Author Topic: Micro-Rocketry to Orbit?  (Read 89951 times)

Offline RanulfC

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Re: Micro-Rocketry to Orbit?
« Reply #20 on: 05/31/2011 08:13 PM »
As a "note" IF (very large "IF here "I" got lucky at one point) you can find it LLNL did a (Jordin Kare author) presentation on an SSTO-demonstrator sized to put "10kg" into LEO called the "Mockingbird" (AKA: "Bricklifter,")

It used high-performance H2O2/JP8 rockets (8 low-expansion, 1 high-expansion) and was around 6 feet tall.

I can't for the life of me figure out how I found and downloaded the presentation as I've never been able to find it again but hey with more folks trying maybe someone will get lucky again :)

Randy
Edit: "MARD" was another "key-word" Multi-Application Rocket Drone
« Last Edit: 05/31/2011 08:24 PM by RanulfC »
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline RanulfC

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Re: Micro-Rocketry to Orbit?
« Reply #21 on: 06/01/2011 07:14 PM »
"Think" I found it, I can't access the site from this computer though:
http://www.quantumg.net/mockingbird.pdf

Randy
Edit: ARrrggghhhh! I "just" noticed it's QuantumG's page.... Ok fess up fella what OTHER information are you holding we should know about! :)
« Last Edit: 06/01/2011 07:18 PM by RanulfC »
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline RanulfC

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Re: Micro-Rocketry to Orbit?
« Reply #22 on: 06/02/2011 08:39 PM »
But anyhow, this is a great discussion.  Here is my "affordable" miniature idea.  I'd like to land the smallest possible lunar lander at one of the Apollo sites, photograph it a half dozen times, and successfully transmit the images back to Earth on an open channel.

I lost the envelope, but it seemed at the time that an F1 would do it.
Well...
http://www.spacex.com/FalconLunarCapabilityGuide.pdf

And:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=13804.0

Are good places to start at any rate :)

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline RanulfC

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Re: Micro-Rocketry to Orbit?
« Reply #23 on: 06/02/2011 08:58 PM »
Re-reading the MARD presentation I wonder if something like this isn't the "perfect" experimental Nano-Sat vehicle?

SSTO is hard of course but the small size and simplicty of the vehicle would be a large cost saver. And then think of all the experimental "improvments" that can tried incrimentally on such a vehicle, launch-assist, air-breathing, staging... Heck it's not that much more complicated than many of the high-end, high-power rocketry vehicles...

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Micro-Rocketry to Orbit?
« Reply #24 on: 06/02/2011 10:04 PM »
"Think" I found it, I can't access the site from this computer though:
http://www.quantumg.net/mockingbird.pdf

Randy
Edit: ARrrggghhhh! I "just" noticed it's QuantumG's page.... Ok fess up fella what OTHER information are you holding we should know about! :)

Great minds.. I was just going to post it.  The pdf originally had some horrible long name and was publicly available on the LLNL website.. it might still be, I don't know.

There's been a lot of technology development since '94.  Aerogel is now everywhere and sheets can be commercially procured.  XCOR has pumpfed engines available off-the-shelf with the performance capabilities that are described.  Nitrous mono-props like Firestar's NOFBX offer greater performance for less complexity. 

The biggest objection to the concept remains the aerodynamics.  They were very optimistic in their numbers and probably need to add another 1 km/s of delta-v, and all the knock-on effects that has.

But there's something incredibly sexy about having a 75 kg rocket which you can throw in the back of a pickup truck and go launch a nanosat to orbit from anywhere, with a fuel truck as the only support vehicle required.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Online mmeijeri

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Re: Micro-Rocketry to Orbit?
« Reply #25 on: 06/02/2011 10:14 PM »
Nitrous mono-props like Firestar's NOFBX offer greater performance for less complexity. 

Greater performance than JP5/H2O2?
We will be vic-toooooo-ri-ous!!!

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Micro-Rocketry to Orbit?
« Reply #26 on: 06/02/2011 10:34 PM »
See Appendix A.  They assume 301s (vac) for the 8 low expansion engines and 327s (vac) for the 1 high expansion engine.  Firestar are claiming 320s (vac) for pressure-fed NOFBX.  So, if you were to pump it, you'd get higher performance. 

If you're wondering how you get 9 km/s or more with that sort of performance and a 1500/75 mass ratio, join the club.

Edit: One possible answer is that the Preliminary Mass Budget has a nominal mass of 70.8 kg.. that goes a long way.  Also funny: the "min" mass is 45.2 kg.


« Last Edit: 06/02/2011 11:46 PM by QuantumG »
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline RanulfC

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Re: Micro-Rocketry to Orbit?
« Reply #27 on: 06/03/2011 05:17 PM »
Nitrous mono-props like Firestar's NOFBX offer greater performance for less complexity. 

Greater performance than JP5/H2O2?
You can get some idea(s) from the NOFBX monopropellant thread here:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=24352.0;all

The thread also gets into some small-LV design questions and issues that would be good to review/answer here also...

Presentation is here:
http://www.aiaa.org/pdf/industry/presentations/Greg_Mungas.pdf

Firestar Technologies:
http://www.firestar-engineering.com/NOFB-MP.html
http://www.firestar-engineering.com/NOFBX-MP.html

And a couple of blog posts on the talk Max Vozoff gave at SA-11:
http://www.hobbyspace.com/nucleus/index.php?itemid=28537
http://www.transterrestrial.com/?p=33007

Oh the title of the talk? "Hydrazine-sucks!" :)

SBIR proposal for SSTO Mars sample return:
http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/SBIR/abstracts/09/sbir/phase2/SBIR-09-2-S3.08-8305.html?solicitationId=SBIR_09_P2

Patent Application for NOFB:
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2009/0133788.pdf

And just for the heck of it, FireStar also has a patent for a regenativly cooled engine:
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2010/0205933.pdf

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Online mmeijeri

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Re: Micro-Rocketry to Orbit?
« Reply #28 on: 06/03/2011 05:24 PM »
See Appendix A.  They assume 301s (vac) for the 8 low expansion engines and 327s (vac) for the 1 high expansion engine.  Firestar are claiming 320s (vac) for pressure-fed NOFBX.  So, if you were to pump it, you'd get higher performance. 

The JP-5/H2O2 numbers may be low because of the thrust requirements. I doubt NOFBX would still offer higher Isp if it had to deliver the same thrust. Hydrogen peroxide is a more powerful oxidiser than nitrous oxide after all.
We will be vic-toooooo-ri-ous!!!

Offline RanulfC

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Re: Micro-Rocketry to Orbit?
« Reply #29 on: 06/03/2011 05:38 PM »
"Think" I found it, I can't access the site from this computer though:
http://www.quantumg.net/mockingbird.pdf

Randy
Edit: ARrrggghhhh! I "just" noticed it's QuantumG's page.... Ok fess up fella what OTHER information are you holding we should know about! :)

Great minds.. I was just going to post it.  The pdf originally had some horrible long name and was publicly available on the LLNL website.. it might still be, I don't know.
Probably is THANK YOU for making it SO much easier to find :)

As I recall I had to put in so many keywords, (including Jodin Kare's name) the FIRST time I found it I had to wade through around 10 pages of Misc-gunk before I managed to stumble across it. This time I managed to find it with ONLY "MARD" and it came right up!
Quote
There's been a lot of technology development since '94.  Aerogel is now everywhere and sheets can be commercially procured.  XCOR has pumpfed engines available off-the-shelf with the performance capabilities that are described.  Nitrous mono-props like Firestar's NOFBX offer greater performance for less complexity. 

The biggest objection to the concept remains the aerodynamics.  They were very optimistic in their numbers and probably need to add another 1 km/s of delta-v, and all the knock-on effects that has.
Hmmm, there is always shoving it out the back of a C-130 freighter :)
Quote
But there's something incredibly sexy about having a 75 kg rocket which you can throw in the back of a pickup truck and go launch a nanosat to orbit from anywhere, with a fuel truck as the only support vehicle required.
I LOVE that idea, though to be honest I keep seeing this image of both "trucks" pulling up to some red-neck, middle-o-nowhere gas-station ala-Storm-Hunters with everybody scurring to get fuel while they 'track' an orbital window ;)

Speaking, (somewhat anyway) of the orbital nano-sat market:
http://spacebusinessblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/business-case-for-cubesat-based-earth.html

Is an article by Colin Doughan looking at the possible market for LEO-Nano-Sat imaging constellations...

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline braddock

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Re: Micro-Rocketry to Orbit?
« Reply #30 on: 06/04/2011 02:47 AM »
Old topic but maybe we can give it a kick.

Team Prometheus is attempting to orbit a 20 gram payload launched from 100,000ft.

I'd love to hear more about your plans with Team Prometheus.

Newer than the origin of this thread is the N-Prize to launch a 10 to 20 gram satellite to orbit for under 1,000 british pounds.  http://www.n-prize.com

Their "press" page has a lot of promising links to a couple Space Shows I look forward to listening to.

Also newer than this thread is a 2009 Google TechTalk with Charles Pooley of Microlaunchers, a frequent poster to our forum. 

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Micro-Rocketry to Orbit?
« Reply #31 on: 06/04/2011 03:10 AM »
"Think" I found it, I can't access the site from this computer though:
http://www.quantumg.net/mockingbird.pdf

Randy
Edit: ARrrggghhhh! I "just" noticed it's QuantumG's page.... Ok fess up fella what OTHER information are you holding we should know about! :)

Great minds.. I was just going to post it.  The pdf originally had some horrible long name and was publicly available on the LLNL website.. it might still be, I don't know.

There's been a lot of technology development since '94.  Aerogel is now everywhere and sheets can be commercially procured.  XCOR has pumpfed engines available off-the-shelf with the performance capabilities that are described.  Nitrous mono-props like Firestar's NOFBX offer greater performance for less complexity. 

The biggest objection to the concept remains the aerodynamics.  They were very optimistic in their numbers and probably need to add another 1 km/s of delta-v, and all the knock-on effects that has.

But there's something incredibly sexy about having a 75 kg rocket which you can throw in the back of a pickup truck and go launch a nanosat to orbit from anywhere, with a fuel truck as the only support vehicle required.

I wonder what the payload would be if the the payload it's self could do part of the orbital insertion burn acting as it's own second stage?

Looking at some SSTO concepts you might be able to double or triple the payload that way.
« Last Edit: 06/04/2011 03:11 AM by Patchouli »

Offline sanman

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Re: Micro-Rocketry to Orbit?
« Reply #32 on: 06/06/2011 05:10 AM »
Regarding scaling factors, etc - what if you don't assume launch at sea-level? What if you assume launch at a higher altitude, even using a propellant with lighter molecular weight?

Offline RanulfC

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Re: Micro-Rocketry to Orbit?
« Reply #33 on: 06/06/2011 01:06 PM »
Regarding scaling factors, etc - what if you don't assume launch at sea-level? What if you assume launch at a higher altitude, even using a propellant with lighter molecular weight?
Well, ANY "launch-assist" is going to help in some way. (Hence my comment about dropping it out the back of a C-130 :) )

Various different fuels could be tried, though using "lower" molecular weight fuel will probably increase the vehicle size which was one reason for they were using the higher-density propellants in the first place.

As usual this reference:
http://www.dunnspace.com/alternate_ssto_propellants.htm

The ubiquitous "Aternate SSTO Propellants" chart shows that using H2O2 as an Oxydizer, you can get payload increases (all things being rather "equal" of course) using several alternate fuels.

H2O2/methylacetylene (usually closer to commercial MAPP gas actually) gives about 16% payload than RP-1. (Which in itself would give a small increase over the suggested JP-8)

H2O2/propylene would yeild around 15% more payload than RP-1 and from an access-and-handling standpoint might be the best choice of all. However there is no "history" on this combination so work would have to be done on engine design and propellant handling.

Probably the "best" from an overall performance standpoint is H2O2/propargyl alcohol, (actually chemically "methyl acetylene alcohol" but that's a nit :) ) since it would theoretically yeild around a 40% increase in payload over RP-1. However it is toxic and a suspected carcinogen, so you're handling and storage costs go up, and again there is no "history" with a propulsion system designed around these propellants so you're going to be starting from scratch.

Still that gives an idea of some of the possibilites in JUST changing propellants. Other Launch-Assist can't really do anything but help it just depends on how MUCH you want to "help" and how much intergration of that help ends up raising your operations costs.

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline RanulfC

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Re: Micro-Rocketry to Orbit?
« Reply #34 on: 06/06/2011 01:27 PM »
I wonder what the payload would be if the the payload it's self could do part of the orbital insertion burn acting as it's own second stage?

Looking at some SSTO concepts you might be able to double or triple the payload that way.
"Staging" always helps the payload in some way it's just a question of "if" the added structure, complexity, and other operational issues and costs are "worth" it.

It gets "dicey" to say the least when you start messing with a "proposed-SSTO" since you COULD get lynched for simply suggesting it! (SSTO-Advocates can be SO touchy ;) ) And as Quantum-G noted there is something that latches onto the imagination with a "Pick-Up truck launched SSTO" image.

But staging is always possible the Garvey Nano-Sat Launch Vehicle:
http://www.garvspace.com/NLV.htm

Is to be a TSTO and there doesn't seem to be any technical reason you couldn't add a second stage to the MARD concept-vehicle with some design changes for the "booster" MARD.

Another "idea" concept is the "W" RBCC test vehicle suggested in this report:
http://smartech.gatech.edu/bitstream/handle/1853/8439/aiaa_96-2688.pdf?sequence=1

Where a "booster" stage incorperates H2O2/RP-1 Ejector-Ramjets using H2O2-primary ejector rockets with RP-1 ramjets and a fully rocket "second" stage using a plug-cluster engine.

Or you could go with the original "MARD/Mockingbird" idea and used "clustered" modules to increase your payload fraction :)

There are a LOT of options to be discussed....

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline RanulfC

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Re: Micro-Rocketry to Orbit?
« Reply #35 on: 07/02/2011 06:10 AM »
Hmm, looking recently again at the MARD document Quant posted and a certain blog I frequent led to an idea:

According to research the Rocket Engine Nozzle Ejector (RENE) produced 55% more thrust and ISP than a standard rocket cluster during testing. Adding a thrust-shroud to the "standard" Mocking Bird would enable the "RENE-Bird" to perform quite a bit better.
(Probably still have to stage the lower shroud and nose fairing and enter "forward" end first but I'm not sure that's a "bad" thing :) )

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline NotGncDude

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Re: Micro-Rocketry to Orbit?
« Reply #36 on: 07/02/2011 06:24 AM »
Old topic but maybe we can give it a kick.

Team Prometheus is attempting to orbit a 20 gram payload launched from 100,000ft.

I'd love to hear more about your plans with Team Prometheus.

Newer than the origin of this thread is the N-Prize to launch a 10 to 20 gram satellite to orbit for under 1,000 british pounds.  http://www.n-prize.com

Their "press" page has a lot of promising links to a couple Space Shows I look forward to listening to.

Also newer than this thread is a 2009 Google TechTalk with Charles Pooley of Microlaunchers, a frequent poster to our forum. 

w00t! Charles Pooley is da man

Offline NotGncDude

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Re: Micro-Rocketry to Orbit?
« Reply #37 on: 07/02/2011 06:26 AM »
Quote
Jim - 11/6/2006  6:20 PM

Quote
mlorrey - 11/6/2006  3:59 PM

Quote
Zachstar - 10/6/2006  4:40 PM

Might find this interesting http://www.microlaunchers.com/home.htm

It is interesting what micromachinery is being made. Just the other day I was chatting with a fellow at a company that produces MEMS chip liquid cooling devices, made by diffusion bonding hundreds of leaves of 1-3 mil metal, each with their own micro cut patterns.

The problem is micromachinery doesn't work very well with fluids.  The same reasons that there are no small jst engines, would be the same for turbo pumps.  Reynolds numbers don't scale.

What makes you think there are no small jet engines? I know a number of modellers who fly jet engines in the 10-100 lb thrust range, and a number of institutions, including MIT, are developing MEMS turbine generators for powering remote devices, many of which are being developed for Army infantry use:

http://www.enme.umd.edu/SSSC/pdf/update/Transducers%2097%20-%20Paper.pdf
http://www.enme.umd.edu/SSSC/pdf/update/HH2000-Turbine.pdf
http://www.enme.umd.edu/SSSC/pdf/update/MEMS%2099%20-%20Paper.pdf

In fact, turbines reach adiabatic efficiencies of 70% and are able to maintain supersonic turbine speeds while maintaining laminar flow, with Reynolds numbers up around 20,000. The one MIT is working on is an 80 watt turbogenerator, with a turbine disc diameter of about 3-4 mm. The full engine assembly is 1 cm dia.

NASA is also working on a "steam" turbine, using Xenon as the working fluid, which is heated by various processes: fuel cells, solar concentrators, radiothermal devices, etc.
http://www.nasatech.com/Briefs/Jan03/NPO20933.html

The reason for this is because at the microscale, gasses flow with the viscosity of liquids at macro scales.

Ventions is working on small turbopumps (you could call them an MIT spinoff)

http://ventions.com/technologies.html

Offline colbourne

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Re: Micro-Rocketry to Orbit?
« Reply #38 on: 07/03/2011 02:46 AM »
This site might be of interest :-

http://sugarshot.org/

It is almost the opposite in that very low grade propellant (sugar and potassium nitrate)  is used and the goal is to reach 100km rather than orbit.

Offline RanulfC

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Re: Micro-Rocketry to Orbit?
« Reply #39 on: 07/12/2011 09:35 PM »
NanoLaunch LLC, a corportion of companies that plan on launching sub-orbital and Orbital Nano-sats using Mig-21 and F-15 aircraft as Air-Breathing First Stages.

See:
http://premierspacesystems.com/files/PSS_Web_Site_White_Paper.doc

and:
http://www.co.siskiyou.ca.us/BOS/DOCS/agenda/2010/Questys/MG3928/AS3941/AI7744/DO7745/2.PDF

NanoLaunch LLC consists of:
"Premier Space Systems:Atmospheric launch, Logistics, Business System"
"Space Propulsion Group: Proprietary Rocket Motor Design, Hybrid LOX/Paraffin Motor Development and production"
"Spath Engineering: Propulsion Test, Manufacturing Mgt."
"Whittinghill Aerospace: Systems Integration"

Suborbital testing to begin by "Summer of 2011"

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

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