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ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)

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Damon Hill:
Good to know that problem was solved.  I haven't had the best experiences with aluminum engines.  The development engine has iron sleeves because that was a cost effective solution and reasonably light; it will be interesting to see what all the flight hardware finally looks like.

I've seen impressive videos of multi-axis CNC machines ripping out complex engine blocks from solid aluminum blocks.  Certainly this isn't any more expensive than fuel cells; micro-turbines were considered and rejected as well.  In general, IVF development tries to avoid complex, maximum performance solutions in favor of cost-effective and reliable.  I think that's a sign of a well-run program.


--- Quote from: Damon Hill on 04/07/2015 11:16 pm ---
--- Quote from: TrevorMonty on 04/07/2015 10:25 pm ---1) what is the weight saving of IVF?

--- End quote ---

Weight savings through elimination of hydrazine, He, and most batteries have been suggested as 500 kg, but for longer duration missions with additional tankage and batteries thus no longer required, the savings should be even greater.  I've seen suggestions that payload increases could amount to a ton on some missions.  Better management of boiloff would contribute, too.

Presumably the final figures will vary a lot with specific missions and further development of systems.  It will be interesting to see how this translates to essentially free additional payload capability without any changes to the RL10 and the Centaur stage basic design.

--- End quote ---

I thought the paper suggested a 10% dry mass savings for normal missions, which would be closer to 250kg. Still a respectable savings. Hopefully as the design matures, they'll have a better handle on the performance increase.


I love IVF, you've heard me rave about it before. I just have one complaint... :)  what is taking ULA so long :)


--- Quote from: Lar on 04/08/2015 07:41 pm ---I love IVF, you've heard me rave about it before. I just have one complaint... :)  what is taking ULA so long :)

--- End quote ---

They had a proposed mission for first flight.  That customer essentially said: "not on my mission".
I suspect this will be the response for most DoD/NASA missions....

Sounds like it'd make Centaur (or whatever the new upper will be called) into basically a ready-to-go crasher (or uncrasher!) stage for a lunar lander.


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