Author Topic: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)  (Read 124424 times)

Offline russianhalo117

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ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
« on: 04/03/2015 07:30 am »
ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
UnitedLaunchAlliance
Published on Apr 2, 2015

« Last Edit: 05/18/2018 02:55 pm by gongora »

Offline john smith 19

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Wow.

This is an astonishing video. The fact it's been made suggests ULA is very eager to raise people's awareness of the concept and that in fact it's moving into actual deployment. I don't think I've heard of anyone who's seen IVF (and knows what it replaces) who hasn't thought "what a neat idea."

It's also (AFAIK) pretty rare for one of the key developers to do the voice over.

I'll certainly be looking out for the first flight with IVF installed, although I wish they'd start testing some of the sub systems on board earlier flights. ULA has a lot of flights manifested between now and 2018. :(

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Offline Damon Hill

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It's a really elegant way to reduce complexity and costs, and raise payloads at the same time, while keeping the rest of the stage essentially the same hardware.  When looking at the thermodynamics, the choice of a good old-fashioned flathead six cylinder internal combustion piston engine starts to become more obvious.  Fuel cells and Wankel quasi-rotary engines were also considered.

http://tinyurl.com/ula-sas2012

http://tinyurl.com/ula-ivf2012
« Last Edit: 04/04/2015 10:11 am by Galactic Penguin SST »

Offline TrevorMonty

Having unlimited burns and endurance measured in days (limit of existing Centuar tank installation) would allow them to deliver multiple secondary payloads to their destinations. There are a few satellite constellations in development that could benefit from this feature.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Another example of why when many of us criticize ULA it's because of the actions of it's management and owners, not the products or employees.

IVF is the kind of thing that makes you wonder why it's not already standard equipment, so to see that ULA is pressing ahead with making it standard equipment is exciting news.  It sure looks like it's a game changer.

Now if we could just get Congress to understand why NASA no longer needs to do everything itself, and that if Congress wants to support human exploration the best way to do it is through supporting great work already being done in industry, then maybe we'll get somewhere.
« Last Edit: 04/03/2015 08:37 pm by Coastal Ron »
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 hydra9

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IVF technology combined with the latest advances in NASA's crycooler technology should make reusable LOX/LH2 vehicles for lunar and Mars landings and for interplanetary orbital transfer vehicles and propellant depots  a reality by the late 2020s.

Marcel

SLS Fuel Tank Derived Artificial Gravity Habitats, Interplanetary Vehicles, & Fuel Depots

http://newpapyrusmagazine.blogspot.com/2014/05/sls-fuel-tank-derived-artificial.html

Offline hydra9

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Check out these Space Work's/ULA concepts for interplanetary propulsion stages for human missions to Mars using IVF technology:


http://www.sei.aero/eng/papers/uploads/archive/SpaceWorks%20CPS%20Study%20Final%20Distribution.pdf

Offline jongoff

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It's also (AFAIK) pretty rare for one of the key developers to do the voice over.

I thought that was fun too. But Frank's pretty passionate about the technology and it comes through in the video.

Quote
I'll certainly be looking out for the first flight with IVF installed, although I wish they'd start testing some of the sub systems on board earlier flights. ULA has a lot of flights manifested between now and 2018. :(

I wouldn't be surprised if they flew some elements on earlier flights.

~Jon
« Last Edit: 04/03/2015 10:49 pm by jongoff »

Offline russianhalo117

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It's also (AFAIK) pretty rare for one of the key developers to do the voice over.

I thought that was fun too. But Frank's pretty passionate about the technology and it comes through in the video.

Quote
I'll certainly be looking out for the first flight with IVF installed, although I wish they'd start testing some of the sub systems on board earlier flights. ULA has a lot of flights manifested between now and 2018. :(

I wouldn't be surprised if they flew some elements on earlier flights.

~Jon
There is an IVF experiment flying in 2016 as demonstration payload regarding using IVF thrusters to facilitate deorbit on I believe either an SSTO or GSO mission. I would have to read it again fully instead of skimming through it.
This is the white paper from December 2014:
http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/Published_Papers/Supporting_Technologies/Orbital_Disposal_of_Launch_Vehicle_Upper_Stages_final.pdf

Offline mlindner

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So... What's wrong with batteries? I honestly don't understand why this is awesome as people seem to be reacting to it here. Also doesn't this seem to burn fuel that you could be using for propulsion? Also as its hydrogen and oxygen isn't a hydrogen fuel cell (used since apollo era) lighter and more efficient than a piston engine? I don't understand.
« Last Edit: 04/04/2015 09:59 am by mlindner »

Offline Damon Hill

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So... What's wrong with batteries? I honestly don't understand why this is awesome as people seem to be reacting to it here. Also doesn't this seem to burn fuel that you could be using for propulsion? Also as its hydrogen and oxygen isn't a hydrogen fuel cell (used since apollo era) lighter and more efficient than a piston engine? I don't understand.

Read the links and you will understand. 

Basically, IVF takes a major liability of liquid hydrogen, and turns it into an asset.  The hydrogen and oxygen are going to boil off and be lost anyway, so use it for ullage, attitude control, pressurization and electric power.  Eliminate the hydrazine, high pressure helium and most of the batteries, which get heavy on extended duration flights.  IVF can increase payload by upwards of a ton, and increase flight duration to days instead of hours.

Believe it or not, the heat from the relatively inefficient piston engine is rather useful.

There are so many advantages that it's hard to understand why this wasn't done decades ago.  It should work pretty well with methane, too.  I imagine a number of other space agencies are paying close attention to this work.

--Damon

Offline Jim

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There are so many advantages that it's hard to understand why this wasn't done decades ago.

Because it is not really necessary or worth the change for short duration missions like standard GTO (40 minutes) back in the day.  It was until they EELV era (aside from Titan Centaur) that LH2 upper stages started having longer duration missions and more than 2 burns. 
« Last Edit: 04/04/2015 12:54 pm by Jim »

Offline muomega0

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So... What's wrong with batteries? I honestly don't understand why this is awesome as people seem to be reacting to it here. Also doesn't this seem to burn fuel that you could be using for propulsion? Also as its hydrogen and oxygen isn't a hydrogen fuel cell (used since apollo era) lighter and more efficient than a piston engine? I don't understand.

Read the links and you will understand. 

Basically, IVF takes a major liability of liquid hydrogen, and turns it into an asset.  The hydrogen and oxygen are going to boil off and be lost anyway, so use it for ullage, attitude control, pressurization and electric power.  Eliminate the hydrazine, high pressure helium and most of the batteries, which get heavy on extended duration flights.  IVF can increase payload by upwards of a ton, and increase flight duration to days instead of hours.

Believe it or not, the heat from the relatively inefficient piston engine is rather useful.
Read the links?   "even simpler, more robust, and more capable"

The power density of LH2 is traded against the 'inefficient' piston engine and fuel cells or Li batteries.

Launching hydrogen and oxygen at 225M/20mT and burning it with a piston engine is application specific.   For longer duration, once on orbit, power generation by solar arrays/batteries is more efficient.  Launching the LH2 on a reuseable LV at 20M may change the trade space, but what is the objective?  Reboost is not a driver.

Mission duration (min, hours, days, years) is key.  There are many factors to consider when investing in an aircraft, but giving careful thought to the types of missions you intend to fly and understanding which aircraft will best support your intended use

It may be correct for a tanker/transfer stage, or a transfer stage pretending to be a depot, but it has disadvantages vs an EP space tug and a LEO ZBO LH2 depot.

Offline Jim

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IVF technology combined with the latest advances in NASA's crycooler technology should make reusable LOX/LH2 vehicles for lunar and Mars landings and for interplanetary orbital transfer vehicles and propellant depots  a reality by the late 2020s.


IVF technology has nothing do with making those a reality in the 2020's. 

Offline AncientU

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IVf as a long mission duration enabler and related depot technology (as discussed in the video) are great ideas. 

I just don't see how imposing the drawback of liquid hydrogen boil off on liquid oxygen (8x the mass stociammetrically) can yield a net benefit on long duration missions.  Seems that solar cells, passive solar thermal collectors, cryogenic coolers, and batteries do the same with a one-time mass cost.

Is there a technical reference that describes the mass balance trades for this technology?
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Offline TrevorMonty

The weight savings are around 500kg for Centuar ie 25% reduction in its mass. Eliminating Hydrazine and Helium saves $100ks in tanks and valves plus handling of these materials and associated launch facilities.
 
The 2018 IVF changes will save millions from Centuar build and launch costs. Once they switch to a cheaper engine in early 2020s it may end up being cheaper than F9 upper stage to build.

A lot of the technology can be directly applied to NGLV booster especially tank pressurization systems.


Offline hydra9

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IVF technology combined with the latest advances in NASA's cryocooler technology should make reusable LOX/LH2 vehicles for lunar and Mars landings and for interplanetary orbital transfer vehicles and propellant depots  a reality by the late 2020s.


IVF technology has nothing do with making those a reality in the 2020's. 

IVF techology could be utilized for attitude control for reusable LOX/LH2 Orbital Transfer vehicles and for extraterrestrial landing vehicles. NASA's cryocooler technology could used to re-liquify  ullage  gasses-- preventing boil off of LOX/LH2 for landing vehicles and orbital transfer vehicles.

So IVF combined with cryocooler technology should make reusable LOX/LH2 vehicles for lunar and Mars landings and for interplanetary orbital transfer vehicles and propellant depots  a reality by the late 2020s.

Marcel

Offline Jim

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So IVF combined with cryocooler technology should make reusable LOX/LH2 vehicles for lunar and Mars landings and for interplanetary orbital transfer vehicles and propellant depots  a reality by the late 2020s.


We don't need the same tired rhetoric.     IVF will not itself make those a reality.   It is not question of technology, it is a question of need,  requirements and desire.  That is not going to happen for NASA.
« Last Edit: 04/04/2015 05:50 pm by Jim »

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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What is the increase in stage performance and lifetime? Does this enable new mission profiles?

IVF is an impressive accomplishment for Centaur.

Offline Newton_V

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What is the increase in stage performance and lifetime? Does this enable new mission profiles?


I think the biggest near-term benefit could be that it allows the upper stage to meet disposal requirements, which appears to be getting a lot of visibility lately.  I'm hearing waivers are not going to be as "easy" to get for DoD launches.

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