Author Topic: Reuse business case  (Read 267296 times)

Offline baldusi

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Re: Reuse business case
« Reply #720 on: 04/10/2022 11:30 pm »
ULA has been working on SMART for a long time. I would be really surprised if SMART was not considered in the overall design. I think the boattail is bolted to the tank, thus making it as simple as replacing those bolts with frangible ones. They probably left some annular space to put the HIAD and such.

Offline Surfdaddy

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Re: Reuse business case
« Reply #721 on: 04/11/2022 07:50 pm »
I was re-reading this thread from back in 2015/2016 and the skepticism about reuse and cost savings, given six years' advances, is pretty amusing how it is working out versus how some people thought it just wasn't going to be that big of a deal.

The other big gain from reuse is flexibility. No more need for nearly as much hardware manufacturing. Suddenly, having a "fleet" of first stages, SpaceX can absorb substantial new business with relatively short timelines when you can fly a first stage ten times instead of once.

Edited: Spelling
« Last Edit: 04/12/2022 03:38 am by Surfdaddy »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Reuse business case
« Reply #722 on: 04/11/2022 10:54 pm »
ULA has been working on SMART for a long time. I would be really surprised if SMART was not considered in the overall design. I think the boattail is bolted to the tank, thus making it as simple as replacing those bolts with frangible ones. They probably left some annular space to put the HIAD and such.
vast majority of that time has been extremely underfunded.
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Offline baldusi

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Re: Reuse business case
« Reply #723 on: 04/12/2022 02:48 am »
ULA has been working on SMART for a long time. I would be really surprised if SMART was not considered in the overall design. I think the boattail is bolted to the tank, thus making it as simple as replacing those bolts with frangible ones. They probably left some annular space to put the HIAD and such.
vast majority of that time has been extremely underfunded.
As long as they have a rough idea of what it's going to work like, they can just add it to the SRS of Vulcan development where it goes through that funding. As always, no design resists first contact with reality. But we will see how the boat tail changes once they get to the operative version of SMART. My guess is somewhat, but not that much.

Offline deadman1204

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Re: Reuse business case
« Reply #724 on: 04/12/2022 01:44 pm »
There's an awful lot of armchair engineering going on here - totally confident about how simple and easy SMART is gonna be.

Offline markbike528cbx

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Re: Reuse business case
« Reply #725 on: 04/12/2022 04:26 pm »
There's an awful lot of armchair engineering going on here - totally confident about how simple and easy SMART is gonna be.
I agree that the high degree of optimism may be unwarranted. 

However, what I would have thought was the toughest part of SMART, the propellent disconnect between the engines and booster, was done in 1959 on the ATLAS D.

Off topic - it is amazing the lengths everybody went through to avoid airstarts. ATLAS  dropped engines in flight, the R-7 lit many engines and chambers at once.

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Reuse business case
« Reply #726 on: 04/12/2022 05:07 pm »
There's an awful lot of armchair engineering going on here - totally confident about how simple and easy SMART is gonna be.
I agree that the high degree of optimism may be unwarranted. 

However, what I would have thought was the toughest part of SMART, the propellent disconnect between the engines and booster, was done in 1959 on the ATLAS D.

Propellant disconnect seems like it would be one of the simplest problem to solve - as you said it has been done many times before, but what do I know? ;)

The inflatable heat shield (suitable for the mass distribution of the engine boat-tail), re-entry aerodynamics, and just plain catching logistics will be a challenge. Will some sort of steering be necessary during re-entry? Steering for parachutes? What will catch it, since the landing point will be far beyond land-based helicopter range?

I look forward to finding out the answers to these questions, and to see if SMART really is smart.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Reuse business case
« Reply #727 on: 04/12/2022 05:27 pm »
What will catch it, since the landing point will be far beyond land-based helicopter range?

Pretty easy to takeoff and land a helicopter from a ship, if the weather is suitable.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Reuse business case
« Reply #728 on: 04/12/2022 05:49 pm »


There's an awful lot of armchair engineering going on here - totally confident about how simple and easy SMART is gonna be.
I agree that the high degree of optimism may be unwarranted. 

However, what I would have thought was the toughest part of SMART, the propellent disconnect between the engines and booster, was done in 1959 on the ATLAS D.

Propellant disconnect seems like it would be one of the simplest problem to solve - as you said it has been done many times before, but what do I know? ;)

The inflatable heat shield (suitable for the mass distribution of the engine boat-tail), re-entry aerodynamics, and just plain catching logistics will be a challenge. Will some sort of steering be necessary during re-entry? Steering for parachutes? What will catch it, since the landing point will be far beyond land-based helicopter range?



Mid Air recovery is will proven technology. Just watch how RL has approached it over last few years using dummy boosters to practice MAR.
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Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Reuse business case
« Reply #729 on: 04/12/2022 06:47 pm »
What will catch it, since the landing point will be far beyond land-based helicopter range?

Pretty easy to takeoff and land a helicopter from a ship, if the weather is suitable.
Think ULA is planning to use a CH-53 helo for SMART recovery. Said helo has the longest operational range currently and is also capable of aerial refueling.

Online Comga

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Re: Reuse business case
« Reply #730 on: 04/12/2022 07:59 pm »
ULA has been working on SMART for a long time. I would be really surprised if SMART was not considered in the overall design. I think the boattail is bolted to the tank, thus making it as simple as replacing those bolts with frangible ones. They probably left some annular space to put the HIAD and such.
It’s almost cute when anyone says “simple”. :)
Nothing in rockets ever is.

If one were to distribute the 1.3m dia x 0.6m length of the packed LOFTID decelerator around the periphery of a 5m Vulcan booster, it would only take about a 25 cm minor diameter torus, so volume shouldn't be the biggest issue.

There is a ULA Vulcan tee shirt out there with an illustration of the “guts” of the rocket. It’s not high resolution, being printed on fabric, but it has a lot of details. It does look pretty crowded above the engines.

If it hasn’t been linked here is a good, if 4 year old presentation on LOFTID.

The more I read, the more achievable SMART appears, but it still seems too minor, complex, and incremental approach to “reuse”.
« Last Edit: 04/12/2022 08:04 pm by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: Reuse business case
« Reply #731 on: 04/12/2022 08:35 pm »
ULA has been working on SMART for a long time. I would be really surprised if SMART was not considered in the overall design. I think the boattail is bolted to the tank, thus making it as simple as replacing those bolts with frangible ones. They probably left some annular space to put the HIAD and such.

Not only do they need space for the aeroshell and it's hardware, but in order to separate the engine section from the tank section you not only have to sever the structural elements between the engine section and the tanks, but the electrical and all the propellant pipes.

SpaceX doesn't have to worry about separating engines from tanks because they bring back the entire stage, but just for the propellant pipes, ULA will have to squeeze in hardware to allow for disconnects.

So it doesn't sound simple to me.

Plus, as SpaceX has shown, it takes a LOT of iteration to perfect reusability, yet SpaceX was able to assure customers that the only parts that were changing were NOT related to launch, but only recovery. That won't be the situation ULA will be in with Vulcan, because pretty much all of their reusability features affect their ability to launch. Not sure how they are going to certify a launch configuration while they are constantly making changes to the launch configuration...  :o
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Phil Stooke

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Re: Reuse business case
« Reply #732 on: 04/12/2022 08:49 pm »
"Pretty easy to takeoff and land a helicopter from a ship, if the weather is suitable."

Not quite so easy to land with a rocket dangling underneath.  So... let's see... let it down on the ship, stabilize it, detach and land the chopper separately.  Could be done but I wouldn't call it easy.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Reuse business case
« Reply #733 on: 04/12/2022 09:26 pm »
Mid Air recovery is will proven technology. Just watch how RL has approached it over last few years using dummy boosters to practice MAR.

Just look at how satellite film was recovered in the 60s. Not easy, but doable. As all that is used in SMART. On of the nice things about using boostback is that you reduce the crossrange requirements. With SMART, since they will have no propulsion, it will take a ballistic trajectory with an expected impact point determined by each particular trajectory design, with a relatively large uncertainty. And they still don't know about tumbling, CG shifting and return trajectory nor which parts will have re circulation issues.
As I said before, it will be quite fun development. And the payoff unknown. All I know is that both SpaceX and RocketLabs tried similar things and decided that they would rather make a much bigger development but get everything back.
« Last Edit: 04/12/2022 09:28 pm by baldusi »

Offline JayWee

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Re: Reuse business case
« Reply #734 on: 04/12/2022 09:37 pm »
I'm curious - where did the idea of SMART come from?

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Reuse business case
« Reply #735 on: 04/12/2022 09:54 pm »
I'm curious - where did the idea of SMART come from?
Was originally proposed for Atlas in 2008 but never went anywhere. At that time HIAD was work in progress by NASA with no flight heritage. When SMART was proposed for Vulcan NASA had completed 2 successful suborbital flight demonstrates of HIAD. Later this year ULA and NASA will do orbital reentry demo of HIAD.


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Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Reuse business case
« Reply #736 on: 04/13/2022 01:00 am »

ULA have posted few slides of LV with two flyback engine pods. See attached page 5. Yet to find any written information on it let alone performance figures.

Not sure if pods, glide back to land, parachute or mid air recovery downrange which would require two helicopters.
Initially I thought the pods would separate at same time but staggering would provide some advantages. Have first one glide back to land then 2nd one separate downrange with MAR. This means only one   helicopter and ship is needed which they'd have from SMART.

Performance may not be lot greater than Vulcan with 6 SRBs but they do get to recover all propulsion and integration should be lot quicker and easier than Vulcan engine pods.


http://cloud.tapatalk.com/s/62561e6b5bf83/launch-vehicle-recovery-and-reuse-%28aiaa-space-2015%29.pdf

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Offline GWH

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Re: Reuse business case
« Reply #737 on: 04/13/2022 01:19 am »
ULA has been working on SMART for a long time. I would be really surprised if SMART was not considered in the overall design. I think the boattail is bolted to the tank, thus making it as simple as replacing those bolts with frangible ones. They probably left some annular space to put the HIAD and such.

Not only do they need space for the aeroshell and it's hardware, but in order to separate the engine section from the tank section you not only have to sever the structural elements between the engine section and the tanks, but the electrical and all the propellant pipes.

SpaceX doesn't have to worry about separating engines from tanks because they bring back the entire stage, but just for the propellant pipes, ULA will have to squeeze in hardware to allow for disconnects.

So it doesn't sound simple to me.
...

Not saying it's a walk in the park, but the whole engine separation thing was done in the late 50's on the original Atlas - while the center engine was still firing.


Offline deadman1204

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Re: Reuse business case
« Reply #738 on: 04/13/2022 01:41 am »

ULA have posted few slides of LV with two flyback engine pods. See attached page 5. Yet to find any written information on it let alone performance figures.

Not sure if pods, glide back to land, parachute or mid air recovery downrange which would require two helicopters.
Initially I thought the pods would separate at same time but staggering would provide some advantages. Have first one glide back to land then 2nd one separate downrange with MAR. This means only one   helicopter and ship is needed which they'd have from SMART.

Performance may not be lot greater than Vulcan with 6 SRBs but they do get to recover all propulsion and integration should be lot quicker and easier than Vulcan engine pods.


http://cloud.tapatalk.com/s/62561e6b5bf83/launch-vehicle-recovery-and-reuse-%28aiaa-space-2015%29.pdf

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So thats where ULA got the bogus idea that spaceX needed to reuse a booster 10 times before they would "break even".

Not to say that entire pdf is bunk, alot of interesting things in there. Too bad Dr Sowers totally missed the mark for the cost of booster fly back.

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: Reuse business case
« Reply #739 on: 04/13/2022 02:07 am »
ULA has been working on SMART for a long time. I would be really surprised if SMART was not considered in the overall design. I think the boattail is bolted to the tank, thus making it as simple as replacing those bolts with frangible ones. They probably left some annular space to put the HIAD and such.

Not only do they need space for the aeroshell and it's hardware, but in order to separate the engine section from the tank section you not only have to sever the structural elements between the engine section and the tanks, but the electrical and all the propellant pipes.

SpaceX doesn't have to worry about separating engines from tanks because they bring back the entire stage, but just for the propellant pipes, ULA will have to squeeze in hardware to allow for disconnects.

So it doesn't sound simple to me.
...
Not saying it's a walk in the park, but the whole engine separation thing was done in the late 50's on the original Atlas - while the center engine was still firing.

Right, early Atlas were informally classified as a "stage-and-a-half" rockets, since the "half" were 2 LR89 booster engines that were dropped along with the bottom of the Atlas rocket, leaving just the sustainer engine which had been started on the ground - this was because they hadn't perfected air-start engines yet, but did soon after.

And lots of rockets drop boosters, but you are right that the early Atlas dropped more than the booster engines, and those booster engines used the same propellant that the sustainer engine used.

Color me skeptical that ULA has designed the current Vulcan with all the options needed to start testing dropping the engine section. And if they haven't, then that means they have to redesign (and certify) that new engine section - then they have to find customers willing to fly on those test flights.

Because, again, the reusability features of the Falcon 9 were not specifically related to launching a Falcon 9 payload, so SpaceX didn't have to re-certify the Falcon 9 for each reusable test version. ULA might need to if they don't get reusable Vulcan right on the first try.

I'm not an engineer, so just my $0.02...
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

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