Author Topic: Ursa Major Technologies  (Read 89930 times)

Offline Gliderflyer

Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #40 on: 03/03/2018 04:09 pm »
I stumbled across a new Hadley hotfire video (attached) that I haven't seen posted anywhere. It's on the ABL Space Systems website, which appears to be using all Ursa Major engines.
I tried it at home

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #41 on: 03/04/2018 06:52 am »
I’ve started a new thread for ABL Space Systems: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=45148.0

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #42 on: 03/04/2018 08:17 am »
Diffusion bonded small scale turbomachinery?  You mean like this:
Yes.

I've looked at that patent. It seems to imply  the structure of a turbopump can be built with one stack of foils, case and rotor together, yet they have the rotor made of a stack of cones. While achieving a better initial shape for the rotor that looks like you need to press each foil to get the cone. This ignores post bonding machining as well. It almost looks like you'd be better off putting a cone shaped lump of metal inside the stacked foils for the shell before beginning the bonding cycle.

IOW the patent looks plausible, but I'm not sure it's not logically impossible. Something not quite right about the axes of the foils  :(
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Offline Darkseraph

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #43 on: 03/04/2018 12:49 pm »
After Falcon Heavy demonstrated it is at least feasible to launch a vehicle with 27 engines, it would be interesting to see if clusters of  Ripley and Hadley engines would enable a medium lift ELV or RLV. Something on the order of ~3 meters wide and carbon fiber tanks. Both engines are staged combustion so would be relatively efficient. Obviously this would be less mass efficient than fewer larger engines, but larger engines are really expensive and take a long time to develop. Particularly for an RLV, it could be preferable for a new company to skip developing its own engines and perfect launch and recovery of the booster.
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Online Markstark

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #44 on: 03/04/2018 01:34 pm »
Anyone know how much these engines go for? Roughly


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Offline gin455res

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #45 on: 03/07/2018 07:36 am »
After Falcon Heavy demonstrated it is at least feasible to launch a vehicle with 27 engines, it would be interesting to see if clusters of  Ripley and Hadley engines would enable a medium lift ELV or RLV. Something on the order of ~3 meters wide and carbon fiber tanks. Both engines are staged combustion so would be relatively efficient. Obviously this would be less mass efficient than fewer larger engines, but larger engines are really expensive and take a long time to develop. Particularly for an RLV, it could be preferable for a new company to skip developing its own engines and perfect launch and recovery of the booster.

It would also allow the system to go three stages to orbit with a single engine type. This might simplify second stage reusability, (and reduce the number of orbital re-fuellings needed to go to BEO if the third-stage arrives in LEO with a larger fuel fraction than an alternate two stage system?)

Alternately, could the Ripley engine once proven, be a useful element in a reusable Falcon 9 second stage.  With some of the advantages of a raptor upper-stage (higher staged combustion isp), without requiring the development of the fuelling systems for a third propellant (methane); along with enough clustering to enable powered landings?

Offline jongoff

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #46 on: 10/08/2019 03:45 am »
I noticed this thread has been dormant for a while, so I wanted to post links to some recent news and items I recently noticed:

1- They just finished qualification of their Block 1 Hadley engine (a 5000lbf LOX/Kero ORSC engine): https://www.instagram.com/p/B3GFL2PBVG-/

2- Their engine page (https://www.ursamajortechnologies.com/engines), as well as the second to last picture on their gallery page (https://www.ursamajortechnologies.com/gallery) shows they're making good headway on their 35kblf Ripley engines.

3- They also tease their next engine after Ripley -- Samus: "High-energy propulsion for the 21st Century, the Ursa Major Samus engine is a 50,000 lbf liquid hydrogen engine. Evolving the manufacturing and architectural features of Ripley and Hadley, Samus is a fuel-rich staged combustion upper-stage propulsion solution. World-class performance packaged as a complete integrated system makes Samus ideal for medium and heavy class space-launch applications."

That last one was intriguing. I wonder if they're doing Samus for ULA or NG? ULA has baselined the RL10 for Centaur-V, but I know they were interested in the past with a higher thrust engine like BE-3U. With the increasing competition between ULA and Blue, I wouldn't be surprised if they were interested in an alternative that didn't help a competitor.

I also wonder how Samus will compare performance-wise with the RL-10 costwise and Isp-wise. For their Ripley and Hadley engines, they're competing with gas generator engines (which have worse Isp), and electropumped engines (which have worse T/W ratio), so it'll be interesting to see how the Samus project works out. It's cool to see them making some headway though. I hope they're finding customer interest as well (at the end of the day, dollars are the real rocket propellant).

All this is speculation on my part though other than the stuff in their public links. It's been almost a year since the last time I got to visit their shop, even though it's on one of the two main routes from my house to my own office.

~Jon

Online Stan-1967

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #47 on: 10/08/2019 05:09 am »
Ursa has upcoming flight whenever the X-60A from Generation Orbit first flies, but they do look like they are having success courting partners through AFRL & the web Homepage suggest they are of interest to "market leaders as well as scrappy startups"  The only US "market leader" not vertically integrated into propulsion is ULA, & the ULA fit makes sense for what they need on Vulcan's upper stage.

I tend to think their business model is their biggest risk, but when they get some flight history they will be much more attractive to consider vs. AJR.   The first generation engines ( Hadley & Ripley ) look like they were aiming for the small launcher market, which does not seem to be working out for them.  Are they nimble enough to offer engines for lunar lander or upper stage propulsion?

Offline novak

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #48 on: 10/08/2019 06:17 am »
The first generation engines ( Hadley & Ripley ) look like they were aiming for the small launcher market, which does not seem to be working out for them.  Are they nimble enough to offer engines for lunar lander or upper stage propulsion?

This is an interesting point. Ursa is pretty far ahead of existing small launcher companies in propulsion technology but there seems to be a kind of hitch:  This is a big chunk of the development cost of a launch vehicle, which means it would cost a lot of money to pay off.  The small launcher companies worm their way around that by promising to have launches roughly every 30 seconds, but for a company that has to sell its engines at a profit it's a race to the bottom, and they can only claim what they've sold.  And they don't want to sell at a loss, so they have to charge a sane price.  Maybe when the market gets a little smaller the startups will come looking for a real competitive advantage.

Until then, I think deep space/thruster class engines may be a little easier to market because you're selling to a lander/spacecraft company, and that's where the actual money is.  A couple million more or less is nothing, and no one (yet) thinks we're going to launch a lunar lander every day.  Better to have something reliable.
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Offline jongoff

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #49 on: 10/08/2019 09:52 pm »
The only US "market leader" not vertically integrated into propulsion is ULA, & the ULA fit makes sense for what they need on Vulcan's upper stage.

I wouldn't go quite that far. NG is developing OmegA, and it intends to use a LOX/LH2 upper stage with engines procured from a third party. I'm not sure if they've baselined someone yet (BE-3U or RL-10), or if they're still open to new providers. But for either NG or ULA, Samus could be a good upgrade if Ursa Major can both a) make it work reliably, b) get competitive performance, and c) deliver a competitive price.

~Jon

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #50 on: 10/08/2019 10:26 pm »
The only US "market leader" not vertically integrated into propulsion is ULA, & the ULA fit makes sense for what they need on Vulcan's upper stage.

I wouldn't go quite that far. NG is developing OmegA, and it intends to use a LOX/LH2 upper stage with engines procured from a third party. I'm not sure if they've baselined someone yet (BE-3U or RL-10), or if they're still open to new providers. But for either NG or ULA, Samus could be a good upgrade if Ursa Major can both a) make it work reliably, b) get competitive performance, and c) deliver a competitive price.

~Jon
OmegA contracted AR for the RL-10C-5 subfamily (RL-10C-5-0 baseline with continuous improvement increments with RL-60 (expected designation AR-60) being an upgrade path although there are hints that a modern RL10 family successor is likely). ULA would likely have to go to 4 RL10C-X's on its upgrade path but they would rather have a single engine as an upgrade option. RL-60 would keep them at 2 engines

Offline GWH

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #51 on: 10/09/2019 05:14 am »
Going back a few years XCOR was in the competition with Rocketdyne and Blue Origin to supply ULA with engines for their next gen upper stage.
Some more diversity in engine suppliers would be great to see.

Online Stan-1967

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #52 on: 10/09/2019 05:46 am »
The only US "market leader" not vertically integrated into propulsion is ULA, & the ULA fit makes sense for what they need on Vulcan's upper stage.

I wouldn't go quite that far. NG is developing OmegA, and it intends to use a LOX/LH2 upper stage with engines procured from a third party. I'm not sure if they've baselined someone yet (BE-3U or RL-10), or if they're still open to new providers. But for either NG or ULA, Samus could be a good upgrade if Ursa Major can both a) make it work reliably, b) get competitive performance, and c) deliver a competitive price.

~Jon

I appreciate the reminder of NGIS, & maybe I overlook them as a market leader, as I view Antares as their primary vehicle, & that rocket has a very uncertain future. OmegA looks like it will be beholden to contractors with insiders with the key government stakeholders.

As it all relates to Ursa Major, I wonder what it would take in the market to get them to reconsider their business plan of doing propulsion only.  Even AJR tossed a hail mary offer to go vertical & buy ULA back in 2015.   It seems the microlauncher market skipped them over with vertically integrated companies getting most of the VC money & attention.  Jumping into the small launcher market would be a mess right now, so the Samus engine is an interesting signpost of where think they can win?

Offline edzieba

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #53 on: 10/09/2019 02:31 pm »
Until now (or rather, until Ursa have finished engines to sell), vertical integration was the only real option for skmallsat launchers. Now, a smallsat launch company has the option to bid for investment in making their own engines, but get the first few launches done with Ursa-supplied engines. Rockets are not legos, but shortcutting your rivals development time by getting a rocket to orbit in the time it takes to develop tanks and avionics vs. the time to do that plus develop one or more motors may be worth it to survive long enough to develop your own engine.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #54 on: 10/09/2019 04:05 pm »
Until now (or rather, until Ursa have finished engines to sell), vertical integration was the only real option for skmallsat launchers. Now, a smallsat launch company has the option to bid for investment in making their own engines, but get the first few launches done with Ursa-supplied engines. Rockets are not legos, but shortcutting your rivals development time by getting a rocket to orbit in the time it takes to develop tanks and avionics vs. the time to do that plus develop one or more motors may be worth it to survive long enough to develop your own engine.
For RLVs it makes more sense to buy offshelf engines than design and build them inhouse. Extra cost of outsourced engine can be spread over multiple launches. 

Offline Tywin

Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #55 on: 10/09/2019 08:48 pm »
The only US "market leader" not vertically integrated into propulsion is ULA, & the ULA fit makes sense for what they need on Vulcan's upper stage.

I wouldn't go quite that far. NG is developing OmegA, and it intends to use a LOX/LH2 upper stage with engines procured from a third party. I'm not sure if they've baselined someone yet (BE-3U or RL-10), or if they're still open to new providers. But for either NG or ULA, Samus could be a good upgrade if Ursa Major can both a) make it work reliably, b) get competitive performance, and c) deliver a competitive price.

~Jon
OmegA contracted AR for the RL-10C-5 subfamily (RL-10C-5-0 baseline with continuous improvement increments with RL-60 (expected designation AR-60) being an upgrade path although there are hints that a modern RL10 family successor is likely). ULA would likely have to go to 4 RL10C-X's on its upgrade path but they would rather have a single engine as an upgrade option. RL-60 would keep them at 2 engines

Other competence for the upper stage now, is the Vortex engine from SNC...that maybe they try to sell to ULA for Vulcan...
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Offline ParabolicSnark

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #56 on: 10/25/2019 04:18 pm »
While Ursa Major (@ursamajortech) is known for an active Instagram page, I have to wonder what they're actually accomplishing.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqIxGzphAEP/
11/13/2018 (T+0): Ursa completes the first print of the Ripley combustion chamber. Note the print is in 2 pieces with a groove exposing the regen channels in the middle. (This is closed out in a later manufacturing step.) Ursa's website timeline indicates the first printed parts were actually in 9/2018, so this photo is 2 months behind (making the rest of this timeline even worse).

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwK3rW2BntC/
04/12/2019 (T+150 days): The first tease photo of Ripley showing the forward end of the combustion chamber. This suggest it took them about 5 months to weld the two chamber halves together and machine the interfaces shown in this photo.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxyRCOPB1WQ/
05/22/2019 (T+190): The first full picture of Ripley with turbopump housings, aft half of the gimbal, and 2 feed lines.

https://www.instagram.com/p/ByiJYJhhUdZ/
06/10/2019 (T+209): Ripley is teased in the background, blurred with bokeh. It shows all the same items as the last photo.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B0TWxJkhO2r/
07/24/2019 (T+253): Detail of Ripley's LOx housing. This is either their 2nd housing, an old photo, or they took apart Ripley from older photos for this one.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1oVFF9B6FE/
08/26/2019 (T+286): Bokeh blur close up of Ripley. Red cover plates aren't on it, but insides are darkened. No apparent difference in hardware.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B34ggnFhNJw/
10/21/2019 (T+342): The latest tease of Ripley in the background. Again, no difference.

That's almost 6 months (174 days) between the first complete photo and their most recent one and nothing has really changed. Ripley's only service to date has been to sit on a table in the background of photos. This appears to me like an oft-used trick where you assemble a few critical pieces to make a great photo that looks like a lot of progress was made when, in reality, there's a lot more to do. I speculate that those housings are empty: there's no rotor in it. If they had one, there'd be a push to get it on the test site and start running pump testing as soon as possible.

If they have had housings for 6 months and no rotor, that indicates one of two things:
1. They're running into manufacturing issues on the rotor itself (You'd never release the housings to manufacturing unless the design of the rotor was also already complete.)
2. They're not allocating resources to completing Ripley because they have no customers for it. Generation Orbit is only buying Hadley. ABL Space Systems went with in-house engines. Ursa announced the Samus engine, indicating they're chasing a specific customer.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #57 on: 04/25/2020 04:36 am »
Today Ursa tweeted picture of 3xHadley crated and ready for shipping.

I think they are for Orbital which are using them in X-60A. No mention of recovery so assume it is expendable, which is good for Ursa.

https://www.janes.com/article/94285/afrl-delays-first-x-60a-flight

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #58 on: 04/25/2020 06:04 am »
Today Ursa tweeted picture of 3xHadley crated and ready for shipping.

I think they are for Orbital which are using them in X-60A. No mention of recovery so assume it is expendable, which is good for Ursa.

https://www.janes.com/article/94285/afrl-delays-first-x-60a-flight
It is not recoverable but it's larger sibling (awaiting its X designation) had optional parafoil recovery prior to the site update which hides the version from the public because it is no longer DoD approved for release.

LINK: http://generationorbit.com/x-60a/




Quote
X-60A DESCRIPTION
Formerly known as the GOLauncher 1, the X-60A is an affordable air-dropped single-stage rocket powered test platform. The X-60A’s LOX/kerosene liquid propulsion system maximizes performance and mission flexibility compared to traditional solid booster solutions. A small delta wing increases the overall maneuverability of the platform. The X-60A is an expendable research platform with an onboard flight telemetry system for research data capture. The X-60A vehicle will be capable of flying several flight profiles of interest to the high-speed flight test community. In dash mode, the X-60A will be capable of reaching speeds up to Mach 5 – 8 with a test payload attached. The vehicle will also be capable of flying alternate test profiles depending on research requirements. The program’s goal is to develop and operate a low-cost platform that provides regular access to hypersonic flight conditions. The X-60A is not a space launch platform and cannot deliver payloads to orbit.
« Last Edit: 04/25/2020 06:10 am by russianhalo117 »

Offline ParabolicSnark

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Re: Ursa Major Technologies
« Reply #59 on: 04/27/2020 10:31 pm »
It looks like Ursa stripped the Samus engine off their website

Samus: est 10/2019; ret 04/2020. RIP.

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