Author Topic: Austral Launch Vehicle  (Read 5863 times)

Online QuantumG

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Austral Launch Vehicle
« on: 12/24/2015 12:56 AM »
Yet another smallsat launcher... this one is Australian with work being done by the university I happened to attend, and it's - umm - interesting?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austral_Launch_Vehicle

Winged boosters.. not so unusual, but propellers? Okay. Here's a nice video of the prototype (I guess) side-booster flying around:

https://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2015/12/uq-system-set-launch-australia-space

The second stage is to be SPARTAN-1 scramjet. Yeah.

A third stage to put the payload into orbit.

http://www.heliaq.com/
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Austral Launch Vehicle
« Reply #1 on: 12/24/2015 02:26 AM »
I like reuseable booster concept.

The current small LVs in development are mainly ELV, given the competition all players will need to develop a RLV for their follow on LVs.
Its going to be a case of innovate or disappear in this market.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Austral Launch Vehicle
« Reply #2 on: 12/24/2015 03:17 AM »
Thanks QuantumG! This is the first I've heard of this project, and its been in development since 2011 according to

http://www.heliaq.com
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Austral Launch Vehicle
« Reply #3 on: 12/24/2015 03:21 AM »
Here's the concept with a scramjet second stage.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Austral Launch Vehicle
« Reply #4 on: 12/24/2015 03:37 AM »
Here are the four vehicles they are planning on building. As you saw in the video, ALV-0 is flying now. They are planning on using liquid methane and liquid oxygen for their propellants. The second and third stages will use pressure fed engines. I'm not sure what cycle the first stage engines use. Probably turbo pump, but might be also electropump, like the Electron. The flight profile in the first post is the ALV-3, with an expendable second stage.

ALV-0: Small scale (1:4), aircraft mode only, ultra low cost
ALV-1: Small scale (1:4), rocket & aircraft modes, alloy construction, HAVBUS avionics
ALV-2: Medium scale (1:2), full trajectory, liquid propulsion (LOX / Methane), capable of launching micro satellites (with upper stages) and hypersonic test vehicles
ALV-3: Commercial launch vehicle
« Last Edit: 12/24/2015 03:39 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Austral Launch Vehicle
« Reply #5 on: 12/24/2015 03:48 AM »
This is the ALV-1, expected to fly in 2016.

For the ALV-2, they say

"The ALV-2 is currently in the conceptual design phase, which is entirely self-funded. Heliaq is also actively establishing further international partnerships and soliciting funding for the ALV-2 preliminary and detail design phases."

Unfortunately, official Australian government space policy does not recommend funding of launch vehicles (along with astronauts, space probes and launch sites), so they have to fund themselves, or get funding from private sources.
« Last Edit: 12/24/2015 03:49 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Austral Launch Vehicle
« Reply #6 on: 12/24/2015 04:26 AM »
Not too sure I like the idea of 3 stages. If you have 3 stages, why bother with a scramjet?

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Austral Launch Vehicle
« Reply #7 on: 12/24/2015 04:35 AM »
Not too sure I like the idea of 3 stages. If you have 3 stages, why bother with a scramjet?

Because they most likely can get it for low cost from the University of Queensland, which is doing a lot of research in this area.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline JamesG123

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Re: Austral Launch Vehicle
« Reply #8 on: 12/24/2015 03:44 PM »
I think (hope) the propeller is just for the sub-scale test flight vehicle, no the full scale one. 

While the concept is "cute" I don't think they did the maths on how much mass penalty that large "scissor wing" is going to have. Much worse than just a fixed delta lifting body integrated into the structure and serving as tankage.

The overall concept is that British one from the 70s-80s. of the two sandwiched spaceplanes.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Austral Launch Vehicle
« Reply #9 on: 12/24/2015 10:19 PM »
I think (hope) the propeller is just for the sub-scale test flight vehicle, no the full scale one.

I believe the propeller is used on the full scale vehicle. That's the propulsion they use to return to the launch site. From the website:

"ALV-3 Operation

The ALV integrated vehicle launches vertically and ascends with a trajectory optimized for both payload delivery and booster return. After separation, ballistic flight and a mild re-entry, the ALV boosters fly back to the launch site using deployed wings and an aero engine."
« Last Edit: 12/24/2015 10:21 PM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline MarsInMyLifetime

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Re: Austral Launch Vehicle
« Reply #10 on: 12/24/2015 11:10 PM »
I suspect that the center of lift for a pivot-wing arrangement is going to be too far forward of the heavy engines for that mechanism to be useful. The Space Shuttle's delta wing planform is a conscious nod to managing this problem. Maybe a swing-wing arrangement could deploy a more delta-shaped planform that shifts the center of lift closer to the engines (even with a relatively light prop engine in front). An asymmetrical wing chord could move the shorter side closer to the tail--that would be an interesting appearance in flight.
Don

Offline CameronD

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Re: Austral Launch Vehicle
« Reply #11 on: 01/10/2016 10:32 PM »
Quote
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Australia to become a part of the space sector.”

“I think there is real potential for Australia to become the ‘go-to’ country for small satellite launches, and I see this as playing a vital role in Australia’s innovation revolution,” Professor Smart said.

Certainly a nice idea and full marks for trying... but without government support I can't see this leading to anything other than one-way tickets to the USA for the brightest of those involved.   :(

If Rocketlab are a success, perhaps good 'ol ANZ rivalry could trigger change in policy at the top?  Let's hope they've engaged some good lobbyists on the UQ team.

« Last Edit: 01/10/2016 10:38 PM by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline ringsider

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Re: Austral Launch Vehicle
« Reply #12 on: 06/27/2017 09:43 PM »
Heliaq website is dead:-

http://www.heliaq.com

And now back online - they paid the bill I guess.
« Last Edit: 06/30/2017 05:23 AM by ringsider »

Offline ringsider

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Re: Austral Launch Vehicle
« Reply #13 on: 08/01/2017 09:52 AM »

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