atlas-Centaur design continued this success and derivatives of the design remain in use as of 2017. In 1994 most of the company's divisions were sold by then-owners General Dynamics to McDonnell Douglas and Lockheed, with the remaining components deactivated in 1996.

In 1994, the General Dynamics Corporation split and sold the original Convair Division, along with other General Dynamics aerospace units that had been swept into it over the decades. The airframe/aerostructures manufacturing company and the space boosters company (both mostly in California) were sold to the McDonnell Douglas Corporation. The Fort Worth, Texas factory and its associated engineering locations and laboratories which had been previously used for the manufacture of hundreds of General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark fighter-bombers and F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters for the U.S. Air Force, along with dozens of smaller projects were sold, along with all intellectual property and the legal rights to the products that were being designed and built within, to the Lockheed Corporation. In 1996, General Dynamics deactivated all of the remaining legal entities of the Convair Division.

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Originally a public domain film, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiRh3M2T9ZY?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

Offline JWag

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Re: Saturn Launch Vehicle Toroidal Tank Development Program
« Reply #1 on: 10/31/2017 05:38 PM »
Thanks for this. Has anyone actually flown cryogenic toroidal tanks? The Soviets/Russians have used them since the '60s, but to my knowledge, only for hypergols.

Offline Dmitry_V_home

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Re: Saturn Launch Vehicle Toroidal Tank Development Program
« Reply #2 on: 11/01/2017 05:13 PM »
Thanks for this. Has anyone actually flown cryogenic toroidal tanks? The Soviets/Russians have used them since the '60s, but to my knowledge, only for hypergols.

Blocks E, L, LM: tanks for liqud oxigen

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Saturn Launch Vehicle Toroidal Tank Development Program
« Reply #3 on: 11/05/2017 06:21 PM »

Originally a public domain film, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiRh3M2T9ZY?t=001


Very interesting, especially the details of translating the idea to the actual practice.

I suspect today a lot of this would be done using Friction Stir Welding (without an HAZ) or lasers for a very small HAZ. Likewise shape measuring would be done by co ordinate measuring machines. A good question would be will they stay with chem milling to thin the tank walls or a high accuracy CNC router.

You'll note the interest in "Low aspect ratio" squat designs like the DC-X, even 20 years earlier.  This was probably to simplify the control problem, which would have been viewed as nearly impossible (with the flight computer capabilities of the time) and in fact was too tough to solve for a high AR structure without grid fins.

"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.

Online Phillip Clark

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Re: Saturn Launch Vehicle Toroidal Tank Development Program
« Reply #4 on: 11/05/2017 07:49 PM »
The Soviet Blok Ye (E) with a toroidal propellant tank first flew in 1958.   It was the upper stage of the Vostok launch vehicle and first flew on the first generation Luna missions.

Offline tankmodeler

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Re: Saturn Launch Vehicle Toroidal Tank Development Program
« Reply #5 on: 11/10/2017 02:35 PM »
I suspect today a lot of this would be done using Friction Stir Welding (without an HAZ) or lasers for a very small HAZ. Likewise shape measuring would be done by co ordinate measuring machines. A good question would be will they stay with chem milling to thin the tank walls or a high accuracy CNC router.
Chem milling is still preferred for wall thickness down to .025". It's really tough to machine under 0.050" thick.

Paul
Sr. Mech. Engineer
MDA

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