Author Topic: Vega Evolution Discussion Thread  (Read 70372 times)

Offline Chasm

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Re: Vega Evolution Discussion Thread
« Reply #20 on: 07/08/2018 10:44 pm »
The goal is a new 10t class engine (call it 100kN), flying it on Vega makes some sense.

Overall I think it is more about technology and continued development of upper stage tech than the engine.
Vinci has 180kN and as far as I can tell going lower on A6 does not help. Transfer of some new technology (3D printing, metallurgy, perhaps some regen cooling for a shorter chamber?) makes more sense.
The recent Ariane Next concepts need a lot more power in the upper stage. Even in the small no booster 5t LEO / 3t to GTO variant. You could use it in a 3rd stage, but that is not exactly cheap.


Offline deruch

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Re: Vega Evolution Discussion Thread
« Reply #21 on: 07/21/2018 09:25 am »
EuroNews: Love and rockets: Inside Italy's Vega launcher factory


Very nice video about the production of the CF casings for the P120C solid booster and a bit about the upper stage for Vega-C.  I didn't know that the prepregnated carbon fiber recipe they are using was developed/patented by Avio.
« Last Edit: 07/21/2018 09:25 am by deruch »
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Vega Evolution Discussion Thread
« Reply #22 on: 09/22/2018 09:27 am »
I think this is the best place for this. I found a tweet with most likely a SSMS HEXA structure.
The tweet is in Dutch so I'll translate it. It's a tweet from the deputy of the province of South Holland (a part of the Netherlands). The tweet states:
"On visit with Europarlementarian @C_Nagtegaal at @Airbus explanation about innovative solution to bring small satellites into orbit by Jeroen Rotteveel CEO @isis_space. @south_Holland Strong in Space(travel).

It could also be another ride-share structure developed by Airbus Defence & Space the Netherlands (formerly known as DutchSpace).

Edit to add a 2th tweet public affairs AirbusDS_NL with more fotos.
« Last Edit: 09/22/2018 09:32 am by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Vega Evolution Discussion Thread
« Reply #23 on: 09/22/2018 03:33 pm »
...
The tweet is in Dutch so I'll translate it. It's a tweet from the deputy of the province of South Holland (a part of the Netherlands). The tweet states:
"On visit with Europarlementarian @C_Nagtegaal at @Airbus explanation about innovative solution to bring small satellites into orbit by Jeroen Rotteveel CEO @isis_space. @south_Holland Strong in Space(travel).

It could also be another ride-share structure developed by Airbus Defence & Space the Netherlands (formerly known as DutchSpace).
...
Likely this flight:
2019
Early - SSMS POC (Small Spacecraft Mission Service Proof Of Concept) flight: D-Orbit’s ION CubeSat Carrier, Athena, Lemur-2y (x TBD) and other - Vega - Kourou ZLV
« Last Edit: 11/14/2018 02:59 pm by gongora »

Offline A12

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Re: Vega Evolution Discussion Thread
« Reply #24 on: 11/13/2018 05:06 pm »
http://www.avio.com/en/press-release/successfully-tested-the-m10-methane-engine-prototype/


Successfully tested the M10-methane engine prototype

Colleferro 13 November 2018 – Today in Colleferro Avio successfully tested the prototype of the new M10 liquid oxygen-methane engine, developed by Avio in partnership with the European Space Agency within the Vega E (Vega Evolution) program. The prototype is a scaled model of the third stage propulsion engine which will equip the Vega launcher starting from 2024.

The technology adopted represents a true innovation for both propulsion efficiency and environmental sustainability, given its reduced emissions and combustion waste. The prototype has been structured through additive manufacturing following Avio’s SMSP (Single Material Single Part) patent, exploiting advanced 3D-laser printing technologies.

Giulio Ranzo, CEO of Avio, commented: “Avio is very satisfied with the M10 test result, the first European prototype of a LOx-Methane engine, a truly cutting-edge technology with extremely low environmental impact, available to very few players worldwide. In the medium term, this engine will allow to replace the last two propulsion stages (Z9 and Avum) with a new cryogenic propulsion stage far more efficient and flexible. Our objective is to keep on increasing Vega’s cost competitiveness and maneuverability to orbit small satellites in low earth orbit, while the possibility to launch bigger satellites in geostationary and medium orbits will be ensured by Ariane 6”.

« Last Edit: 02/23/2020 12:40 am by gongora »

Offline A12

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Re: Vega Evolution Discussion Thread
« Reply #25 on: 11/13/2018 05:36 pm »
http://www.avio.com/en/press-release/successfully-tested-the-m10-methane-engine-prototype/


Successfully tested the M10-methane engine prototype

Colleferro 13 November 2018 – Today in Colleferro Avio successfully tested the prototype of the new M10 liquid oxygen-methane engine, developed by Avio in partnership with the European Space Agency within the Vega E (Vega Evolution) program. The prototype is a scaled model of the third stage propulsion engine which will equip the Vega launcher starting from 2024.

The technology adopted represents a true innovation for both propulsion efficiency and environmental sustainability, given its reduced emissions and combustion waste. The prototype has been structured through additive manufacturing following Avio’s SMSP (Single Material Single Part) patent, exploiting advanced 3D-laser printing technologies.

Giulio Ranzo, CEO of Avio, commented: “Avio is very satisfied with the M10 test result, the first European prototype of a LOx-Methane engine, a truly cutting-edge technology with extremely low environmental impact, available to very few players worldwide. In the medium term, this engine will allow to replace the last two propulsion stages (Z9 and Avum) with a new cryogenic propulsion stage far more efficient and flexible. Our objective is to keep on increasing Vega’s cost competitiveness and maneuverability to orbit small satellites in low earth orbit, while the possibility to launch bigger satellites in geostationary and medium orbits will be ensured by Ariane 6”.


Rendering as found on Avio web site at

http://www.avio.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/M10_.jpg


« Last Edit: 11/13/2018 05:38 pm by A12 »

Offline pippin

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Re: Vega Evolution Discussion Thread
« Reply #26 on: 11/13/2018 11:50 pm »
What’s this „emissions“ story about? Is it about emissions during manufacturing?
This being an upper stage engine emissions during flight should be pretty much meaningless.

I mean... you are flying two huge and dirty solid stages and then you care about the upper stage emissions? This makes no sense.
« Last Edit: 11/13/2018 11:52 pm by pippin »

Offline Chasm

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Re: Vega Evolution Discussion Thread
« Reply #27 on: 11/14/2018 09:24 am »
The current 4th stage uses UDMH and N2O4 as propellants. About 550kg on AVUM today, 740kg on AVUM+. Both propellants are not exactly dietary supplements. ;)

Seems to be more about the Hydrazine ban in the EU. (Whenever that may happen.) Looks like N2O4 is also under additional scrutiny.
I suppose it makes a better argument for satellite exemptions if you already removed a lot of the material from the launch system. Likely one of the arguments to finally retire the ES upper stage and replace it for Ariane 6. Probably also a problem for Soyuz at CSG since Fregat-MT carries 7100kg.

Offline woods170

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Re: Vega Evolution Discussion Thread
« Reply #28 on: 11/14/2018 12:01 pm »
The current 4th stage uses UDMH and N2O4 as propellants. About 550kg on AVUM today, 740kg on AVUM+. Both propellants are not exactly dietary supplements. ;)
Neither is methane. But I'm just nit picking here.

Seems to be more about the Hydrazine ban in the EU. (Whenever that may happen.) Looks like N2O4 is also under additional scrutiny.
I suppose it makes a better argument for satellite exemptions if you already removed a lot of the material from the launch system. Likely one of the arguments to finally retire the ES upper stage and replace it for Ariane 6. Probably also a problem for Soyuz at CSG since Fregat-MT carries 7100kg.

Bingo!

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Vega Evolution Discussion Thread
« Reply #29 on: 11/14/2018 07:00 pm »
It does seem smart to build some Methane propulsion experience.

Offline Chasm

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Re: Vega Evolution Discussion Thread
« Reply #30 on: 11/15/2018 11:30 am »
For me the interesting part is that M10 also looks like a landing engine for a P120C class booster. Just use a sea level nozzle. M10 is also supposed to be rather cheap.

A dedicated landing engine is of course a bit special but Prometheus just does not throttle far enough.

Offline gosnold

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Re: Vega Evolution Discussion Thread
« Reply #31 on: 11/15/2018 05:48 pm »
For me the interesting part is that M10 also looks like a landing engine for a P120C class booster. Just use a sea level nozzle. M10 is also supposed to be rather cheap.

A dedicated landing engine is of course a bit special but Prometheus just does not throttle far enough.

Or a landing engine for a Prometheus upper stage? With the reentry work on SpaceRider, the work on a Carbon upper stage for Ariane 6, and two Methane engines, Ariane Next could have a mini-BFS as upper stage.

Offline Chasm

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Re: Vega Evolution Discussion Thread
« Reply #32 on: 11/15/2018 07:08 pm »
I doubt that. Upper stage reuse is much harder and costs a lot of payload. (1:1 ratio)

Easier to get the reuse for a sustainer stage like the Ariane 6 first stage worked out.
In my Ariane Next ideas I'm tempted to still have a single use sustainer. Heresy - but it does a lot for performance. (A6 upper stage ~€20 million, A6 first stage ~€30 million)
Reduces the launch cost nicely without changing too much. Not too bad for a first(!!!) design. The goal should be to get reuse working, then to optimize it.

The recovery of a direct P120C replacement should be easy enough. Staging on Vega-C in 60km height at ~1885m/s acording to the user manual.
If we want to try difficult recovery I'd try to also pack Z40 into a P120C replacement. Staging in 121km height at ~4555m/s. (Roughly twice the F9 speed)
Z40 is 7.6m long, on A6 the thrust conical adapter is ~5m long. Use 4m for a longer tank, 1m for the A6 thrust structure and the remaining length for the interstage. Other than legs put the things required for reuse like landing fins actuators, batteries, avionics into the interstage.
On A6 fly a cone on top instead of an upper stage.

The increase in ISP gives enough performance to do it expendable. If not add to the diameter. (But not more than ELA4 can take.)
Reuse I don't know. ~4555m/s is a lot faster than any recovery so far. So perhaps an additional breaking burn and more thermal shielding compared to others. Would be nice if it worked though. :)

Or just recover and reuse them on Ariane 6 since they'll be much slower. After up to 4 rounds on A6 I'd remove all the recovery gear and expend them on Vega since Vega only launches a few times a year. (Because Prometheus is currently expected to last "up to 5 launches". CNES wants to use it up to 4 times, 3x reuse 1x expendable.)

Offline envy887

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Re: Vega Evolution Discussion Thread
« Reply #33 on: 11/15/2018 08:36 pm »
Landing on a small engine is pretty difficult. It's quite a bit more efficient to brake at 3-4 g instead of 1-2 g as the booster comes in for the landing, Ideally you would want the minimum thrust to be around 1 g on an empty booster, but the max thrust to be more like 4 g.

You can do this with multiple small engines starting up and shutting down. But it might be a lot easier to get your large engine to throttle.

Offline Chasm

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Re: Vega Evolution Discussion Thread
« Reply #34 on: 11/15/2018 11:57 pm »
Prometheus throttles to 30%. (via FR wikipedia) That is 30t thrust.

You are right. 10t is not enough while 30t still a bit much. I guess there is always adding ballast.  :-\ Or perhaps flying a really ineffective nozzle on the center engine.


Apropos Space Rider. I'd like to see a Space Rider 2.0 soon.
Include AVUM+ functions into the vehicle, switch to storable green propellants, and recover it all. No hypergolic upper stage, no expendable service module. Steal the weight for the additional structures and thermal shielding from the fairing because that is not really needed once someone does the ascent simulations without it.

To me that is about reducing recurring cost. Not really to be used for any kind of satellite launching. Fly experiments.

Offline brickmack

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Re: Vega Evolution Discussion Thread
« Reply #35 on: 11/16/2018 03:25 am »
I doubt that. Upper stage reuse is much harder and costs a lot of payload. (1:1 ratio)

Hardware mass, yes. But you can come out ahead in propellant mass. Booster RTLS on Falcon 9 cuts payload capacity by, what, 30% to LEO, and about half that for downrange landing, because RTLS requires completely reversing course and even a downrange landing still needs a large reentry burn and a supersonic landing burn because its plunging straight down into the atmosphere. On the upper stage, reentry is more like a capsule or spaceplane, it gradually slows down and eventually becomes subsonic allowing for parachute landing (propulsive landing is better for rapid turnaround, but baby steps). No propellant needed other than for deorbit (which they should be doing whenever possible anyway, just for debris mitigation), and the only hardware addons (heat shielding, parachutes, possibly small aerosurfaces) are all quite light, maybe 1-2 tons for an Ariane 5/6-sized US.

Offline envy887

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Re: Vega Evolution Discussion Thread
« Reply #36 on: 11/16/2018 12:34 pm »
Prometheus throttles to 30%. (via FR wikipedia) That is 30t thrust.

You are right. 10t is not enough while 30t still a bit much. I guess there is always adding ballast.  :-\ Or perhaps flying a really ineffective nozzle on the center engine.


Apropos Space Rider. I'd like to see a Space Rider 2.0 soon.
Include AVUM+ functions into the vehicle, switch to storable green propellants, and recover it all. No hypergolic upper stage, no expendable service module. Steal the weight for the additional structures and thermal shielding from the fairing because that is not really needed once someone does the ascent simulations without it.

To me that is about reducing recurring cost. Not really to be used for any kind of satellite launching. Fly experiments.

Merlin only throttles to 40% or 34 t. So Prometheus at 30 t should be fine for a booster of comparable size to F9, or even quite a bit smaller.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Vega Evolution Discussion Thread
« Reply #37 on: 11/16/2018 05:36 pm »
I doubt that. Upper stage reuse is much harder and costs a lot of payload. (1:1 ratio)

Hardware mass, yes. But you can come out ahead in propellant mass. Booster RTLS on Falcon 9 cuts payload capacity by, what, 30% to LEO, and about half that for downrange landing, because RTLS requires completely reversing course and even a downrange landing still needs a large reentry burn and a supersonic landing burn because its plunging straight down into the atmosphere. On the upper stage, reentry is more like a capsule or spaceplane, it gradually slows down and eventually becomes subsonic allowing for parachute landing (propulsive landing is better for rapid turnaround, but baby steps). No propellant needed other than for deorbit (which they should be doing whenever possible anyway, just for debris mitigation), and the only hardware addons (heat shielding, parachutes, possibly small aerosurfaces) are all quite light, maybe 1-2 tons for an Ariane 5/6-sized US.
Booster doesn't have to do reentry burn see NG videos. NG only uses engine for landing burn.

Offline Chasm

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Re: Vega Evolution Discussion Thread
« Reply #38 on: 11/16/2018 10:56 pm »
Merlin only throttles to 40% or 34 t. So Prometheus at 30 t should be fine for a booster of comparable size to F9, or even quite a bit smaller.

A lot smaller. P120C is only 12m long. With the stretch described above still less than half the length of the F9 first stage
Basically a New Sheppard minus the ring fin and with too many engines. ;)

To me this idea of a P120 replacement is a quick fix to introduce reuse. As such it has to fit the current launchers. Emulating current performance or with any luck adding a bit.
If reuse does not work out for any reason the introduction of Prometheus and clustered engines is still enough for me.

Prometheus development is scheduled to end in Q2 2021 with IIRC 2 acceptance tested engines. According to the CNES Prometheus website the first flight is by 2030! That is way too long.

If I was dictator benevolent leader of ESA/Ariane I'd like to see the expendable first test flight of this contraption by end of 2021. (6 months after engine acceptance) The only problem I can see is I also want a wound carbon fiber structure. Europe may or may not figure out how to wind a LOX tank that does not go boom until then.

In case anyone is wondering I would still let Italy wind the structure. Trade the carbon wound P120C casing for carbon wound tanks.

Offline envy887

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Re: Vega Evolution Discussion Thread
« Reply #39 on: 11/17/2018 01:43 pm »
Merlin only throttles to 40% or 34 t. So Prometheus at 30 t should be fine for a booster of comparable size to F9, or even quite a bit smaller.

A lot smaller. P120C is only 12m long. With the stretch described above still less than half the length of the F9 first stage
Basically a New Sheppard minus the ring fin and with too many engines. ;)

To me this idea of a P120 replacement is a quick fix to introduce reuse. As such it has to fit the current launchers. Emulating current performance or with any luck adding a bit.
If reuse does not work out for any reason the introduction of Prometheus and clustered engines is still enough for me.

Prometheus development is scheduled to end in Q2 2021 with IIRC 2 acceptance tested engines. According to the CNES Prometheus website the first flight is by 2030! That is way too long.

If I was dictator benevolent leader of ESA/Ariane I'd like to see the expendable first test flight of this contraption by end of 2021. (6 months after engine acceptance) The only problem I can see is I also want a wound carbon fiber structure. Europe may or may not figure out how to wind a LOX tank that does not go boom until then.

In case anyone is wondering I would still let Italy wind the structure. Trade the carbon wound P120C casing for carbon wound tanks.

IMO a larger booster is greatly preferable since it 1) makes RTLS with Vega payloads much easier and 2) leaves a direct upgrade path to an Ariane 6 replacement.

If a P120C replacement is the only option, then I don't think Prometheus is very helpful. A 6 to 10 clustered M10 engine booster and a single M10 engine upper stage should do the job, and in that case the smaller engine would be better for landing.

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