Author Topic: SPACEHAB's ARCTUS Transfer Vehicle  (Read 67609 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

SPACEHAB's ARCTUS Transfer Vehicle
« on: 06/22/2007 11:59 PM »
Thanks to the source..

This is a one page overview summary that SPACEHAB submitted with their Unfunded Space Act proposal that was recently approved. We have approval for release:

Offline Tim S

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Re: SPACEHAB's ARCTUS Transfer Vehicle
« Reply #1 on: 06/23/2007 04:21 AM »
Anything else Chris? I'm assuming they didn't base it all on just that. I hope for their sakes they didn't.

Offline simonbp

Re: SPACEHAB's ARCTUS Transfer Vehicle
« Reply #2 on: 06/23/2007 04:45 AM »
It has an inflatable heat shield, apparently?

What are it's "flight-proven elements"?

Simon ;)

Offline Jim

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Re: SPACEHAB's ARCTUS Transfer Vehicle
« Reply #3 on: 06/23/2007 12:52 PM »
CFA is the Centaur Forward Adapter.  It looks like two CFA's around a Centaur LOX tank.

Here is a stab at the acronym ARCTUS

Atlas Recoverable Cargo Transfer Upper Stage

Offline Kayla

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Re: SPACEHAB's ARCTUS Transfer Vehicle
« Reply #4 on: 06/23/2007 02:57 PM »
Actually, every element shown in the picture is currently flying or about to fly on various vehicles today:  Avionics, power, thrusters, N2H4 & He bottles, valves, regulators, primary structure and most of the software.  This winds up primarily being an integration effort.

Online nacnud

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Re: SPACEHAB's ARCTUS Transfer Vehicle
« Reply #5 on: 06/23/2007 03:25 PM »
I'm having trouble visualizing how this works. I think that the vehicle docks with the ISS via a CBM and the pressurized cargo is removed from the 10' domed section, and the unpressurised cargo on the 13-21 frames (what are these, something already in use on the shuttle?) is removed via the SSRMS.

For entry the vehicle splits into three, the front shell (unpressurised cargo) the back shell (solar panels, propellant bottles etc) and the pressurised section which is fitted with TPS and and chutes. Only the pressurised section survives entry for recovery.

Is this right?

It seems like a nice design to my ill informed eyes. Are there any obvious problems with this?

PS N2H4 thrusters are mono-propellant, correct?

PPS And why on earth have they got a separation plane between the thrusters and prop tanks? I imagine it's due to CoM issues but that's a lot of extra things to cut.

Offline Danderman

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Re: SPACEHAB's ARCTUS Transfer Vehicle
« Reply #6 on: 06/23/2007 03:47 PM »
What is the connection to the old APEX system?

Offline Jim

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Re: SPACEHAB's ARCTUS Transfer Vehicle
« Reply #7 on: 06/23/2007 04:52 PM »
Quote
nacnud - 23/6/2007  11:25 AM

I'm having trouble visualizing how this works. I think that the vehicle docks with the ISS via a CBM and the pressurized cargo is removed from the 10' domed section, and the unpressurised cargo on the 13-21 frames (what are these, something already in use on the shuttle?) is removed via the SSRMS.

For entry the vehicle splits into three, the front shell (unpressurised cargo) the back shell (solar panels, propellant bottles etc) and the pressurised section which is fitted with TPS and and chutes. Only the pressurised section survives entry for recovery.

Is this right?

It seems like a nice design to my ill informed eyes. Are there any obvious problems with this?

PS N2H4 thrusters are mono-propellant, correct?

PPS And why on earth have they got a separation plane between the thrusters and prop tanks? I imagine it's due to CoM issues but that's a lot of extra things to cut.

N2H4 is hydrazine

FRAMS are on the ISS and express pallets

C adapter and Payload adapter are Atlas


Offline simonbp

Re: SPACEHAB's ARCTUS Transfer Vehicle
« Reply #8 on: 06/23/2007 11:58 PM »
Quote
Kayla - 23/6/2007  7:57 AM

Actually, every element shown in the picture is currently flying or about to fly on various vehicles today:  Avionics, power, thrusters, N2H4 & He bottles, valves, regulators, primary structure and most of the software.  This winds up primarily being an integration effort.

Except for the inflatable heatsheild (TRL 2-3), recovery system (also TRL 2-3), and the important part of the software (rendezvous and docking).

So, SpaceHab got a Space Act agreement for kludging together some Atlas/Centaur bits and pieces, together with a completely unproven recovery system? Dang. Maybe I should get in on this Space Act action and propose launching a large wooden crate on an Atlas V; it might be as likely to work...

Simon ;)

Offline marsavian

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Re: SPACEHAB's ARCTUS Transfer Vehicle
« Reply #9 on: 06/24/2007 12:08 AM »
Go for it !  :cool:

Offline Jim

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Re: SPACEHAB's ARCTUS Transfer Vehicle
« Reply #10 on: 06/24/2007 12:47 AM »
Quote
simonbp - 23/6/2007  7:58 PM


So, SpaceHab got a Space Act agreement for kludging together some Atlas/Centaur bits and pieces, together with a completely unproven recovery system?

There is no money involved so they are easier to get

Offline yinzer

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Re: SPACEHAB's ARCTUS Transfer Vehicle
« Reply #11 on: 06/24/2007 12:50 AM »
Does it even carry pressurized cargo?  It doesn't look to me like there is enough clearance for the existing CBM hatch mechanism to fit.
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Offline Chris Bergin

RE: SPACEHAB's ARCTUS Transfer Vehicle
« Reply #12 on: 06/24/2007 02:49 AM »
Some more:

Astrotech Research & Conventional Technology Utilization Spacecraft (ARCTUS)
 
Michael D. Johnson, Richard Fitts, Brock Howe, Baron Hall
SPACEHAB/Astrotech, Inc., Webster, TX 77598
 
As part of the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Phase I development program, NASA has initiated two development programs (SPACEX and Rocketplane/Kistler) to develop new launch vehicles and associated cargo and crew transportation spacecraft.  

NASA has encouraged other spacecraft developers to continue development of alternate systems that could compete for follow-on ISS cargo contracts after the conclusion of the COTS Phase I program.  With this in mind, SPACEHAB/Astrotech has developed the Astrotech Research & Conventional Technology Utilization Spacecraft (ARCTUS) concept.  

The main goals of the ARCTUS program are to minimize risk and cost by utilizing as many existing components and systems as possible.  The ARCTUS philosophy will minimize non-recurring development costs as well as eliminate unnecessary financial and technical risks (e.g. the development of a new launch vehicle).  

ARCTUS will utilize existing components from the Centaur Upper Stage as well as other existing spacecraft hardware and existing launch vehicles.  In its smallest configuration, ARCTUS accommodates up to 2 mT of ISS external Orbital Replacement Units (ORUs) as well as providing accommodations for 1.9 mT of pressurized cargo.

 Low G reentry capability is provided using LARC IRVE inflatable heat shield technology combined with mid-air helicopter retrieval for the lowest cost, lowest G level retrieval system, and highest return mass fraction possible.  

This is likely the lowest cost, lowest risk approach to the COTS proposal to date.

Images (One displayable, the other a TIF file image, so you'll need to download it and display in a related viewer):

Offline Kayla

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Re: SPACEHAB's ARCTUS Transfer Vehicle
« Reply #13 on: 06/24/2007 02:59 AM »
Quote
nacnud - 23/6/2007  10:25 AM

I'm having trouble visualizing how this works. I think that the vehicle docks with the ISS via a CBM and the pressurized cargo is removed from the 10' domed section, and the unpressurised cargo on the 13-21 frames (what are these, something already in use on the shuttle?) is removed via the SSRMS.

For entry the vehicle splits into three, the front shell (unpressurised cargo) the back shell (solar panels, propellant bottles etc) and the pressurised section which is fitted with TPS and and chutes. Only the pressurised section survives entry for recovery.

Is this right?

You've got the right idea.  Why try and bring back to Earth more than you have to, just adds weight and complexity.  Let the vacuum trash hauled away from the station and the ARCTUS propulsion elements burn up during reentry.

Unlike Dragon and RpK the ARCTUS concept is designed/optimized for cargo not people.  The key element that none of the existing, soon to fly or proposed transfer vehicles can handle, other than the shuttle. are the large orbital replacement units such as the momentum gyros.  

I've been extremely impressed with the knowledge of the SPACEHAB folks regarding ISS payload requirements.  SPACEHAB brings a lot of actual flight experience in handling ISS payloads, having integrated some 18 shuttle modules.  Something that none of the contenders (other than Russian) can touch.

Offline Norm Hartnett

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Re: SPACEHAB's ARCTUS Transfer Vehicle
« Reply #14 on: 06/24/2007 03:58 AM »
yinzer the CBM would be the thing in the lower left end of the above picture. What I don't see is any mention of autonomous docking equipment. Are they planning on using ATV/Kurs?
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Offline yinzer

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Re: SPACEHAB's ARCTUS Transfer Vehicle
« Reply #15 on: 06/24/2007 08:08 AM »
I see the CBM, but if you look at any cutaways of current ISS modules, you'll see that the hatches on the CBM retract inward then slide perpendicular to the CBM axis.  This requires most of the 2.25 meter radius of ISS modules.  I think the PMA CBMs don't have a hatch in them.  I suppose they could work something out, but it'd be interesting to see what.

I'd also imagine that ARCTUS will do the HTV-style close-and-hold-station-then-let-the-SSRMS-grab-and-berth thing.
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Online nacnud

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Re: SPACEHAB's ARCTUS Transfer Vehicle
« Reply #16 on: 06/24/2007 09:49 AM »
Quote
yinzer - 24/6/2007  9:08 AM

I'd also imagine that ARCTUS will do the HTV-style close-and-hold-station-then-let-the-SSRMS-grab-and-berth thing.

It would have to be berthed as it uses the Common Berthing Mechanism, same as HTV, Dragon etc.

Offline simpl simon

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Re: SPACEHAB's ARCTUS Transfer Vehicle
« Reply #17 on: 06/24/2007 01:19 PM »
For me, what is missing here is a reference to a credible propulsion module that would get the ARCTUS from orbit insertion up to the ISS, close enough to the ISS for final approach and berthing operations.
And then additional propellant is needed to depart from the ISS and initiate a controlled re-entry.
I guess helicopter recovery is planned to occur over the continental US if low cost is really a consideration. But where will the rest of the vehicle re-enter? I don't imagine there will be many States lining up to accept space junk raining down on them.
ATV re-enters in a narrow corridor to ensure that anything surviving re-entry splashes down in a remote corner of the Pacific.
I can see that a hydrazine ACS as shown might be suitable for berthing operartions, but you need considerably more delta-V to perform the orbit changes.

Offline Marsman

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Re: SPACEHAB's ARCTUS Transfer Vehicle
« Reply #18 on: 06/24/2007 01:38 PM »
Perhaps a variant of the Centaur is used for two or three orbital maneuvers to get it close to the ISS? Direct insertion with Centaur?

Offline simpl simon

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Re: SPACEHAB's ARCTUS Transfer Vehicle
« Reply #19 on: 06/24/2007 01:59 PM »
Quote
Marsman - 24/6/2007  3:38 PM

Perhaps a variant of the Centaur is used for two or three orbital maneuvers to get it close to the ISS? Direct insertion with Centaur?

Yes, that was my initial assumption. But Centaur is an upper stage, not an orbit transfer system. The thrust is too high, and the cryogenic propellants are not adequately insulated for multiple re-starts over several days.

And anyway, that is only the approach half of the mission. How do you achieve re-entry? If you look at Progress, ATV, HTV, all these vehicles have a docking (or berthing) mechanism at one end and a propulsion module at the other. ARCTUS has a berthing mechanism at one end and external cargo at the other.

Somethig is missing.

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