Author Topic: SNC Dream Chaser UPDATE Thread  (Read 426858 times)

Offline yg1968

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Re: SNC Dream Chaser UPDATE Thread
« Reply #800 on: 11/14/2017 11:45 PM »
Here is a transcript of today's Q&A (on twitter) with Steve Lindsey of SNC:

https://twitter.com/SierraNevCorp/with_replies

Question: 1st: Congrats!!! 2nd: the left landing gear appeared to develop a, "wicked shimmy" shortly after landing. Did that actually occur or was it some kind of optical illusion or camera artifact?

Answer: I didn't see that; good rollout so maybe an artifact?

Question: Will the cargo DC still have windows (like the test article)?

Answer: No windows on the cargo version - sad for a pilot like me 😟

Question: Do you already have an aspirational target date for the demo/maiden flight of the actual (not the test article) DC?

Answer: We are currently in discussions with @Space_Station on when our first flight will occur

Question: Looking to the future: can/will Dream Chaser launch with several launch providers after its initial flights with @ulalaunch? Such as @SpaceX, @Arianespace or @blueorigin?

Answer: We are assessing multiple launch vehicles for future missions. 

Question: What are your plans for DC in the post-ISS world?

Answer: We are looking at many different types of missions, to include stand alone science missions, satellite servicing missions, and crewed missions ... just to name a few.  We intend to be flying Dream Chasers for a long, long time. 

Question: what rocket do you guys plan to launch with?

Answer: Our first mission will be on an Atlas V rocket @ulalaunch .

Question: How many Dream Chaser spaceplanes does SNC currently plan to build and operate?

Answer: Total number will depend upon the customers and types of missions we fly.  Hopefully a whole fleet of Dream Chasers!

Question: does the Dream Chaser still have the capabilities preform an ISS orbit boost?

Answer: Yes, we do. 

Question: First off, thank you for your contributions To the space program, Steve. My question to you is: What lessons were learned from drop test 1 and what changed between the first flight and now?

Answer: We learned so many lessons from the first flight, I can't possibly list them here.  The same will be true from this flight.  And this is exactly why we flight test; to make our orbital vehicle/system better. 

Question: What’s the maximum amount of time Dream Chaser could stay on orbit, docked to the ISS?

Answer: For cargo/science resupply flights, 45-75 days.  But that's based on what @Space_Station has requested in their visiting vehicle traffic manifest; we can stay docked or berthed longer than that if needed. 

Question: Do you have internships available for college students that will provide hands-on experience with projects like Dream Chaser?

Answer: YES!! Go check out the SNC website - http://sncorp.com 

Question: For crewed flights, what abort options will Dream Chaser have if an emergency occurs during launch?

Answer: We have designed the Dream Chaser to be able to abort anytime during ascent (including while sitting on the launch pad).  For missions to the @Space_Station, we also have the ability to land at runways up the east coast of the United States.

Question: What is the future of this particular Dream Chaser vehicle after its completed all testing? Donating it to a museum?

Answer: Right now we plan to keep it in 'flyable storage' so we can use it for future test flights if needed.  It is also human rated, so when we build a crewed version in the future we'll do additional atmospheric flight test.  Then maybe to a museum!

Question: Because I think all LV's in dev't now should have REUSABILITY as a basic feature, what's SNC's aspirational target for number of reuse w/ minimal refurbishment for each D.C. spacecraft?

Answer: Our design goal is 15 flight reuse -- we'll get better data on their actual life once we start flying missions

Questions: 1) Has all the CFD/Modeling been done for launch/stress atop the Atlas V? 2) Were other firms' launchers modeled/tested? 3) Time/issues if converting to Astronaut Ferry Mission?

Answers: We've done a lot of CFD/Modeling work on the Dream Chaser and our Launch Vehicle.  We are investigating several different launch vehicles; this will include similar work.  We maintain a 'path to crew' with our vehicle; crew and cargo vehicles are about 85% common

Question: I am wondering; If the successful atmospheric Free-Flight test of @SierraNevCorp's Dream Chaser, on November 12, did not included a test-routine for the folding-wing design, when and how will that be tested?

Answer: We'll test the wing deployment system on the ground and in a vacuum & thermal chamber.  The wings are deployed on orbit - so they'll already be fixed in place prior to entry.

Question: My dad noted many similarities (visually) between Dream Chaser and X-38. Was that program the starting point for this one?

Answer: Similar, but different heritage from the X-38.  The Dream Chaser comes from NASA's HL-20 Program, which came from the Russian BOR-4 Program.  How's that for an interesting heritage?!

Question: In mid flight during the drop test,  the DC seemed to wobble from left to right. Was this normal?

Answer: Great question!  That 'wobbling' was actually an intentional 'Programmed Test Input', or PTI.  This set of maneuvers was designed to assess the responsiveness and stability of the vehicle and provide us better aerodynamic data.  Worked Great!!

Question: Why the lag on getting video out? It's so much easier for folks like me to retweet stuff when it's there to retweet - and we're ALWAYS hungry for webcasts!

Answer: It was Veteran's day weekend.  We flew at a closed airfield (Edwards AFB) -- and the men and women of the USAF deserved the weekend off!  We processed the video as soon as we had access to it.

Question: how many test flights do you think there will be after the most recent one?

Answer: We're assessing the data from this most recent test - our decision to execute additional test flights will be based on whether or not we accomplished all of our test objectives from this flight. 

Question: Was #DreamChaser being flown strictly via computer or was a human involved?

Answer: The Dream Chaser flew autonomously (via computers and pre-programmed commands).  However, we also had a flight control team capable of commanding the vehicle and analyzing telemetry in real time.

Question: Will the U.N. mission in 2021 land in the United States or outside the U.S?

Answer: We haven't made a decision on this -- but we are working this question with  @UNOOSA

Question: What's the transition has been like btwn space shuttle nd dream chaser...does smaller means less complicated or the opposite...in reference to design, aerodynamics, propulsion etc..

Answer: We took all of the lessons learned from the Space Shuttle Program and applied them to our design; making the vehicle as robust and simple as possible.  This will make Dream Chaser more reliable and less expensive to operate.

Question: I noticed that even when #DreamChaser is in contact with the ground on all 3 landing gears it is still pitched up somewhat. Most aircraft are pitched down a little. Why is that?

Answer: Our nose skid strut is a little higher but when at rest the vehicle is pretty level.  The shuttle nose gear was much shorter, and that resulted in much firmer 'slapdown' forces.  Our derotation and nose strut touchdown is much gentler by comparison

Question: what are the 2 most important safety features redesigned in DreamChaser vs Space Shuttle?

Answer: 2 that come to mind are:- We went from toxic chemicals (such as hypergolic fuels and hydrazine) to non-toxic fuels, which make for easier access to the vehicle and safer ground processing - Improved, tougher heat shield
« Last Edit: 11/15/2017 12:06 AM by yg1968 »

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: SNC Dream Chaser UPDATE Thread
« Reply #801 on: 11/15/2017 05:34 PM »
Question: In mid flight during the drop test,  the DC seemed to wobble from left to right. Was this normal?

Answer: Great question!  That 'wobbling' was actually an intentional 'Programmed Test Input', or PTI.  This set of maneuvers was designed to assess the responsiveness and stability of the vehicle and provide us better aerodynamic data.  Worked Great!!

I noticed this wobble in the video, and was about to post about it in concern before I saw this post.  I recall the lifting bodies tested in the '60s tended to have a roll instability, which at times caused loss of vehicles.  I believe a large central vertical stabilizer was added to the HL-10 at one point, to try and reduce this instability.

Good to see that the DC design not only anticipated this instability as a potential problem (which has obviously been designed out), but also that they incorporated an intentional roll instability in this ALT in order to see how well the avionics damped it out.

Great to see!
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

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Re: SNC Dream Chaser UPDATE Thread
« Reply #802 on: 11/15/2017 09:44 PM »

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Re: SNC Dream Chaser UPDATE Thread
« Reply #804 on: 11/15/2017 10:50 PM »
Quote
Dream Chaser® spacecraft Free-Flight test by the numbers...

https://twitter.com/sierranevcorp/status/930944414452781057

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Re: SNC Dream Chaser UPDATE Thread
« Reply #805 on: 11/16/2017 12:20 AM »
Question: In mid flight during the drop test,  the DC seemed to wobble from left to right. Was this normal?

Answer: Great question!  That 'wobbling' was actually an intentional 'Programmed Test Input', or PTI.  This set of maneuvers was designed to assess the responsiveness and stability of the vehicle and provide us better aerodynamic data.  Worked Great!!

I noticed this wobble in the video, and was about to post about it in concern before I saw this post.  I recall the lifting bodies tested in the '60s tended to have a roll instability, which at times caused loss of vehicles.  I believe a large central vertical stabilizer was added to the HL-10 at one point, to try and reduce this instability.

Good to see that the DC design not only anticipated this instability as a potential problem (which has obviously been designed out), but also that they incorporated an intentional roll instability in this ALT in order to see how well the avionics damped it out.

Great to see!

I believe it was the M2 F2.  It was susceptible to a phenomenon similar to a Dutch role at high angles of attack.  This led to an incident stemming from a temporary distraction from a helicopter that led to a late/overly aggressive pull-up which ended up producing the high angle of attack with the incident of instability.  This instability was quickly recovered from but resulted in a late landing gear deployment.  The landing gear was not fully deployed at touchdown and folded back into the aircraft.  As the M2 F2 did not have either wings nor a relatively flat bottom the resulting lack of deployed landing ended up in a rather spectacular series of ground loops.  With the last ground loop plopping the M2 F2 onto its back.  (This spectacular footage was used in the opening clips of the $6 million man).  The pilot suffered significant but not fatal injuries.  The injuries were not fatal because the cockpit stayed in essentially one piece.  Due to a design flaw in the original construction, the correction resulted in the cockpit being way overbuild to the original design specifications which would've been inadequate to save the pilot in this event.  Eventually, the program continued with a new lifting body design called the M2 F3 that had a 3rd center fin to correct the instability problem.`

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: SNC Dream Chaser UPDATE Thread
« Reply #806 on: 11/16/2017 01:54 AM »
Question: In mid flight during the drop test,  the DC seemed to wobble from left to right. Was this normal?

Answer: Great question!  That 'wobbling' was actually an intentional 'Programmed Test Input', or PTI.  This set of maneuvers was designed to assess the responsiveness and stability of the vehicle and provide us better aerodynamic data.  Worked Great!!

I noticed this wobble in the video, and was about to post about it in concern before I saw this post.  I recall the lifting bodies tested in the '60s tended to have a roll instability, which at times caused loss of vehicles.  I believe a large central vertical stabilizer was added to the HL-10 at one point, to try and reduce this instability.

Good to see that the DC design not only anticipated this instability as a potential problem (which has obviously been designed out), but also that they incorporated an intentional roll instability in this ALT in order to see how well the avionics damped it out.

Great to see!

I believe it was the M2 F2.  It was susceptible to a phenomenon similar to a Dutch role at high angles of attack.  This led to an incident stemming from a temporary distraction from a helicopter that led to a late/overly aggressive pull-up which ended up producing the high angle of attack with the incident of instability.  This instability was quickly recovered from but resulted in a late landing gear deployment.  The landing gear was not fully deployed at touchdown and folded back into the aircraft.  As the M2 F2 did not have either wings nor a relatively flat bottom the resulting lack of deployed landing ended up in a rather spectacular series of ground loops.  With the last ground loop plopping the M2 F2 onto its back.  (This spectacular footage was used in the opening clips of the $6 million man).  The pilot suffered significant but not fatal injuries.  The injuries were not fatal because the cockpit stayed in essentially one piece.  Due to a design flaw in the original construction, the correction resulted in the cockpit being way overbuild to the original design specifications which would've been inadequate to save the pilot in this event.  Eventually, the program continued with a new lifting body design called the M2 F3 that had a 3rd center fin to correct the instability problem.`
Aren't we being naughty discussing in the update thread? To cap it off the M2 series was the inverted "half-cone" and the most radical of the lifting bodies. The X-24A/B (flat bottom) and HL-10 (cambered bottom) were more benign in handling especially after the glove was fitted to the HL-10 two outer vertical stabilizers... It was these two that led there design evolution to the X-38 and HL-20... The BOR-4/SPIRAL were not a true lifting body designs from entry to landing as their vertical stabilizers folded down to a conventional wing position in order to land. The HL-20 and Dream Chaser proved that the pure lifting body concept was sound aerodynamically subsonically to touchdown as we saw...
« Last Edit: 11/16/2017 01:58 AM by Rocket Science »
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Offline Lar

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Re: SNC Dream Chaser UPDATE Thread
« Reply #807 on: 11/16/2017 02:31 AM »
Yeah guys, there IS a discussion thread.
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Re: SNC Dream Chaser UPDATE Thread
« Reply #808 on: 11/16/2017 06:06 AM »
    Hopefully we'll get those approach/touchdown pics in hi-res sometime soon..?

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Re: SNC Dream Chaser UPDATE Thread
« Reply #809 on: 11/16/2017 01:16 PM »

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Re: SNC Dream Chaser UPDATE Thread
« Reply #810 on: 11/16/2017 08:47 PM »
     Well found :)

Offline rayleighscatter

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Re: SNC Dream Chaser UPDATE Thread
« Reply #811 on: 11/18/2017 02:41 PM »
An SNC Update that slipped under the radar (which is why it refers to a free flight test later in the year).

Quote
Here is a brief overview of several tests that have been completed to date on the Dream Chaser at NASA’s AFRC:

Tow Testing

The Dream Chaser must undergo several tow tests to validate the performance of the spacecraft’s nose skid, brakes, tires and critical elements of the Guidance, Navigation and Control system of the Dream Chaser. During these tow tests, the vehicle is towed by a pickup truck to various speeds. Once the top speed is reached, Dream Chaser is then released from the tow hitch and the vehicle’s braking system is then used to bring it to a complete stop. Include link to new tow test video?

    20/30/40 mph Tow Tests: March 15 and May 2, 2017
    These tests were performed as part of a ramp-up approach to higher speed tow tests. Objectives included:  Verify ground navigation, verify control, verify differential braking capability, verify simultaneous braking capability and verify tire/rolling friction models.

    60 mph Tow tests: May 20, 2017
    These tests were performed as part of a ramp-up approach to the Captive Carry and Free Flight tests later this year. After three successful tow tests at this speed, the avionics and brakes operated as expected and the vehicle is ready for the Free Flight later this year. One final 60 mph tow test will be completed before the Free Flight Test.

Moments of Inertia (MOI) Tests: March 22 to April 1, 2017


SNC partnered with the Flight Loads Laboratory at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center to perform mass properties measurement testing on the Dream Chaser. The vehicle mass properties were successfully characterized allowing the team to better estimate the flight performance. Testing the vehicle in multiple configurations over multiple test runs reduced the testing uncertainty and provided accurate results.

Airborne - Ground Resonance Test: April 24-26 2017

SNC, again partnering with the AFRC Flight Loads Lab, measured the structural response of the Dream Chaser spacecraft to programmed flight control system sweeps at various frequencies. This test was performed with the Dream Chaser in an airborne configuration (landing gear retracted) and resting on the Flight Loads Lab "soft support" system to simulate an airborne environment. This test was the sister to the Rollout - Ground Resonance Test performed in Louisville, Colorado in December 2016.

Radar Altimeter Calibration: April 28-29, 2017

These tests were completed in Hangar 4833 (the former Space Shuttle hangar used for Enterprise) at AFRC. This test involved two cranes lifting the test article at three different pitch angles and deploying the gear at the max crane height during each test case. The main objective of this test was to demonstrate the integrated functionality and performance of the radar altimeters with the landing gear stowed, during landing gear deployment, and after landing gear deployment. Additional objectives included demonstrating that the radar altimeters worked simultaneously as well as independently.

Ground and Airborne - Gain Margin Tests (GMT): May 15 and May 22-24, respectively

Our Guidance, Navigation and Control System engineers designed specific software filters to ensure the Dream Chaser structure responds well to flight control surface inputs.  Gain Margin Tests were performed in both ground and airborne configurations to evaluate specific flight control surface inputs and verifying fundamental laws of aerodynamics.  The airborne gain margin tests were performed on the flight loads lab and ground testing was performed while Dream Chaser was on its landing gear.

Additionally, the team just completed their first Captive Carry Test, allowing them to refine helicopter crew techniques, gather a wide variety of additional data on the vehicle and provide an opportunity for the flight control team to train prior to the Free Flight Test.

https://www.sncorp.com/blog/snc-dream-chaser-armstrong-test-overview/

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Re: SNC Dream Chaser UPDATE Thread
« Reply #812 on: 11/24/2017 06:51 PM »
FEATURE ARTICLE: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights - https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/11/dream-chaser-test-prepares-orbital-flights/

By Chris Gebhardt

Epic Uncrewed Dream Chaser L2 Renders - including the lead render - via NSF's Nathan Koga

Offline yg1968

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Re: SNC Dream Chaser UPDATE Thread
« Reply #813 on: 12/01/2017 11:15 PM »
New video (highlights of the drop test) has just been released by SNC:
https://twitter.com/SierraNevCorp/status/936384381765201920

« Last Edit: 12/01/2017 11:17 PM by yg1968 »

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Re: SNC Dream Chaser UPDATE Thread
« Reply #814 on: 12/09/2017 11:58 PM »
What was the date of the August tow test - 8/17 or 8/18?

per SNC media photo page - there are a number of pics of Dream Chaser including one that shows it braking on a taxiway with a date of 8/17 ..... https://www.sncorp.com/news-resources/media-resources/

while the SNC Twitter posts are on 8/18 ..... https://twitter.com/sierranevcorp/status/898666097313849344

which is the correct date?

Thanks.

Offline yg1968

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Re: SNC Dream Chaser UPDATE Thread
« Reply #815 on: 12/17/2017 04:54 PM »
AZUR SPACE Selected by Sierra Nevada Corporation to Build DREAM CHASER Spacecraft Solar Panels

http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/3591087

The solar panels are on the cargo module that is attached to DC.

Quote
The 3G30C-Advanced solar cells will be manufactured at AZUR SPACE’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities located in Heilbronn, Germany. For AZUR SPACE, the Space Equipment business of Airbus Defence and Space will produce the completed solar panels in Ottobrunn, Germany, using decades of product heritage, engineering expertise and manufacturing experience.
« Last Edit: 01/02/2018 09:22 PM by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Re: SNC Dream Chaser UPDATE Thread
« Reply #816 on: 01/02/2018 09:19 PM »
Triumph Expands Space Applications with Contract for Dream Chaser Spacecraft Landing Gear System:

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180102005862/en/Triumph-Expands-Space-Applications-Contract-Dream-Chaser/

Quote
The contract for work was signed with Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), and includes the main and nose landing gear as well as integrated actuation solutions for the landing gear and gear door systems manufactured at Triumph’s Redmond, Washington site.
« Last Edit: 01/02/2018 09:48 PM by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Re: SNC Dream Chaser UPDATE Thread
« Reply #817 on: 01/05/2018 04:51 PM »
Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser spacecraft passes major NASA milestone after free-flight test:
https://www.sncorp.com/press-releases/snc-dream-chaser-passes-milestone-4b/

Quote from: SNC
Milestone 4B validated the spacecraft’s design for a safe and reliable return of cargo services to Earth through a gentle runway landing, signaling the program is one step closer to orbital operations. [...] The NASA Commercial Crew Program reviewed the data, confirming it fully met or exceeded all requirements and authorized full payment of the milestone.  Additionally, SNC collected a significant amount of additional information that will be used for the final vehicle design. [...]

The approach and landing test included intentional maneuvers both to assess the responsiveness of the Dream Chaser to control inputs and to measure the resulting stability of the vehicle under very dynamic, stressful conditions.  This showcased the aerodynamic capability of the Dream Chaser as well as performance of the integrated computer system that autonomously returned the vehicle to a safe runway landing. These are critical components for orbital missions to and from the International Space Station.
« Last Edit: 01/05/2018 04:57 PM by yg1968 »

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Re: SNC Dream Chaser UPDATE Thread
« Reply #818 on: 01/06/2018 01:41 AM »
Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser spacecraft passes major NASA milestone after free-flight test:
https://www.sncorp.com/press-releases/snc-dream-chaser-passes-milestone-4b/

The press release also included the following:
Quote from: SNC
The vehicle’s next milestone will be the CRS2 Dream Chaser Critical Design Review, scheduled for 2018.
« Last Edit: 01/06/2018 01:42 AM by deruch »
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Re: SNC Dream Chaser UPDATE Thread
« Reply #819 on: 01/09/2018 02:53 PM »
So in summary.

They got the milestone payment from NASA for this.

They have contracts in for solar panels to extend their duration on orbit (potentially allowing them to serve as a free flying laboratory)

They have contracts in to a landing gear supplier to ensure that's taken care of, which is pretty important given the trouble their first landing test had with landing gear re-purposed from an old plane (although a perfectly reasonable strategy to keep down costs for an experimental vehicle)

They are still in the running for NASA CRS contracts.

Which all together is pretty exciting. 2018 should be quite a years for SNC and DC.
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