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Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => ULA - Delta, Atlas, Vulcan => Topic started by: russianhalo117 on 04/03/2015 07:30 am

Title: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/03/2015 07:30 am
ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
UnitedLaunchAlliance
Published on Apr 2, 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwczm9ScBzE
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/03/2015 07:43 am
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. :(

Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/03/2015 08:45 am
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-sas2012)

http://tinyurl.com/ula-ivf2012 (http://tinyurl.com/ula-ivf2012)
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/03/2015 07:11 pm
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.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Coastal Ron on 04/03/2015 07:21 pm
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.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: hydra9 on 04/03/2015 08:56 pm
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
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: hydra9 on 04/03/2015 09:01 pm
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
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: jongoff on 04/03/2015 10:48 pm
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
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/04/2015 06:00 am
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
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: mlindner on 04/04/2015 09:58 am
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.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/04/2015 11:30 am
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
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 04/04/2015 12:42 pm

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. 
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: muomega0 on 04/04/2015 12:49 pm
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 (http://www.shorelineaviation.net/news---events/bid/50442/Piston-Engine-Aircraft-vs-Turboprop-Engine-Aircraft)

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.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 04/04/2015 12:56 pm
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. 
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: AncientU on 04/04/2015 03:04 pm
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?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/04/2015 03:45 pm
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.

Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: hydra9 on 04/04/2015 04:26 pm
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
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 04/04/2015 05:48 pm

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.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 04/04/2015 07:37 pm
What is the increase in stage performance and lifetime? Does this enable new mission profiles?

IVF is an impressive accomplishment for Centaur.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Newton_V on 04/04/2015 07:44 pm
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.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: hydra9 on 04/04/2015 07:50 pm

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.

IVF technology is being developed by the ULA,  a private company.

Is IVF technology needed?

IVF eliminates the need for helium and hydrazine while lowering the inert mass of the heritage systems by 15 to 20%. That means that the ULA's future ACES upper stages will be able to carry more payload to orbit while also being able to be refueled in space by simply adding more liquid hydrogen and oxygen.  That also means that extraterrestrial water resources from the lunar poles, imported NEO meteoroids, the probably hydrogen and oxygen resources on the moons of Mars, and from the ice resources on Mars could also someday  be used to produce propellant for  refueling  vehicles utilizing IVF technology.

Whether NASA wants to take advantage of  IVF technology in the 2020s or 2030s for their Mars program or even a lunar program is up to them:-)

Marcel 


Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 04/04/2015 09:04 pm

IVF technology is being developed by the ULA,  a private company.

Is IVF technology needed?

IVF eliminates the need for helium and hydrazine while lowering the inert mass of the heritage systems by 15 to 20%. That means that the ULA's future ACES upper stages will be able to carry more payload to orbit while also being able to be refueled in space by simply adding more liquid hydrogen and oxygen. That also means that extraterrestrial water resources from the lunar poles, imported NEO meteoroids, the probably hydrogen and oxygen resources on the moons of Mars, and from the ice resources on Mars could also someday  be used to produce propellant for  refueling  vehicles utilizing IVF technology.


No, IVF is not "needed".  It is a business decision for ULA for meeting its current requirements.
Also, nothing says ACES is refuelable   and the rest is nonsense.  ULA is not looking at extraterrestrial water resources.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/04/2015 09:25 pm
What is the increase in stage performance and lifetime? Does this enable new mission profiles?

IVF is an impressive accomplishment for Centaur.
ULA predict shifting to IVF will lower the mass of the systemd to do various tasks by about 500Kg. The propellant settling thrusters will lower boiloff rates by 1/2. I think one of their early papers estimated increaseing stage lifetime to a few days or a week, but I can't recall if that needed changes to the MLI blanket.

I think the key change is the unlimited number of engine starts this system allows. IIRC it's been limited to a small number of burns as the start pulse is a big hit on battery capacity. More starts --> More batteries --> more masse --> less payload.

Without IVF any mission outside the bare  minimum requires a)More GHe to pressurise the tanks. b)More hypergols for attitude and delta V c) More battery boxes as no on board power generation.

All of these changes then needed simulationg to make sure none of these would run out during the mission.

With IVF everything can be driven directly from the main tanks, reducing a rats nest of boxes, wires and pipes to a mouting plate of parts that can be preped off the stage then bolted on.

I've no idea what the $ value for that is but it's likely to be quite substantial.  :)
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/04/2015 10:02 pm
What are the restart requirements for a single RL10?  I recall that some parts of the engine system need to be prechilled and some hydrogen needs to be dumped.  (Being an expander cycle turbopump, the engine can't be started if it's TOO cold)  This looks like another area for improved propellant management if the process can be improved.

IVF and its thrusters apparently operate with propellant margins below what the RL10 can work with, perhaps even scavenging the tanks dry because it may be able to pump out the gas residuals.  This should allow post-payload deploy/disposal operations on thrusters alone.  Looks like additional gain here by not requiring propellant residuals sufficient for one restart of the RL10.

Being able to use propellants that would otherwise be wasted (and eliminating hardware/mass) is what makes IVF work so well, and allows cryogenic stages to reach their full potential.

--Damon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 04/05/2015 02:00 am
Thank you for partially answering my question. If it matters, I'm interested in how it improvess ULA's launch services, because that is not obvious.

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.

I've heard that too. Confirmed.

No, IVF is not "needed".  It is a business decision for ULA for meeting its current requirements.

Specifics?

ULA predict shifting to IVF will lower the mass of the systemd to do various tasks by about 500Kg.

So increase AV 401 IMLEO 0.5 mT? Is this a current requirement? Does AV 551 cross a threshold?

Quote
The propellant settling thrusters will lower boiloff rates by 1/2. I think one of their early papers estimated increaseing stage lifetime to a few days or a week, but I can't recall if that needed changes to the MLI blanket.

Sounds like eventually a substantially increased stage lifetime beyond the extended life kit already available?

So the kit goes away?

Quote
I think the key change is the unlimited number of engine starts this system allows. IIRC it's been limited to a small number of burns as the start pulse is a big hit on battery capacity. More starts --> More batteries --> more masse --> less payload.

So  the additional restarts ... w/o mass penalty?

Have no idea that unlimited restarts were a current requirement.

Quote
Without IVF any mission outside the bare  minimum requires a)More GHe to pressurise the tanks. b)More hypergols for attitude and delta V c) More battery boxes as no on board power generation.

All of these changes then needed simulationg to make sure none of these would run out during the mission.

With IVF everything can be driven directly from the main tanks, reducing a rats nest of boxes, wires and pipes to a mouting plate of parts that can be preped off the stage then bolted on.
Simplification has its own returns.



Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: hydra9 on 04/05/2015 02:17 am

IVF technology is being developed by the ULA,  a private company.

Is IVF technology needed?

IVF eliminates the need for helium and hydrazine while lowering the inert mass of the heritage systems by 15 to 20%. That means that the ULA's future ACES upper stages will be able to carry more payload to orbit while also being able to be refueled in space by simply adding more liquid hydrogen and oxygen. That also means that extraterrestrial water resources from the lunar poles, imported NEO meteoroids, the probably hydrogen and oxygen resources on the moons of Mars, and from the ice resources on Mars could also someday  be used to produce propellant for  refueling  vehicles utilizing IVF technology.


No, IVF is not "needed".  It is a business decision for ULA for meeting its current requirements.
Also, nothing says ACES is refuelable   and the rest is nonsense.  ULA is not looking at extraterrestrial water resources.


Then you don't know what you're talking about.

http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/Published_Papers/Exploration/AffordableExplorationArchitecture2009.pdf

http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/Published_Papers/Exploration/DepotBasedTransportationArchitecture2010.pdf



And I didn't say that the ULA was looking for extraterrestrial water resources. I said extraterrestrial water resources could be utilized for their technology.

Marcel
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: hydra9 on 04/05/2015 02:27 am
What are the restart requirements for a single RL10?  I recall that some parts of the engine system need to be prechilled and some hydrogen needs to be dumped.  (Being an expander cycle turbopump, the engine can't be started if it's TOO cold)  This looks like another area for improved propellant management if the process can be improved.

IVF and its thrusters apparently operate with propellant margins below what the RL10 can work with, perhaps even scavenging the tanks dry because it may be able to pump out the gas residuals.  This should allow post-payload deploy/disposal operations on thrusters alone.  Looks like additional gain here by not requiring propellant residuals sufficient for one restart of the RL10.

Being able to use propellants that would otherwise be wasted (and eliminating hardware/mass) is what makes IVF work so well, and allows cryogenic stages to reach their full potential.

--Damon

The RL-10 derived CECE engines will be capable of 50 restarts.

https://www.rocket.com/common-extensible-cryogenic-engine

Marcel
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/05/2015 02:47 am
What are the restart requirements for a single RL10?  I recall that some parts of the engine system need to be prechilled and some hydrogen needs to be dumped.  (Being an expander cycle turbopump, the engine can't be started if it's TOO cold)  This looks like another area for improved propellant management if the process can be improved.

IVF and its thrusters apparently operate with propellant margins below what the RL10 can work with, perhaps even scavenging the tanks dry because it may be able to pump out the gas residuals.  This should allow post-payload deploy/disposal operations on thrusters alone.  Looks like additional gain here by not requiring propellant residuals sufficient for one restart of the RL10.

Being able to use propellants that would otherwise be wasted (and eliminating hardware/mass) is what makes IVF work so well, and allows cryogenic stages to reach their full potential.

--Damon

The RL-10 derived CECE engines will be capable of 50 restarts.

https://www.rocket.com/common-extensible-cryogenic-engine

Marcel

What I meant was the mass of the unburned hydrogen expended during a RL10 restart cycle.  This eats into the total propellent margin and probably sets a lower limit for restart before useful propellants become expended.  IVF can apparently work far below this margin for avoidance and disposal maneuvers, but I'd like to know the amount of hydrogen that is currently lost during each restart.

CECE can deep throttle, and that might be helpful at end-of-mission.

--Damon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/05/2015 10:29 am
Here is quick summary of Pros in priority.
1) Reduces manufacturing and launch costs. Most important by far.
2) Reduces dry mass. Which results in extra performance. Excellent bonus.
3) Greater endurance. Has benefits.
4) Can use residual fuel for disposal.
 5) Helps enable fuel depots. Free bonus feature and on ULA wish list.

Cons.
Can't see any, bar introducing the risk of new technology to a  proven workhorse.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/05/2015 10:43 am
So increase AV 401 IMLEO 0.5 mT? Is this a current requirement? Does AV 551 cross a threshold?
That would be 500Kg on any existing stage. Keep in mind one of the things ULA make quite a point of is that they really know their customers, including what their customers (IE mostly the DoD and NASA) would like have as much as what they need. Something like this would never get approval if it didn't just help ULA but could be sold as a benefit to their customers as well.
Quote
Sounds like eventually a substantially increased stage lifetime beyond the extended life kit already available?

So the kit goes away?
If' you're talking extra thick MLI blankets no. If you mean additional He tanks (for more restarts), additional Hydrazine tank (for prolonged pointing at a target) or extra battery boxes (to keep the GNC gyros and computer running) then yes. IVF is much like the system in a hybrid electric vehicle, so it's no surprise a key contractor is not fro the aerospace world but the high performance experimental automotive world. The battery is much smaller than the pack for Centaur for example, because it's just for peak electrical loads (EG engine starts) and can be topped up from the engine. Unlike normal car applications in this system "waste heat" is actually a major resource.
Quote
So  the additional restarts ... w/o mass penalty?
Exactly
Quote
Have no idea that unlimited restarts were a current requirement.
It's not, but the practical difficulties of doing multi starts or extended duration missions, both in planning complexity and in payload load will have constrained some missions. IVF widens both the payloads you can carry and the orbits you can carry them too by making complex, multi burn trajectories easy.
Quote
Simplification has its own returns.
Exactly.

I doubt anyone outside a fairly small group at ULA really knows how the cost savings will multiply together (and they will multiply, it's not just a case of additional savings), but right off the bat I'd go with.
a) IVF is  built up as a unit onto a mounting plate. That can be done away from the vehicle, tested and repaired if necessary, until it's bolted on and the final connections made to the GNC and the main tanks.
b)Using automotive technology gives access to the automotive upgrade cycle, so OTS parts should improve over time in terms of mass and cost. IVF runs a 300v+ Lithium hybrid vehicle battery for example.
c) No hypergols, so no hypergol handling teams in SCAPE suits, with Hydrazine at $60/lb
d) Elimination of the endless simulation runs to ensure that no consumable (electrical power, hydrazine or GHe) runs out before the mission is complete. This is particularly useful when (and I'm betting it's more often than not) the payload mass rises and all those runs have to be repeated to ensure the new payload can be carried by the current stage collection of tanks and batteries (and if not what to add to make it so).
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/05/2015 10:56 am
One other thought, on Super Sync GTO missions the Centaur normally burns to depletion. The residuals when it reaches apogee several hours later could be used in the thrusters to lower the perigee enough for disposal.

We will miss watching the fuel dumps, but it would help the debris issue.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 04/05/2015 12:24 pm

I think the key change is the unlimited number of engine starts this system allows. IIRC it's been limited to a small number of burns as the start pulse is a big hit on battery capacity. More starts --> More batteries --> more masse --> less payload.


It isn't the battery, it is helium.  The start pulse has little on effect on the batteries.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: baldusi on 04/05/2015 01:53 pm
So increase AV 401 IMLEO 0.5 mT? Is this a current requirement? Does AV 551 cross a threshold?
Its 500kg extra to whatever orbit you are doing: GTO? Extra 500kg, GSO? Extra 500kg, Mars? Extra 500kg, Europa Clipper? Extra 500kg. In my book that's quite an extra performance margin.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 04/05/2015 08:22 pm
Thank you. To summarize launch services advantage:

NSS/institutional: increased margin, increased mission complexity, fewer waivers on disposal

Commercial: above plus lower cost, less critical requirements payload sharing?

And notational:

Exploration/HSF: increasing TRL on extending US lifetime for increased precision / high delta V missions

The only role for significant number of burns to be increased seems to be for precision control, like in reducing phasing for rendezvous. Like what Soyuz/Progress does for fast approach to ISS. But these burns are usually "commanded", and made after tracking can obtain TLEs. Not US, which are autonomous and have limited inertial platform reference/refinement.

At some point lifetime/mission complexity increase begins to require GNC "upgrade" beyond existing profiles, to put these benefits to effective use?

Again, only, solely addressing launch service benefits to existing/near term customers.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: baldusi on 04/05/2015 09:35 pm
GSO and even Low Lunar Orbit injection burns seem like quite easy with this architecture. I don't believe it would be that useful for a Mars stage, unless you didn't expected it to do the injection burn at Mars, but only to do the correction burns. I still don't see it doing this without some MLI shield.
But it could enable quite a set of missions to the Moon, for example.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: donaldp on 04/06/2015 12:36 am
Some information in the patent...

http://www.google.com/patents/US8884202 (http://www.google.com/patents/US8884202)
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/06/2015 03:12 am
Thanks Donald for patent. Very informative, the number of benefits is huge.
Nice to see electrical system will benefit from hybrid car technology ie combination start/generator, batteries.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: muomega0 on 04/06/2015 01:36 pm
Thanks Donald for patent. Very informative, the number of benefits is huge.
Nice to see electrical system will benefit from hybrid car technology ie combination start/generator, batteries.
I must have missed something...what were the specific benefits for a BEO architecture?
    Launch hydrogen and oxygen at 225M/20mT and burning it with a piston engine (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37206.msg1354393#msg1354393)
    Launch hydrogen and oxygen with a re useable LV at 20M/20mT and burn it with a piston engine.
And ULA chose the to work on IVF rather than launch costs.
     And why did they not pursue other technology approaches?
    Again its *application* specific and not an architecture.
I suppose its good business to burn > $10,000/kg LH2 in space for power...
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/06/2015 02:56 pm
And ULA chose the to work on IVF rather than launch costs.
Sarcasm hat off, but IVF promises to cost less, reduce upper stage complexity, and improve the performance of the upper stages. It reduces costs, not all of them, but a small portion in it's own right.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 04/06/2015 03:10 pm

I must have missed something...what were the specific benefits for a BEO architecture?


That is not a primary driver
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: watermod on 04/06/2015 03:15 pm
Doesn't this imply it should be possible to modify heavy construction equipment like say various diggers to be able to work on surfaces like the moons?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: muomega0 on 04/06/2015 04:27 pm
And ULA chose the to work on IVF rather than launch costs.
Sarcasm hat off, but IVF promises to cost less, reduce upper stage complexity, and improve the performance of the upper stages. It reduces costs, not all of them, but a small portion in it's own right.
clearly 'less cost' depends on 220M vs 20M per flight and the kg of propellant burned for power....lots of hand waving in this entire thread.

The problem statement was to get rid of GHe, Hydrazine, large Batteries & high pressures; enable depot based space transport. IVF does not get rid of GHe, but does get rid of large batteries, but still needs small batteries--not a bad start.

If your transfer stage does not include a power source, then perhaps the IVF concept is 'better'.

If your transfer stage/depot includes a power source, burning hydrogen is not efficient nor cost effective unless the mission duration is a few days to a week or so.  IOW, why include an IC engine in IVF, unless the stage *also* has a boiloff problem?   As a backup power supply? Think about it....

Actually this is a moot point, since the USG can't dictate hardware choices to private companies.  Why only place two engines on a core, or add solids on a next gen LV?!

I must have missed something...what were the specific benefits for a BEO architecture?
That is not a primary driver
Of course!  the space policy of keeping everything separate (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36013.msg1284318#msg1284318) is still in place.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 04/06/2015 04:44 pm
IVF does not get rid of GHe,

Yes, it does and also hydrazine.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 04/06/2015 04:48 pm

Of course!  the space policy of keeping everything separate (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36013.msg1284318#msg1284318) is still in place.

The hand waving is in the link, which is an attempt to bring up the same unsubstantiated nonsense combined with flawed logic.
The policy is a good one.  Let market forces drive requirements.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/06/2015 07:10 pm


Thanks Donald for patent. Very informative, the number of benefits is huge.
Nice to see electrical system will benefit from hybrid car technology ie combination start/generator, batteries.
I must have missed something...what were the specific benefits for a BEO architecture?
    Launch hydrogen and oxygen at 225M/20mT and burning it with a piston engine (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37206.msg1354393#msg1354393)

And ULA chose the to work on IVF rather than launch costs.

ULA has chosen to save millions on build and launch costs of Centuar.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/06/2015 08:24 pm
IVF as envisioned in the near term is not all things to all possible missions, nor should it be.  Missions that last from a few hours to a few days don't need the near-heroic measures of advanced insulation and thermal control, and active refrigeration.  What IVF would accomplish is to >save money< by eliminating systems, saving weight and increasing payloads substantially as a direct result for any mission but even more so for the longer ones, by using a resource that was otherwise being wasted.  Looks like a big win to me.

The returns are diminishing as mission time is extended beyond perhaps a week or so.  Other technologies have to be brought into play to conserve the cryogenic propellants.  Those missions haven't been possible up to now anyway, so what's the complaint?

One unstated advantage of eliminating hydrazine for ullage and attitude thrusters is a big jump in specific impulse from about 235 seconds to nearly 400 seconds.  Just by using the boiloff of cryogenic propellants that would otherwise be wasted.

That a much smaller and lighter battery is still used on the IVF platforms is part of the advantage of the concept; it allows the IC engine to be sized for average power requirements rather than peak, saving weight.  The battery is available for peak power, thus it is a hybrid system with greater flexibility.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/06/2015 09:31 pm
It isn't the battery, it is helium.  The start pulse has little on effect on the batteries.
True, although I'm not sure that was actually known before the analysis for IVF started.

That said GHe tanks are pretty notorious for the very small amount of actual gas they hold. IIRC the Shuttle SSME He tanks weighted 270lb to hold 30lb of Helium.

clearly 'less cost' depends on 220M vs 20M per flight and the kg of propellant burned for power....lots of hand waving in this entire thread.

The problem statement was to get rid of GHe, Hydrazine, large Batteries & high pressures; enable depot based space transport.
Where did you get that idea?
Quote
IVF does not get rid of GHe, but does get rid of large batteries, but still needs small batteries--not a bad start.
I'm not sure how much you understand about how IVF works but it replaces the GHe to pressurize the tanks with warm GO2 and GH2 heated by the IC engine. while for most applications the heat from the engines cooling system is a waste product on IVF it's one of the main products of the system. The battery is much smaller than the current battery boxes and runs around 300-400V, in keeping with Hybrid vehicle technology, rather than aerospace practice.
Quote
If your transfer stage does not include a power source, then perhaps the IVF concept is 'better'.

If your transfer stage/depot includes a power source, b

urning hydrogen is not efficient nor cost effective unless the mission duration is a few days to a week or so. 
OTOH if you want a low cost (IE minimal development cost) to deliver a depot architecture at short notice IVF has benefits.

At some point lifetime/mission complexity increase begins to require GNC "upgrade" beyond existing profiles, to put these benefits to effective use?

Again, only, solely addressing launch service benefits to existing/near term customers.
In addition to raising the launch mass by a 1/2 tonne that ability to run with multiple burns means you could put larger payloads into higher orbits, or higher payloads on escape trajectories with a more complex set of burns before separation. So the payload gets to keep more of its mass.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 04/06/2015 11:27 pm
It isn't the battery, it is helium.  The start pulse has little on effect on the batteries.
True, although I'm not sure that was actually known before the analysis for IVF started.


It was well known.  He has always been the limiting factor for restarts.  That goes back decades, since the elimination of boost pumps.

BTW, 30lb of He is a lot of gas.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/07/2015 12:07 am
As I recall, the RL10 thrust vectoring actuators and most/all valves were pneumatic (He?) and have been upgraded to electromechanical.  I'm not sure what He is used for now, apart from pressurizing the hydrazine and cryogenic propellant tanks.  If there are other functions, perhaps IVF will use hydrogen gas or other methods (pyro?). 

The RL10 startup includes bootstrapping from vaporized hydrogen from the engine tube walls to spin up the hydrogen turbine (oxygen turbine is geared from this); is there a helium boost/purge as well?  At least one known RL10 start failure was because the engine was too cold to provide the necessary latent heat.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: mlindner on 04/07/2015 09:21 am
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.

But its a giant piston engine with a bunch of steel in it. How is that lighter than anything else? How does using the IVF avoid having to use ullage thrusters? Still not understanding.

Why was hydrogen fuel cell chosen against?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/07/2015 09:42 am
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.

But its a giant piston engine with a bunch of steel in it. How is that lighter than anything else? How does using the IVF avoid having to use ullage thrusters? Still not understanding.

Why was hydrogen fuel cell chosen against?

I suggest you read articles posted earlier in this thread especially the patent link, it has most detailed information in it.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 04/07/2015 02:16 pm
But its a giant piston engine with a bunch of steel in it. How is that lighter than anything else? How does using the IVF avoid having to use ullage thrusters? Still not understanding.

Why was hydrogen fuel cell chosen against?

It isn't giant nor uses a bunch of steel.  hydrogen fuel cell doesn't have the power density for running pumps nor does it provide a source of enthalpy.   Read the docs.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Designvis on 04/07/2015 03:39 pm
There are a couple  anchor concepts that make IVF attractive. The first is that the wall-conduction waste heat from the ICE is put to work effectively doubling the "efficiency" of the system.  This is rare since nearly all heat engines cannot do this and you end up with that depressing Carnot efficiency thing.  The ullage gases are not just a fuel- they are a repository for energy that we charge and discharge just like a battery.  Normally such low-availability energy is just not useful.  Here it is.  The exhaust energy is put to work too settling the vehicle.  When you combine these efficient uses with more or less free reactants it's hard to beat.  This feels like cheating and to me is a minor victory over the annoying limits you are confronted with in your first Thermodynamics courses.

The second is that we don't concentrate much energy in the system. Most aerospace fluid systems are all about keeping some genie in a bottle. Either high pressure gases or high pressure liquids or major electrochemical sources.  This costs money and their mass efficiency is just terrible.  The main vehicle tanks are by far the most effective (non-nuclear) way to store energy yet conceived.  IVF is just a decent conversion system.  When things are off pressures are at car tire levels- nice and boring.  You don't have to worry about tiny persistent leaks of 4000 psi gas slowly but surely killing the system over three weeks.  The safety and reliability impacts of this are huge.   

IVF works beautifully in concert with fuel cells and solar electric systems.  You let those systems handle long-duration low-level power demands and turn IVF on when you need to do heavy lifting. This enables them to be compact and light since they don't have to handle peak loads.  You can even eliminate dedicated controllers and power processing units which are major elements in the cost of those systems. The mission transition time is dependent on tank thermo, power level and other stuff but its usually after many days. 

When you think about IVF your brain is going to calibrate the images to engines that you are familiar with- car engines and such.  Imagine a toy engine that would fit on a cafeteria tray and you are closer to reality.  Such an ICE can easily produce more power than we can put to good use now.  When running it has all the drama of a sewing machine.  It can run the upper stage, payload and booster if you want without breaking much out of idle.  We expect that clever young engineers will come up with all sorts of things to do with that power once it becomes available.   

The thrusters now- those are wicked.  When fired in air they make up for the lack of noise from the rest of the system.  Of course they get fired mostly in vacuum so the thrill is gone. 

IVF is highly derivative of systems that have been used over the years and is not that scary of a leap- it is straightforward evolutionary thinking.  It takes concepts from Saturn, Shuttle, Centaur, Delta, 787, a century of automotive ICE design and the Prius and combines them in a new synthesis.  The architecture has shifted nine times since its inception as we learned what works and what doesn't.  A lot of it is how to make something efficient that is also low cost.  When its fielded it will seem obvious and boring. 

Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: muomega0 on 04/07/2015 04:09 pm
clearly 'less cost' depends on 220M vs 20M per flight and the kg of propellant burned for power....lots of hand waving in this entire thread.

The problem statement was to get rid of GHe, Hydrazine, large Batteries & high pressures; enable depot based space transport.
Where did you get that idea?
Consolidating equipment has been a goal for decades.   However, per IVF for Long Duration (http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/Published_Papers/Supporting_Technologies/Space_Access_Society_2012.pdf)
Quote from: ULASpaceAccessSociety
Goals
Slash costs by designing in the best possible system reliability
  - Get rid of GHe, Hydrazine, large Batteries & high pressures
  - Simple, commercial designs and materials, no toxic/hazardous operations
 Amplify performance & mission capability
  – Eliminate restrictions to flight duration except by main vehicle propellants
Support all likely future transport architectures
  - Enable depot based space transport

Quote
IVF does not get rid of GHe, but does get rid of large batteries, but still needs small batteries--not a bad start.
I'm not sure how much you understand about how IVF works but it replaces the GHe to pressurize the tanks with warm GO2 and GH2 heated by the IC engine. while for most applications the heat from the engines cooling system is a waste product on IVF it's one of the main products of the system. The battery is much smaller than the current battery boxes and runs around 300-400V, in keeping with Hybrid vehicle technology, rather than aerospace practice.
Adding warm G02 and GH2 to tanks is not desireable if one is seeking low to zero boiloff.  Yes, GHe is eliminated per the documents.

The two key features of IVF:
   - instead of dumping propellants overboard they are used as fuel
   - the fuel is used to power an internal combustion engine
       - mechanical power to starter/generator for electrical current
       - mechanical power for fluid pumps


OTOH if you want a low cost (IE minimal development cost) to deliver a depot architecture at short notice IVF has benefits.
Quote
So the goal was to eliminate restrictions to flight duration and enable depots for future architectures per the ULA documents.   How is it doing?

IVF as envisioned in the near term is not all things to all possible missions, nor should it be.  Missions that last from a few hours to a few days don't need the near-heroic measures of advanced insulation and thermal control, and active refrigeration.  What IVF would accomplish is to >save money< by eliminating systems, saving weight and increasing payloads substantially as a direct result for any mission but even more so for the longer ones, by using a resource that was otherwise being wasted.

The returns are diminishing as mission time is extended beyond perhaps a week or so.  Other technologies have to be brought into play to conserve the cryogenic propellants.  Those missions haven't been possible up to now anyway, so what's the complaint?
The 'complaint' is that the system states all these grand goals, then compromises the IVF system architecture to meet a short term goal.

The limitation?

There are a couple  anchor concepts that make IVF attractive. The first is that the wall-conduction waste heat from the ICE is put to work effectively doubling the "efficiency" of the system.  This is rare since nearly all heat engines cannot do this and you end up with that depressing Carnot efficiency thing.  The ullage gases are not just a fuel- they are a repository for energy that we charge and discharge just like a battery.   The exhaust energy is put to work too settling the vehicle.  When you combine these efficient uses with more or less free reactants it's hard to beat. 

The main vehicle tanks are by far the most effective (non-nuclear) way to store energy yet conceived.

IVF works beautifully in concert with fuel cells and solar electric systems.  You let those systems handle long-duration low-level power demands and turn IVF on when you need to do heavy lifting. This enables them to be compact and light since they don't have to handle peak loads.  You can even eliminate dedicated controllers and power processing units which are major elements in the cost of those systems.
Actually it does not work in concert with solar electric systems, which could easily provide power for zero boiloff and to provide settling, etc....  so all one needs to do is power the pumps.

The limitation is using mechanical power for the pumps, the heart of the system, for long term missions.  it is understood that without another power source and for short term missions, direct mechanical power is more efficient, especially if 'waste' fuel is available.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/07/2015 04:33 pm
When its fielded it will seem obvious and boring.
Sadly many things do after they have been fielded.

Usually by the same people who considered they dangerous, complex and generally unworkable.  :(

However to return to topic do you (or anyone) know if 2018 is the first all up test or will there be any partial tests of various sections before then?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 04/07/2015 04:35 pm

Adding warm G02 and GH2 to tanks is not desireable is one is seeking low to zero boiloff.  Yes, GHe is eliminated per the documents.


The 'complaint' is that the system states all these grand goals, then compromises the IVF system architecture to meet a short term goal.


1.  warm G02 and GH2 is only added during engine operation where boil off is not a concern.

2.  Pray tell, how is the IVF system architecture "compromised"?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 04/07/2015 04:41 pm
When its fielded it will seem obvious and boring. 

Will make the days before and including countdown boring.  No SCAPE ops, no high press gas loading, etc.
On launch day, I want to see a person on console turn a starter key to power up Centaur.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: muomega0 on 04/07/2015 04:46 pm

Adding warm G02 and GH2 to tanks is not desireable is one is seeking low to zero boiloff.  Yes, GHe is eliminated per the documents.


The 'complaint' is that the system states all these grand goals, then compromises the IVF system architecture to meet a short term goal.


1.  warm G02 and GH2 is only added during engine operation where boil off is not a concern.

2.  Pray tell, how is the IVF system architecture "compromised"?
1. So this is not part of the overall future architectures...understood.  Why not cool the gas?
2. The pumps are mechanically driven.  So how are the pumps powered by Electric/Nuclear propulsion?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: baldusi on 04/07/2015 05:10 pm
IVF is highly derivative of systems that have been used over the years and is not that scary of a leap- it is straightforward evolutionary thinking.  It takes concepts from Saturn, Shuttle, Centaur, Delta, 787, a century of automotive ICE design and the Prius and combines them in a new synthesis.  The architecture has shifted nine times since its inception as we learned what works and what doesn't.  A lot of it is how to make something efficient that is also low cost.  When its fielded it will seem obvious and boring.
Let's not forget that the Soviet N-1 used an RP-1/LOX turbine for general power generation. It it even kept running a bit longer than the rocket was in one piece. And could be run even after it crashed back to earth on one case. So using the propellants on a thermal engine to generate power is also a used method.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 04/07/2015 05:34 pm

1. So this is not part of the overall future architectures...understood.  Why not cool the gas?
2. The pumps are mechanically driven.  So how are the pumps powered by Electric/Nuclear propulsion?

1.  It not needed to be cooled.
2.  This concept is not applicable to Electric/Nuclear propulsion.  It is specific to cryogenic chemical upper stages
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/07/2015 05:42 pm

Adding warm G02 and GH2 to tanks is not desireable is one is seeking low to zero boiloff.  Yes, GHe is eliminated per the documents.


The 'complaint' is that the system states all these grand goals, then compromises the IVF system architecture to meet a short term goal.


1.  warm G02 and GH2 is only added during engine operation where boil off is not a concern.

2.  Pray tell, how is the IVF system architecture "compromised"?
1. So this is not part of the overall future architectures...understood.  Why not cool the gas?
2. The pumps are mechanically driven.  So how are the pumps powered by Electric/Nuclear propulsion?

Learn to think flexibly.  IVF >is< flexible.

1.  There are short, medium and long duration missions; the IVF architecture being developed for Centaur will work very well for short to medium missions.  Cooling the gas is not appropriate for these missions.   Longer missions will need to take different approaches to conserving propellant so the specific implementation of IVF will be different.

2.  See #1.  I don't see any reason why for long duration missions, solar or nuclear power sources couldn't be used for sustained operations, and either a fuel cell or IC engine running off propellants couldn't handle relatively short peak power needs.

--Damon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 04/07/2015 05:58 pm
Learn to think flexibly.  IVF >is< flexible.

1.  There are short, medium and long duration missions; the IVF architecture being developed for Centaur will work very well for short to medium missions.  Cooling the gas is not appropriate for these missions.   Longer missions will need to take different approaches to conserving propellant so the specific implementation of IVF will be different.

2.  See #1.  I don't see any reason why for long duration missions, solar or nuclear power sources couldn't be used for sustained operations, and either a fuel cell or IC engine running off propellants couldn't handle relatively short peak power needs.

--Damon

 IVF is only for cryogenic stages, specifically Centaur.  It is not generic term or idea applicable across other systems.


Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/07/2015 06:04 pm
I was thinking within the range of chemical propulsion systems, which is what I thought this thread was originally about.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/07/2015 06:51 pm
I was thinking within the range of chemical propulsion systems, which is what I thought this thread was originally about.
As the creator of the topic thread, Jim is correct. There is additional published ULA white papers on this topic and more at: http://www.ulalaunch.com/Education_PublishedPapers.aspx
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: baldusi on 04/07/2015 06:53 pm
Learn to think flexibly.  IVF >is< flexible.

1.  There are short, medium and long duration missions; the IVF architecture being developed for Centaur will work very well for short to medium missions.  Cooling the gas is not appropriate for these missions.   Longer missions will need to take different approaches to conserving propellant so the specific implementation of IVF will be different.

2.  See #1.  I don't see any reason why for long duration missions, solar or nuclear power sources couldn't be used for sustained operations, and either a fuel cell or IC engine running off propellants couldn't handle relatively short peak power needs.

--Damon

 IVF is only for cryogenic stages, specifically Centaur.  It is not generic term or idea applicable across other systems.
Could be used for CH4/LOX, thou. And they are going to move the first stage to that propellant with the BE-4. I'm not saying that they'll implement it on an upper stage. But Both BO and SpaceX could very well implement similar architectures in methane stages, if there are not patented technology.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: jongoff on 04/07/2015 06:56 pm
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.

But its a giant piston engine with a bunch of steel in it. How is that lighter than anything else? How does using the IVF avoid having to use ullage thrusters? Still not understanding.

Why was hydrogen fuel cell chosen against?

I suggest you read articles posted earlier in this thread especially the patent link, it has most detailed information in it.

Yeah, I didn't see much steel in their piston engine prototype they were showing at NSS last year. It runs cool enough that I think most of the thing is aluminum.

~Jon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 04/07/2015 09:28 pm
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.

But its a giant piston engine with a bunch of steel in it. How is that lighter than anything else? How does using the IVF avoid having to use ullage thrusters? Still not understanding.

Why was hydrogen fuel cell chosen against?

I suggest you read articles posted earlier in this thread especially the patent link, it has most detailed information in it.

Yeah, I didn't see much steel in their piston engine prototype they were showing at NSS last year. It runs cool enough that I think most of the thing is aluminum.

~Jon

Modern ICE's for decades have been steel sleeves in cast aluminum blocks, few use cast iron.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: jongoff on 04/07/2015 09:48 pm
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.

But its a giant piston engine with a bunch of steel in it. How is that lighter than anything else? How does using the IVF avoid having to use ullage thrusters? Still not understanding.

Why was hydrogen fuel cell chosen against?

I suggest you read articles posted earlier in this thread especially the patent link, it has most detailed information in it.

Yeah, I didn't see much steel in their piston engine prototype they were showing at NSS last year. It runs cool enough that I think most of the thing is aluminum.

~Jon

Modern ICE's for decades have been steel sleeves in cast aluminum blocks, few use cast iron.

This engine runs so rich (GOX/GH2 has an amazingly wide flammability range) that I think it might not even need steel sleeves, though I might be wrong.

~Jon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/07/2015 10:11 pm
Unlined aluminum blocks have been tried, but did not give satisfaction.  Anyone remember the original Chevrolet Vega engine?

The IVF development engine is rated for 26 HP, so it's not very big especially with the flathead construction.

I can almost hear the countdown status poll:

"Centaur IVF is go for engine start.   Vroom.  VROOM."

(pause)

"Centaur IVF, this isn't like driving the General Lee.  Stop racing the engine."

"Sorry.  Just kidding."

--Damon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/07/2015 10:25 pm
1) what is the weight saving of IVF?

2) Do they plan to use 2 x ICE for redundancy?.

3) Is ICE used pre lift off to pressurise the Centuar tanks?.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: deltaV on 04/07/2015 10:31 pm
This engine runs so rich (GOX/GH2 has an amazingly wide flammability range) that I think it might not even need steel sleeves, though I might be wrong.

Do you know what mixture ratio it's designed for?

I believe Earth ICEs usually run pretty close to stoichiometric but they're kept cool by all the nitrogen in air. Even to match typical Earth ICE temperatures you'd need tons of unburned hydrogen so I'm skeptical of the no-steel-needed conjecture (but am not an engineer). It's certainly plausible that they might run it that fuel-rich so I'm not saying it's wrong, just I'd like to see more evidence before I'm convinced.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/07/2015 11:04 pm
Descriptions show two IVF platforms, presumably with two engines.  Electrical load and batteries are shared, as may be gases.  This helps insure both platforms continue have thrusters if there is an engine problem on one or if mission requirements at any given time needs only one engine running.

The IVF engine seems to be like a two-cycle engine with crankcase induction of hydrogen gas, direct oxygen injection to the individual cylinders, and exhaust through valves in the engine block rather than the header.  Any blowby (traces of O2, unburned H2 and water steam) into the crankcase is thus scavenged.  Lubrication is dry sump with centrifugal separation of gas and oil, like an aircraft engine.  Engine exhaust is used just like a rocket thruster for propellant settling; not quite as impulsive as an actual rocket thruster, but decent enough to be useful.

The engine will run hydrogen rich, but the documentation on the engine development suggests the oxygen ratio can be varied, and engine boost to double the horsepower was demonstrated, just like a supercharger.

I don't see any reason why IVF couldn't be operated as soon as propellant loading began, but I expect tank purge will be with ground He.  IC engines normally run heavily diluted with nitrogen, and He shouldn't be an impediment.  In general, it appears the engine will run from well before launch, during launch, and as long as necessary for orbit operations, payload deploy, and disposal maneuvers.  In short, a lot. 

Obviously, on the pad venting of hydrogen-rich engine exhaust would be required, and likely flared a bit remotely to prevent combustible buildups.

Somewhat detailed description of the engine development, explaining the particular choice of of engine design, is here:

http://tinyurl.com/ula-ivf2012

Not all operating parameters are detailed, as this is a development model, but it should be a general guide.

I have no idea if IC engines have ever been operated in space before, especially for extended periods.

--Damon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/07/2015 11:16 pm
1) what is the weight saving of IVF?


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.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/07/2015 11:47 pm
Sorry for the slightly off topic question, but with IVF would we still see super sync. GTO missions or would a Hohmann transfer with a apogee burn (now that stage life is not an issue) make more sense? My understanding (which may be faulty) is super sync is done because the stage has more delta V than needed for a strick Hohmann and really lacks the life (without kits) to do a partial circularization burn at apogee.

I may be completely off base.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/08/2015 01:33 am
1) what is the weight saving of IVF?


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.
An extra 500-1000kg to GTO could save them millions on a mission by eliminating SRBs. The cost saves just keep adding up.
Most importantly this lower cost upper stage will be ready for NGLV booster.

With this new lower cost more capable upper stage as a stop gap ULA can afford to spend a few more years developing the ACES with new low cost engines.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/08/2015 06:57 am
Re-reading the report from 2012 in Damons' tinyurl entry reminds me just how small the thing is.

With no efforts at weight reduction the unit is 27 inches long and weights about 110lb while producing 26 Hp.

I think a lot of peoples intuition for the size of this thing when they hear "6 cylinder IC engine" is badly mislead by one simple fact.

It burns Oxygen not air. So whatever you think you need to burn air  is reduced to 1/5 that size.

Jongoff was right the block was Aluminum, with stainless steel exhaust manifold. This technology needed welded cap plates due machining certain blind channels in the block which would probably be viewed as unacceptable weak points in a production engine.

Does anyone know if complex Aluminum casting in small lots is fairly trouble free process or is this still only available in 10 000 unit lots with lots of fine tuning?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/08/2015 10:27 am
You can 3D print one time use sand molds, ideal for small productions or prototyping. See video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6OZXdRoogY
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: notsorandom on 04/08/2015 01:21 pm
Sorry for the slightly off topic question, but with IVF would we still see super sync. GTO missions or would a Hohmann transfer with a apogee burn (now that stage life is not an issue) make more sense? My understanding (which may be faulty) is super sync is done because the stage has more delta V than needed for a strick Hohmann and really lacks the life (without kits) to do a partial circularization burn at apogee.

I may be completely off base.
I'm speculating here without running the numbers. I don't think stage life is why super sync orbits are done, at least with ULA's rockets. One of the requirements of the EELVs (at least the Delta IV Heavy) was the ability to directly inject the payload to GEO. There are two benefits to dropping the payload off in a super sync orbit. The first is the benefit of staging. The Centaur masses a but under 3 mt dry and the 5 meter DCSS a bit over that. Unused propellants will make those figures higher. Though the stages have higher ISPs than the payload's propulsion sometime getting rid of that mass is the better way to go. The other thing is that in some situations a Hohmann transfer is not the most efficient. Plane changes take a lot of Delta V and there is a 28 degree one needed from the cape to GEO. The further from Earth that is preformed the less Delta V is needed. From the perspective of the total energy budget it can make sense to burn to a higher orbit then needed, do the plane change, then lowering the orbit.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: LouScheffer on 04/08/2015 02:51 pm
Unlined aluminum blocks have been tried, but did not give satisfaction.  Anyone remember the original Chevrolet Vega engine?
An aluminum block might be fine here.  Even the Vega came with a 50,000 mile (~80,000 km) warranty.  At typical traffic speeds that's at least 1000 hours of operation.  This application needs only about 1/100 of that life.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: acsawdey on 04/08/2015 03:31 pm
Unlined aluminum blocks have been tried, but did not give satisfaction.  Anyone remember the original Chevrolet Vega engine?
An aluminum block might be fine here.  Even the Vega came with a 50,000 mile (~80,000 km) warranty.  At typical traffic speeds that's at least 1000 hours of operation.  This application needs only about 1/100 of that life.

Porsche and others have apparently used aluminum blocks with a nickel silicon-carbide coating for quite some time:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikasil

A machined block is exactly the right solution for this application. The cost of machining is lost in the noise here and it'll be a lot easier to get the required level of quality assurance.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/08/2015 04:06 pm
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.
--
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: jongoff on 04/08/2015 06:08 pm
1) what is the weight saving of IVF?


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.

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.

~Jon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: 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 :)
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Newton_V on 04/08/2015 08:54 pm
I love IVF, you've heard me rave about it before. I just have one complaint... :)  what is taking ULA so long :)

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....
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/09/2015 03:44 am
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.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/09/2015 12:05 pm
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....
This is why I wondered if it's possible to test smaller sections of IVF on other missions. Thrusters, battery pack, starting and stopping of the IC engine.

Otherwise it looks like IVF is an all or nothing  proposition. In which case you need a mission that's got enough spare launch capacity to carry it as a secondary payload.

I suspect the number of missions that could carry a whole package in addition  to the standard GHe, batteries and Hydrazine and the full IVF test package is quite limited.  :(
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/09/2015 12:54 pm
Just throw another Solid on the Barbi and you have the margin you need ;)
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: dror on 04/09/2015 01:26 pm
What makes the choice of piston internal combustion engine?
Why not fuel cells or wankle or others?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 04/09/2015 01:39 pm
This is why I wondered if it's possible to test smaller sections of IVF on other missions. Thrusters, battery pack, starting and stopping of the IC engine.


The thrusters (ACS and ullage) can be tested on other missions after payload separation
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 04/09/2015 01:39 pm
What makes the choice of piston internal combustion engine?
Why not fuel cells or wankle or others?

read the documents
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: acsawdey on 04/09/2015 02:55 pm
What's so very interesting to me is how much they've pulled together off-the-shelf automotive technology in IVF:

* The ignition coils are used on the GM 5.3 v8 as found in chevy pickup trucks:
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=1002325&cc=1445445&jnid=972&jpid=4 (http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=1002325&cc=1445445&jnid=972&jpid=4)
* Dry sump lubrication is a pretty standard thing in many forms of racing or for piston aircraft engines that must operate in any orientation. For IVF they make additional use of this to make sure that any hydrogen that bypasses the piston rings is scavenged and burned. Standard design for scavenge pump, probably the oil/gas separator is unusual in that it needs to operate in zero g.
* The flathead configuration was chosen because it gives them an extremely simple valve train, and the ability to extract more heat from the exhaust into the coolant.
* HV LI-ion battery system & starter/generator similar to hybrid vehicles
* off-the-shelf piston rods
* Off the shelf roller bearings for crank & camshaft (reading between the lines a little on this one)
* crankshaft, camshaft, and pistons are all similar enough to normal automotive practice that there are any number of suppliers you could hand specs to and get back finished parts for a very modest amount of money (by space standards).
* picking a company like Roush leverages all this because they know where to get everything needed to build a custom IC piston engine completely from scratch already.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/09/2015 03:21 pm
What makes the choice of piston internal combustion engine?
Why not fuel cells or wankle or others?

This question has been asked and answered multiple times: enthalpy.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: the_roche_lobe on 04/09/2015 11:48 pm
Is the twin engine setup shown in those simulations just notional or is the first flight actually going to use a twin engine Centaur? Would a single engine Centaur need only one ICE?

P
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/10/2015 12:31 am
I wonder, the rendering to me looked like the two engines had nozzle extensions that had not yet been deployed...
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/10/2015 04:34 am
I've seen illustrations of single-engine Centaurs with two IVF platforms; I presume dual units are for redundancy and to locate thrusters symmetrically.   IVF isn't for the RL10 only, it supports the entire stage including multiple engines.

It appears nearly all of the hardware is located on the compact platforms, a marked contrast from the clutter of tanks and sundry boxes on the current Centaur and Delta upper stage.  This include an internal combustion engine, a battery, two not very large tanks to hold moderately compressed hydrogen and oxygen gas, inverters and control electronics, and various attitude control thrusters, and one or two settling thrusters.  Power for various functions is both electrical (300 volts) via an alternator/starter that also functions as a flywheel, and a mechanical takeoff from the crankshaft for pumps.   The system could support a much larger thruster and propellant pumps for maneuvers that don't require the full power of a RL10 engine.

About the only thing IVF lacks are horns, headlights and windshield wipers.  Perhaps these are options, too.  Consult your ULA dealer.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: sdsds on 04/10/2015 05:12 am
IVF works beautifully in concert with fuel cells and solar electric systems.  You let those systems handle long-duration low-level power demands and turn IVF on when you need to do heavy lifting. This enables them to be compact and light since they don't have to handle peak loads.  You can even eliminate dedicated controllers and power processing units which are major elements in the cost of those systems. The mission transition time is dependent on tank thermo, power level and other stuff but its usually after many days. 

I didn't understand this bit about "mission transition time." What exactly happens "after many days?"

Thanks!
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 04/10/2015 11:21 am
Is the twin engine setup shown in those simulations just notional or is the first flight actually going to use a twin engine Centaur? Would a single engine Centaur need only one ICE?


2 pods with thrusters are required on every stage.  The numbers of each item in the pods is determined by the redundancy scheme they want to employ.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: MP99 on 04/11/2015 09:10 am


An aluminum block might be fine here.  Even the Vega came with a 50,000 mile (~80,000 km) warranty.

That's OK then. Super Synchronous goes to ~80,000 km.

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: mikes on 04/11/2015 10:57 am
This engine runs so rich (GOX/GH2 has an amazingly wide flammability range) that I think it might not even need steel sleeves, though I might be wrong.

Do you know what mixture ratio it's designed for?

I believe Earth ICEs usually run pretty close to stoichiometric but they're kept cool by all the nitrogen in air. Even to match typical Earth ICE temperatures you'd need tons of unburned hydrogen so I'm skeptical of the no-steel-needed conjecture (but am not an engineer). It's certainly plausible that they might run it that fuel-rich so I'm not saying it's wrong, just I'd like to see more evidence before I'm convinced.

From http://tinyurl.com/ula-ivf2012 page 5
"Approximately 2 kg/hr of hydrogen and half that amount of oxygen will be consumed at low power settings"

I make that 16x richer than stoichiometric.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/11/2015 12:28 pm
An ICE stage without main engine ie no RL10 could be used as a fuel tanker. Deliver it to orbit as payload on any LV eg FH,D4H. Once in orbit it can wait for a upper stage which needs topping up or deliver its self to a fuel depot using small thrusters. One of the papers stated the ICE driven pumps could feed a 500kg thrust engine, which should be enough for station keeping of 20mt-40mt plus enable it to be deorbited once empty.

ULA had an article on fuel depot article where a SLS class LV was launched with upper stage tanks partially loaded with LOX but fully loaded with LH. It topped its tanks up with LOX from a fuel depot before going to BLEO. The idea was to enable it to carry a heavier payload. The reasoning behind full load of LH was a) it was lite and b) it was harder to store in fuel depot without boiling off. For this situation the ICE stage would only carry enough LH for station keeping. 
     
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/11/2015 01:58 pm
Much better to just stretch the upper stage and use it as a tanker.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Kabloona on 04/11/2015 02:07 pm
IVF works beautifully in concert with fuel cells and solar electric systems.  You let those systems handle long-duration low-level power demands and turn IVF on when you need to do heavy lifting. This enables them to be compact and light since they don't have to handle peak loads.  You can even eliminate dedicated controllers and power processing units which are major elements in the cost of those systems. The mission transition time is dependent on tank thermo, power level and other stuff but its usually after many days. 

I didn't understand this bit about "mission transition time." What exactly happens "after many days?"

Thanks!

Sounds like maybe transition to solar power only, after the cryos have boiled off.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: jongoff on 04/11/2015 05:59 pm
IVF works beautifully in concert with fuel cells and solar electric systems.  You let those systems handle long-duration low-level power demands and turn IVF on when you need to do heavy lifting. This enables them to be compact and light since they don't have to handle peak loads.  You can even eliminate dedicated controllers and power processing units which are major elements in the cost of those systems. The mission transition time is dependent on tank thermo, power level and other stuff but its usually after many days. 

I didn't understand this bit about "mission transition time." What exactly happens "after many days?"

Thanks!

Sounds like maybe transition to solar power only, after the cryos have boiled off.

My guess is that he's saying that solar arrays only start being a net win after "many days", and that before that threshold it's lighter and cheaper to just use the boiled off propellant. This might change for missions in deep space where the natural boiloff rate is a lot lower.

~Jon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: sdsds on 04/11/2015 08:02 pm
What exactly happens "after many days?"

Sounds like maybe transition to solar power only, after the cryos have boiled off.

My guess is that he's saying that solar arrays only start being a net win after "many days"

Thanks, these both seem like reasonable interpretations. (I favor the second principally because I don't understand how a stage with absolutely no propellant helps a mission at all, even if it has electric power.)

This might change for missions in deep space where the natural boiloff rate is a lot lower.

Indeed! I'm wondering if they envision being able to retain propellant long enough that the IVF thrusters could provide propulsion for missions with trajectories like that of LADEE? How about GRAIL?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/11/2015 09:21 pm
ULA long term plans are for a ACES upper stage with better insulation and fuel life measured in weeks and maybe months in some versions. A IVF Centuar is a means of testing the technology and reducing costs, improving stages life from hours to weeks is just a bonus.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Port on 04/11/2015 10:41 pm
okay, this might be obvious but not for me so:

why use a piston engine (+generator i'd assume?) instead of an fuel-cell?
i'd see no problem designing a system of multiple cells, churning out amps from excess Hydrogen/Oxygen for a much lower weight and no moving parts
(much less failure modes, there's a reason gemini/apollo didn't use piston engines for power)
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/11/2015 10:41 pm
... I don't understand how a stage with absolutely no propellant helps a mission at all, even if it has electric power.

Me too. And, that there's no existing requirement for that "capability".
Cough,.... Historically, that was how Agena was used... So it will finally transitioned to LH/LOX!
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/11/2015 11:33 pm
okay, this might be obvious but not for me so:

why use a piston engine (+generator i'd assume?) instead of an fuel-cell?
i'd see no problem designing a system of multiple cells, churning out amps from excess Hydrogen/Oxygen for a much lower weight and no moving parts
(much less failure modes, there's a reason gemini/apollo didn't use piston engines for power)

This question has been repeatedly asked and explained in this thread.  Go back to the start and begin reading.

Hint: in the right context, seemingly wasted heat is very useful.

--Damon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/12/2015 01:17 am
The patent link at #36 was most informative.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Norm38 on 04/12/2015 01:03 pm
okay, this might be obvious but not for me so:

why use a piston engine (+generator i'd assume?) instead of an fuel-cell?
i'd see no problem designing a system of multiple cells, churning out amps from excess Hydrogen/Oxygen for a much lower weight and no moving parts
(much less failure modes, there's a reason gemini/apollo didn't use piston engines for power)

I could see why a fuel cell was a poor choice, but wasn't seeing the problem with a gas turbine, so I read the docs.
http://tinyurl.com/ula-ivf2012 (http://tinyurl.com/ula-ivf2012)

Quote
Similarly a fuel cell could be used to drive IVF with the advantage of no high speed machinery and an extensive history of spaceflight. Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) cells have shown a tremendous amount of promise in recent years. However, 20kW is a relatively large fuel cell for flight applications and because all power is produced as electricity (as compared to perhaps 10% for the IC engine) it must be converted via motors to shaft power with their attendant switching systems and losses. This grows the fuel cell to address conversion efficiencies. Reactants are only consumed at a mixture ratio of 8 – which is generally insufficient for regenerative cooling so unless a bulky and costly radiator system is employed a larger flow of hydrogen must be brought to the fuel cell to maintain thermal stasis. From a consumables standpoint the fuel cell loses its advantage over the IC engine. The PEM cell efficiency is founded on low operating temperature which produces condensed liquid water which must be disposed of without providing any benefit for vehicle settling. In general, the use of a fuel cell system would be most advantageous for cryewed vehicles where the water produced has a strong positive influence on vehicle mass. For cryogenic propulsive stages the cost differential between IC engines and fuel cells likely favors the former.

So unless there's crew to drink the water, fuel cells are out.  Also correct, 20kW is a LOT of electrical power.  A 20kW electric motor and drive set is not that small or lightweight.  In vacuum, the aluminum heat sink for the power electronics may have the same mass as the ICE engine block.  And for many similar reasons, it's why production automotive hybrid vehicles are parallel hybrids instead of series.  It's more efficient to have the ICE crankshaft mechanically coupled to the wheels than convert all shaft power to electricity and only use an electric motor.

As for turbines:
Quote
A turbine could be used for such an application but it would be exquisitely small with extremely high rotating speeds to produce only 20kW with low density hydrogen as the working fluid. Provisions for heat and shaft power extraction could be made but the overall developmental complexity of cooling, lubrication, ignition, control and power take off at this very low power level seemed daunting compared to the IC engine. The use of such small turbines on ground based installations is virtually unheard of. Virtually a whole new technology would have to be developed at substantial cost and risk.

So the turbine would be smaller. But too small, too high RPM, hard to get the heat out, and not off the shelf technology.
But note that if IVF were used on a methane launcher, 20kW natural gas micro-turbines are commercially available, so that may be an option. (But of course those turbines burn 80% nitrogen, not pure O2)
For hydrogen, the ICE came out ahead.

Yes the docs are a very good read.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: gin455res on 04/12/2015 07:27 pm
okay, this might be obvious but not for me so:

why use a piston engine (+generator i'd assume?) instead of an fuel-cell?
i'd see no problem designing a system of multiple cells, churning out amps from excess Hydrogen/Oxygen for a much lower weight and no moving parts
(much less failure modes, there's a reason gemini/apollo didn't use piston engines for power)

I could see why a fuel cell was a poor choice, but wasn't seeing the problem with a gas turbine, so I read the docs.
http://tinyurl.com/ula-ivf2012 (http://tinyurl.com/ula-ivf2012)

Quote
Similarly a fuel cell could be used to drive IVF with the advantage of no high speed machinery and an extensive history of spaceflight. Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) cells have shown a tremendous amount of promise in recent years. However, 20kW is a relatively large fuel cell for flight applications and because all power is produced as electricity (as compared to perhaps 10% for the IC engine) it must be converted via motors to shaft power with their attendant switching systems and losses. This grows the fuel cell to address conversion efficiencies. Reactants are only consumed at a mixture ratio of 8 – which is generally insufficient for regenerative cooling so unless a bulky and costly radiator system is employed a larger flow of hydrogen must be brought to the fuel cell to maintain thermal stasis. From a consumables standpoint the fuel cell loses its advantage over the IC engine. The PEM cell efficiency is founded on low operating temperature which produces condensed liquid water which must be disposed of without providing any benefit for vehicle settling. In general, the use of a fuel cell system would be most advantageous for cryewed vehicles where the water produced has a strong positive influence on vehicle mass. For cryogenic propulsive stages the cost differential between IC engines and fuel cells likely favors the former.

So unless there's crew to drink the water, fuel cells are out.  Also correct, 20kW is a LOT of electrical power.  A 20kW electric motor and drive set is not that small or lightweight.  In vacuum, the aluminum heat sink for the power electronics may have the same mass as the ICE engine block.  And for many similar reasons, it's why production automotive hybrid vehicles are parallel hybrids instead of series.  It's more efficient to have the ICE crankshaft mechanically coupled to the wheels than convert all shaft power to electricity and only use an electric motor.

As for turbines:
Quote
A turbine could be used for such an application but it would be exquisitely small with extremely high rotating speeds to produce only 20kW with low density hydrogen as the working fluid. Provisions for heat and shaft power extraction could be made but the overall developmental complexity of cooling, lubrication, ignition, control and power take off at this very low power level seemed daunting compared to the IC engine. The use of such small turbines on ground based installations is virtually unheard of. Virtually a whole new technology would have to be developed at substantial cost and risk.

So the turbine would be smaller. But too small, too high RPM, hard to get the heat out, and not off the shelf technology.
But note that if IVF were used on a methane launcher, 20kW natural gas micro-turbines are commercially available, so that may be an option. (But of course those turbines burn 80% nitrogen, not pure O2)
For hydrogen, the ICE came out ahead.

Yes the docs are a very good read.

There is a type of gas-turbine that is described here:
http://www.agileturbine.com/publications/Small%20Scale%20Combined%20Heat%20and%20Power.pdf (http://www.agileturbine.com/publications/Small%20Scale%20Combined%20Heat%20and%20Power.pdf)
that uses a sub-atmospheric cycle -- combustion, expansion, cooling and then compression.

In the link above it is suggested as the engine in residential scale Combined Heat and Power unit. In this application it is claimed to have some advantages; a) the combustion is at slightly subatmospheric pressure and this eliminates the need for a natural gas fuel pump; and 2) although having lower power density than a conventional (compressor, combustion, expansion) turbine, it scales to small powers better.

In the outlined (IVF) flat head piston engine the enthalpy comes indirectly through the cooling system. Perhaps a sub-atmospheric turbine would supply the enthalpy (heat output)  more directly (/simply) , much as in the above CHP application.

(makes one wonder if a sub-atmospheric staged combustion rocket engine is feasible and possibly simpler - no feed pump, lower pressures, and better scalability - though using the propellant as a heat sink before burning it upstream sends logical circularity warning Klaxons in my head - though I think it works?)
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: gin455res on 04/12/2015 07:35 pm
okay, this might be obvious but not for me so:

why use a piston engine (+generator i'd assume?) instead of an fuel-cell?
i'd see no problem designing a system of multiple cells, churning out amps from excess Hydrogen/Oxygen for a much lower weight and no moving parts
(much less failure modes, there's a reason gemini/apollo didn't use piston engines for power)

I could see why a fuel cell was a poor choice, but wasn't seeing the problem with a gas turbine, so I read the docs.
http://tinyurl.com/ula-ivf2012 (http://tinyurl.com/ula-ivf2012)

Quote
Similarly a fuel cell could be used to drive IVF with the advantage of no high speed machinery and an extensive history of spaceflight. Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) cells have shown a tremendous amount of promise in recent years. However, 20kW is a relatively large fuel cell for flight applications and because all power is produced as electricity (as compared to perhaps 10% for the IC engine) it must be converted via motors to shaft power with their attendant switching systems and losses. This grows the fuel cell to address conversion efficiencies. Reactants are only consumed at a mixture ratio of 8 – which is generally insufficient for regenerative cooling so unless a bulky and costly radiator system is employed a larger flow of hydrogen must be brought to the fuel cell to maintain thermal stasis. From a consumables standpoint the fuel cell loses its advantage over the IC engine. The PEM cell efficiency is founded on low operating temperature which produces condensed liquid water which must be disposed of without providing any benefit for vehicle settling. In general, the use of a fuel cell system would be most advantageous for cryewed vehicles where the water produced has a strong positive influence on vehicle mass. For cryogenic propulsive stages the cost differential between IC engines and fuel cells likely favors the former.

So unless there's crew to drink the water, fuel cells are out.  Also correct, 20kW is a LOT of electrical power.  A 20kW electric motor and drive set is not that small or lightweight.  In vacuum, the aluminum heat sink for the power electronics may have the same mass as the ICE engine block.  And for many similar reasons, it's why production automotive hybrid vehicles are parallel hybrids instead of series.  It's more efficient to have the ICE crankshaft mechanically coupled to the wheels than convert all shaft power to electricity and only use an electric motor.

As for turbines:
Quote
A turbine could be used for such an application but it would be exquisitely small with extremely high rotating speeds to produce only 20kW with low density hydrogen as the working fluid. Provisions for heat and shaft power extraction could be made but the overall developmental complexity of cooling, lubrication, ignition, control and power take off at this very low power level seemed daunting compared to the IC engine. The use of such small turbines on ground based installations is virtually unheard of. Virtually a whole new technology would have to be developed at substantial cost and risk.

So the turbine would be smaller. But too small, too high RPM, hard to get the heat out, and not off the shelf technology.
But note that if IVF were used on a methane launcher, 20kW natural gas micro-turbines are commercially available, so that may be an option. (But of course those turbines burn 80% nitrogen, not pure O2)
For hydrogen, the ICE came out ahead.

Yes the docs are a very good read.

There is a type of gas-turbine that is described here:
http://www.agileturbine.com/publications/Small%20Scale%20Combined%20Heat%20and%20Power.pdf (http://www.agileturbine.com/publications/Small%20Scale%20Combined%20Heat%20and%20Power.pdf)
that uses a sub-atmospheric cycle -- combustion, expansion, cooling and then compression.

In the link above it is suggested as the engine in residential scale Combined Heat and Power unit. In this application it is claimed to have some advantages; a) the combustion is at slightly subatmospheric pressure and this eliminates the need for a natural gas fuel pump; and 2) although having lower power density than a conventional (compressor, combustion, expansion) turbine, it scales to small powers better.

In the outlined (IVF) flat head piston engine the enthalpy comes indirectly through the cooling system. Perhaps a sub-atmospheric turbine would supply the enthalpy (heat output)  more directly (/simply) , much as in the above CHP application.

(makes one wonder if a sub-atmospheric staged combustion rocket engine is feasible and possibly simpler - no feed pump, lower pressures, and better scalability - though using the propellant as a heat sink before burning it upstream sends logical circularity warning Klaxons in my head - though I think it works?)

Perhaps sub-atmospheric is a misnomer in this context. In the link to the CHP application description, the combustion is sub-atmospheric because the fuel is burning in a mixture of air and mildly pressurised (and probably choked?)  natural gas ahead of an expander. In the rocket context the engine will be working sub-(the pressure of the propellant tanks).
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Port on 04/12/2015 07:44 pm
Thanks for the reply, the paper was very interesting.

Actually i thought of something more SOFC-like for several reasons, but i can see why the ICE was chosen.
The Turbine is very interesting (especially for BFR/MCT etc reasons imo), especially since mr. musk has some serious issues with "fool-cells" :D
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: sdsds on 04/12/2015 10:01 pm
Quote
Similarly a fuel cell could be used to drive IVF with the advantage of no high speed machinery and an extensive history of spaceflight. Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) cells have shown a tremendous amount of promise in recent years. However, 20kW is a relatively large fuel cell for flight applications and because all power is produced as electricity (as compared to perhaps 10% for the IC engine) it must be converted via motors to shaft power with their attendant switching systems and losses. This grows the fuel cell

20kW is a LOT of electrical power.  A 20kW electric motor and drive set is not that small or lightweight.

Is the 20 kW requirement determined by what's needed to restart the main (RL10) engine?

As I understand the first flight of the additional thruster(s), all RL10 starts (indeed all aspects of the main mission) will be handled exactly as they have been historically. The new thruster will be started only for the deorbit burn. For that mission how much smaller will the fuel cell they use be?

Then, if you had a deep space mission that only needed two RL10 starts (for the ascent and Earth-departure burns), could you then perform e.g. the GRAIL mission profile, possibly through LOI, all with the Centaur thruster, and then separate the spacecraft once in lunar orbit?

As a spacecraft customer, I might be willing to pay a considerable premium for "delivery in lunar orbit."
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/12/2015 10:29 pm
The RL10 pretty much starts itself by bootstrapping.  I think actuators are electrical, but power requirements couldn't be remotely that great.  No fuel cells used at any time.  IVF supports the entire stage, not just the engine(s).  This includes post-mission operations.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: sdsds on 04/12/2015 10:36 pm
Hmm, perhaps it's a matter of semantics, but something on Centaur apparently requires mechanical shaft power that would take a 20 kW electric motor. I'm thinking that requirement is pumps, and those pumps are used to meet the RL10 startup propellant inlet pressure requirements. Is that wrong?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/12/2015 11:10 pm
The IVF engine mechanically drives pumps that pressurize the main propellant tanks; the tanks operate at different pressure levels including a higher pressure for RL10 operations when a higher pressurization gas flow rate is required--that's when the IVF engine heat is very useful, to warm up the very cold boiloff gasses.  Optionally, IVF can power pumps for a high power thruster independently of the RL10 engine.

The RL10 engine remains essentially unchanged running on its own expander cycle turbopump.  The higher tank pressure should meet the RL10's input head pressurization needs, which in turn was used to eliminate boost pumps some time ago.  That's what all the high pressure helium was for, which IVF will eliminate.

IVF is a hybrid system that both generates average electrical power needs and charges a battery, which can support peak power demands and IVF engine start/stop conditions.

I'm not clear exactly how the IVF platform demonstrator flight is supposed to operate in parallel with legacy Centaur systems; might get a little tricky.  I think they want to verify that the internal combustion engine operates correctly in microgravity and that engine cooling and pressurization do the right things at the right time.  I think in this mission the goal of IVF is to support post-mission disposal and some cruise time.

Additionally, the IVF engine can 'supercharge' itself to double output power, from about 26hp to 50hp, should such peak power levels be required.  There's a lot of headroom built into the design for future growth.  IVF is really flexible, and I have to keep re-reading the documentation to appreciate the many details.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/13/2015 01:06 am
Here is an interesting extract from one of the papers.
 
I think this the approach that XCOR are using ie using a ICE to drive cryogenic pumps for Lynx and also a RL10 replacement. This maybe part of reason ULA are using XCOR for engine development.
A 1200lbf engine is not large but could be used for missions where high thrust is not critical, ie gravity losses are not an issue.The engine should be low cost as the expensive fuel pump is all ready supplied.

"IVF can be used to directly drive cryogenic pumps for a small scale rocket engine without requiring power extraction from engine nozzles.
A single IVF module could readily drive a 5300N (1200 lbf) thrust hydrogen engine while simultaneously
doing tank pressurization and thruster operations."
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/13/2015 01:27 am
I've never understood precisely how XCOR's system really works; somehow I got the impression the piston pumps were to directly pump propellant; perhaps it's a very similar system to IVF's internal combustion engine?  I was a little skeptical but I didn't have much information to go on.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/13/2015 04:39 am
XCOR say piston pumps but not engine that drives them. A ICE would make sense as they expect dozens of flights out the Lynx engines.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/13/2015 09:19 am
Hmm, perhaps it's a matter of semantics, but something on Centaur apparently requires mechanical shaft power that would take a 20 kW electric motor. I'm thinking that requirement is pumps, and those pumps are used to meet the RL10 startup propellant inlet pressure requirements. Is that wrong?
To be clear 20Kw is the total energy output of the engine.

The electrical part (from the paper) is about 4Kw (which is not minor if you're trying to do it with batteries on a continuous basis).

a big part of the rest is the "waste" heat from cooling the cylinders, which in reality is used to pressurize the tanks.

What's left over can be used to take the propellants and pump them to 10bar+. This can be used to pre pressurize the propellants to the RL10(s) or on their own, to deliver a 1200lb thrust thruster on it's own, although I'm not too sure what you would use this for, as that's a pretty poor T/W ratio of about 12:1.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/13/2015 10:38 am
For delivering fuel, boil off would be an issue over a few days of a flight (eg EML1/2 spacestation). With existing systems the boil off would have to be dumped or burnt in thrusters either way it is lost. With ICE IVF the boil off could be converted to water (ICE exhaust) and saved. The surplus water can be used by the space station or converted back into LOX and LH by fuel depot. 
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: R7 on 04/13/2015 10:49 am
I've never understood precisely how XCOR's system really works; somehow I got the impression the piston pumps were to directly pump propellant; perhaps it's a very similar system to IVF's internal combustion engine?  I was a little skeptical but I didn't have much information to go on.

It's a piston pushed by gas driving directly another piston pumping liquid. Early prototypes had a single free piston, the newer ones have in-line 3 configuration. Have not seen schematic of the latter models but it seems there are connecting rods to a crankshaft to keep the pistons in sync and possibly extract rotational power (generator). Early prototypes had double acting pistons, doing work both ways, the intakes in the inline-3 suggest single-action setup.

The brochures speak of proprietary closed thermal cycle driving the pump, apparently the working gas is not vent overboard but fed into combustion chamber if the pressure is sufficient or dilluted into the pump inlet.

(http://www.mikemassee.com/print_design/images/xcor_brochure_back.jpg)

To be clear 20Kw is the total energy output of the engine.

No.

Under  nominal  mixture  ratio  conditions  of  1.0  and  feed  pressures  typical  of  ullage  conditions  the  ICE
will produce on the order of 20kW (26HP) of shaft power


Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: sanman on 04/13/2015 09:49 pm
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.

Why didn't Wankel rotary engines make the final cut? They have a higher power-to-weight ratio, and at least cut off the inlet port from the exhaust port, which is safer.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: jg on 04/13/2015 10:15 pm
Because they start with off the shelf engine blocks from industry.  A Wankel they would have to design/build themselves.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: sanman on 04/13/2015 11:21 pm
There are off-the-shelf Wankels -- they're not all custom one-offs.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/14/2015 12:14 am
A custom built inline six cylinder flathead engine was chosen because it has better heat recovery than a Wankel.  Also, the Wankel tested had hot spot/cooling issues running on hydrogen.  Off-the-shelf isn't relevant here and modern CNC machining keeps costs down.

There's a widespread misunderstanding that high thermal efficiency is of over-riding importance; the "waste" heat is actually very useful and desirable in this application for maintaining tank pressure and eliminating the helium system.  This is also partly why fuel cells were not chosen.  The hydrogen-rich hot exhaust is also used for propellant settling thrust, which helps to eliminate the hydrazine thruster system.

The piston engine uses direct oxygen injection to the cylinder and hydrogen is injected from the crankcase, which also scavenges blowby from the piston rings.

This explains the choice of engines and the development of the technology:

http://tinyurl.com/ula-ivf2012
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Remes on 04/14/2015 10:14 am
I believe Earth ICEs usually run pretty close to stoichiometric but they're kept cool by all the nitrogen in air. Even to match typical Earth ICE temperatures you'd need tons of unburned hydrogen so I'm skeptical of the no-steel-needed conjecture (but am not an engineer). It's certainly plausible that they might run it that fuel-rich so I'm not saying it's wrong, just I'd like to see more evidence before I'm convinced.
Additionally to the fuel rich mixture ratio they might feed back some exhaust gas?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: the_other_Doug on 04/14/2015 03:14 pm
Unfortunately, they have frozen question submission in the thread where Dr. Sowers is answering them, right when I came up with a good question for him:

* * *

Concerning the previously announced IVF technology to be used in Vulcan, how far along is ULA in developing an internal combustion engine that can run on hydrogen and oxygen and survive the implied temperatures and pressures (plus the vibration regime of a solids-assisted launch), be able to maintain lubrication over weeks and/or months spent quiescent in orbit, etc.?

* * *

Knowing how many moving parts a piston engine must have, how the lubrication has to work, etc., etc., I have to say that my first reaction to the IVF announcement, and that it will use ICEs to power the technology, was that this is possibly the worst idea I've ever heard of.  But I'm not a rocket engineer -- even though I've had to do a lot of tinkering with ICEs over the years.

Well, maybe they'll open up the Q/A thread to new questions and I can sneak mine in...
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/14/2015 05:14 pm
All best with the Vulcan. It has turned me into a ULA fan and many others judging by forum activities and name voting.

Do ULA plan to introduce IVF on Centuar or will it wait for ACES?.

Business case to close. 
Thanks!  As Tory said in the press conference, we got well over 1.1M votes.

IVF is an integral part of the ACES design.  We would like to field it on Centaur earlier, but need to find the right opportunity to get the business case to close.  Without going into details, we are actively pursuing several possibilities.

Not a definitive answer but it looks like IVF will fly on Centuar first.
Can see a case for just flight testing ICE in space as a payload.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/14/2015 05:44 pm
All best with the Vulcan. It has turned me into a ULA fan and many others judging by forum activities and name voting.

Do ULA plan to introduce IVF on Centuar or will it wait for ACES?.

Business case to close. 
Thanks!  As Tory said in the press conference, we got well over 1.1M votes.

IVF is an integral part of the ACES design.  We would like to field it on Centaur earlier, but need to find the right opportunity to get the business case to close.  Without going into details, we are actively pursuing several possibilities.

Not a definitive answer but it looks like IVF will fly on Centuar first.
Can see a case for just flight testing ICE in space as a payload.

According to the ULA white papers that is the plan. they are linked somewhere in an above post.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/14/2015 05:59 pm

The ICE design draws on many decades of experience designing engines for aircraft, where lubrication can operate independently of gravity and wildly random orientation.  I imagine the lubricant is a synthetic oil that remains fluid at low temperatures.  Hydrogen and oxygen are fed to the engine as a gas, not a liquid.

It's all really very elegant thinking outside of the box.  There are times when seemingly old tech does the job right, at reasonable cost compared to more high tech solutions.

It seems one of the benchmarks of innovative thinking is how it cuts against the grain of preconceived notions.  There's been a LOT of confusion, but once you've studied the links to articles that explain the design in detail, you'll have a better notion of thermodynamics and enthalpy.  People have been stumbling over this subject since the steam engine was first built well over 200 years ago.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/14/2015 09:08 pm
They can do a low risk approach and introduce IVF in stages.
1) Add IVF to existing Centuar. Complete mission using existing systems ie Hydrazine and He.
2) Once payload is deployed start the IVF tests.
3) Repeat until happy then switch to IVF.
There will be a payload penalty but for some missions this will not be an issue.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/14/2015 09:33 pm
They can do a low risk approach and introduce IVF in stages.
1) Add IVF to existing Centuar. Complete mission using existing systems ie Hydrazine and He.
2) Once payload is deployed start the IVF tests.
3) Repeat until happy then switch to IVF.
There will be a payload penalty but for some missions this will not be an issue.
only the early test flights, once legacy systems are retired it will have much lower mass than before IVF.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: arachnitect on 04/18/2015 04:01 pm
They can do a low risk approach and introduce IVF in stages.
1) Add IVF to existing Centuar. Complete mission using existing systems ie Hydrazine and He.
2) Once payload is deployed start the IVF tests.
3) Repeat until happy then switch to IVF.
There will be a payload penalty but for some missions this will not be an issue.

Can they test IVF on a legacy Centaur, or would the He interfere with IVF operation?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: baldusi on 04/18/2015 04:10 pm
They can do a low risk approach and introduce IVF in stages.
1) Add IVF to existing Centuar. Complete mission using existing systems ie Hydrazine and He.
2) Once payload is deployed start the IVF tests.
3) Repeat until happy then switch to IVF.
There will be a payload penalty but for some missions this will not be an issue.

Can they test IVF on a legacy Centaur, or would the He interfere with IVF operation?
From what I understood, they would test IVF after the mission is over so it doesn't interferes with anything. I would guess they would have to add some way to purge the He from the tanks before activating the system, which might add some weight. Probably not less than a 1000kg penalty, total. Which might explain why there's little desire to let this run along any payload.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/18/2015 09:10 pm
The presence of helium in the boiloff gasses was considered and not found to be a problem; terrestrial engines work happily with at least 70% nitrogen dilution.  Hydrogen burns over a very wide range of mixtures and the engine's direct oxygen injection probably compensates for helium dilution.  I get the impression there's almost nothing necessary for the engine to work as is.

Certainly the helium pressurization needs to be turned off, so autogenous pressurization and engine operation with straight hydrogen/oxygen can be properly evaluated.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: the_other_Doug on 04/19/2015 09:07 pm
Unfortunately, they have frozen question submission in the thread where Dr. Sowers is answering them, right when I came up with a good question for him:

* * *

Concerning the previously announced IVF technology to be used in Vulcan, how far along is ULA in developing an internal combustion engine that can run on hydrogen and oxygen and survive the implied temperatures and pressures (plus the vibration regime of a solids-assisted launch), be able to maintain lubrication over weeks and/or months spent quiescent in orbit, etc.?

* * *

Knowing how many moving parts a piston engine must have, how the lubrication has to work, etc., etc., I have to say that my first reaction to the IVF announcement, and that it will use ICEs to power the technology, was that this is possibly the worst idea I've ever heard of.  But I'm not a rocket engineer -- even though I've had to do a lot of tinkering with ICEs over the years.

Well, maybe they'll open up the Q/A thread to new questions and I can sneak mine in...

Sorry to quote myself, but I figured discussion on this is better here than in the Dr. Sowers Q&A thread.

I was able to sneak my question into the Q&A thread, and Dr. Sowers did say that they have a prototype engine that has several hundred hours of running under its belt.  That's a good start.  While I don't necessarily believe we'll ever see the details on how they're constructing the ICEs for their IVF approach, I'm really curious what kind of metals and materials they're using, and especially how they plan to lubricate an ICE in microgravity.  Without gravity to help your lubricant flow evenly over the moving parts, I'm having a hard time understanding how you don't develop "dry zones" that, with the temps implied by burning hydrogen and oxygen (without mediating gasses such as nitrogen or helium), would result in serious burn-throughs of rocker arms, valve lifters, and even engine blocks.

And, to be honest, there is no environment where it is remotely possible that they have been able to test their prototype engines for hours in microgravity.  The first tests in zero-G are going to be on the first flights of the IVF-enabled rockets.  Be a hell of a note if they discovered lubrication issues at that point.

I just have this image of a major Mars expedition being canceled because an ICE in an ACES upper stage threw a rod.  That would be a really bad day.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/19/2015 10:03 pm
Aerobatic aircraft are even more demanding on their engine lubrication systems so ULA ICE shouldn't be a problem. NB engine doesn't run continuously, while coasting it is only needed to charge the battery occasionally.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/19/2015 11:53 pm
Unfortunately, they have frozen question submission in the thread where Dr. Sowers is answering them, right when I came up with a good question for him:

* * *

Concerning the previously announced IVF technology to be used in Vulcan, how far along is ULA in developing an internal combustion engine that can run on hydrogen and oxygen and survive the implied temperatures and pressures (plus the vibration regime of a solids-assisted launch), be able to maintain lubrication over weeks and/or months spent quiescent in orbit, etc.?

* * *

Knowing how many moving parts a piston engine must have, how the lubrication has to work, etc., etc., I have to say that my first reaction to the IVF announcement, and that it will use ICEs to power the technology, was that this is possibly the worst idea I've ever heard of.  But I'm not a rocket engineer -- even though I've had to do a lot of tinkering with ICEs over the years.

Well, maybe they'll open up the Q/A thread to new questions and I can sneak mine in...

Sorry to quote myself, but I figured discussion on this is better here than in the Dr. Sowers Q&A thread.

I was able to sneak my question into the Q&A thread, and Dr. Sowers did say that they have a prototype engine that has several hundred hours of running under its belt.  That's a good start.  While I don't necessarily believe we'll ever see the details on how they're constructing the ICEs for their IVF approach, I'm really curious what kind of metals and materials they're using, and especially how they plan to lubricate an ICE in microgravity.  Without gravity to help your lubricant flow evenly over the moving parts, I'm having a hard time understanding how you don't develop "dry zones" that, with the temps implied by burning hydrogen and oxygen (without mediating gasses such as nitrogen or helium), would result in serious burn-throughs of rocker arms, valve lifters, and even engine blocks.

And, to be honest, there is no environment where it is remotely possible that they have been able to test their prototype engines for hours in microgravity.  The first tests in zero-G are going to be on the first flights of the IVF-enabled rockets.  Be a hell of a note if they discovered lubrication issues at that point.

I just have this image of a major Mars expedition being canceled because an ICE in an ACES upper stage threw a rod.  That would be a really bad day.

The first mission of the demonstrator IVF module and subsequent full system without legacy components will likely be tense.  Sooner or later, new ideas have to flown in the real environment.

The design, construction and operation of the development engine, and the IVF concept in general, is described in considerable detail here:

http://tinyurl.com/ula-ivf2012

How many times does this have to be repeated before people start reading it?  This isn't a lawn mower engine with splash lubrication; it borrows directly from aircraft engine design with pressurized lubrication for all bearings and friction surfaces, a dry sump and centrifugal gas separator.  It's specifically designed for microgravity operation.

No doubt the operational design will differ in some details, and I hope ULA will publish those details.

--Damon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/20/2015 12:06 am
One detail I don't recall being addressed is the crankshaft torque of the engine; I wonder how that will be handled?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: kch on 04/20/2015 12:28 am
One detail I don't recall being addressed is the crankshaft torque of the engine; I wonder how that will be handled?

Maybe the same way it's handled on longitudinal-crankshaft motorcycles -- the "peripheral equipment" (alternator, coolant pump, etc.) rotates in the opposite direction to cancel the torque reaction.  No reason why it wouldn't work for this.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: tj on 04/20/2015 12:32 am
Countering torque -- The 2012 ULA white paper illustration might seem to indicate the 6 cylinder engine rotation is counter rotating 3-piston halves. I seem to observe a connection to the generator exiting midway between the 6 piston block.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/20/2015 12:45 am
kch: Good point.  Seems like the PTO from the crankshaft could be easily geared to accomplish that counter-torque task.  Simple solution!
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Patchouli on 04/20/2015 01:44 am
I wonder could the engine from IVF be used on other in space applications such as a high performance Lunar or Mars rover?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 04/20/2015 02:18 am
So with IVF an upperstage is basically using Hydrogen boil-off as a source of both power and fuel, that essentially gives you unlimited firings of both the main engine and the thrusters right?

If that is the case, that would make interesting delivery options for GEO craft.  Imagine being able to trade efficiency versus time for a satellite. A normal launch would use two burns, but a customer could also settle for a shorter but more efficient delivery method using many thruster and/or main engine firings. Kind of like SEP on the cheap.  That seems promising for commercial clients.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: jg on 04/20/2015 02:20 am
I wonder could the engine from IVF be used on other in space applications such as a high performance Lunar or Mars rover?

The engine might be, but it's complex; but a lot of the magic of the IVF work is that the energy used is leveraged N ways to Sunday, for thrusters, for pressurization of the tanks, for thrust to keep the propellants settled (ullage), etc. I suspect you'd be best off thinking things from first principle.  Dunno if Frank Zegler has spent any time thinking about that possibility.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 04/20/2015 02:49 am
I wonder could the engine from IVF be used on other in space applications such as a high performance Lunar or Mars rover?

Not really.  It is not a high performance engine.  It is specifically for the IVF and not to drive wheels.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 04/20/2015 02:51 am
So with IVF an upperstage is basically using Hydrogen boil-off as a source of both power and fuel, that essentially gives you unlimited firings of both the main engine and the thrusters right?

If that is the case, that would make interesting delivery options for GEO craft.  Imagine being able to trade efficiency versus time for a satellite. A normal launch would use two burns, but a customer could also settle for a shorter but more efficient delivery method using many thruster and/or main engine firings. Kind of like SEP on the cheap.  That seems promising for commercial clients.

Not really.  The IVF thrusters are not as efficient as the RL-10.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Patchouli on 04/20/2015 03:22 am

Not really.  It is not a high performance engine.  It is specifically for the IVF and not to drive wheels.

I was thinking in a hybrid drive setup where the engine charges the rover's batteries for operations during the lunar night or for higher then average power then would be possible with solar panels.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: sanman on 04/20/2015 04:26 am
Has any other way ever been proposed to harness hydrogen boil-off? Like maybe a Proton Exchange Membrane, or Thermoelectric Material or something?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/20/2015 04:57 am
I wonder could the engine from IVF be used on other in space applications such as a high performance Lunar or Mars rover?
Masten Xeus lander which is based on modified Centuar/ACES. The ICE would enable the lander and crew to survive a lunar night, not only does it provide power but also heating and water. There is a thread which talks about using them in rovers, look under Missions to Moon section, feel free to kick the thread back into life.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 04/20/2015 12:51 pm

I was thinking in a hybrid drive setup where the engine charges the rover's batteries for operations during the lunar night or for higher then average power then would be possible with solar panels.


A fuel cell is better for that.  Higher efficiency and less conversion losses.  But either way, not a good idea.  It would be wasting solar power carrying around the the mass of the ICE or fuel and not to mention fuel when not in use.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 04/20/2015 12:53 pm
Has any other way ever been proposed to harness hydrogen boil-off? Like maybe a Proton Exchange Membrane, or Thermoelectric Material or something?

read the documents
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: gin455res on 04/20/2015 03:39 pm
okay, this might be obvious but not for me so:

why use a piston engine (+generator i'd assume?) instead of an fuel-cell?
i'd see no problem designing a system of multiple cells, churning out amps from excess Hydrogen/Oxygen for a much lower weight and no moving parts
(much less failure modes, there's a reason gemini/apollo didn't use piston engines for power)

I could see why a fuel cell was a poor choice, but wasn't seeing the problem with a gas turbine, so I read the docs.
http://tinyurl.com/ula-ivf2012 (http://tinyurl.com/ula-ivf2012)

Quote
....
.....

As for turbines:
Quote
A turbine could be used for such an application but it would be exquisitely small with extremely high rotating speeds to produce only 20kW with low density hydrogen as the working fluid. Provisions for heat and shaft power extraction could be made but the overall developmental complexity of cooling, lubrication, ignition, control and power take off at this very low power level seemed daunting compared to the IC engine. The use of such small turbines on ground based installations is virtually unheard of. Virtually a whole new technology would have to be developed at substantial cost and risk.

So the turbine would be smaller. But too small, too high RPM, hard to get the heat out, and not off the shelf technology.
But note that if IVF were used on a methane launcher, 20kW natural gas micro-turbines are commercially available, so that may be an option. (But of course those turbines burn 80% nitrogen, not pure O2)
For hydrogen, the ICE came out ahead.

Yes the docs are a very good read.

There is a type of gas-turbine that is described here:
http://www.agileturbine.com/publications/Small%20Scale%20Combined%20Heat%20and%20Power.pdf (http://www.agileturbine.com/publications/Small%20Scale%20Combined%20Heat%20and%20Power.pdf)
that uses a sub-atmospheric cycle -- combustion, expansion, cooling and then compression.

In the link above it is suggested as the engine in residential scale Combined Heat and Power unit. In this application it is claimed to have some advantages; a) the combustion is at slightly subatmospheric pressure and this eliminates the need for a natural gas fuel pump; and 2) although having lower power density than a conventional (compressor, combustion, expansion) turbine, it scales to small powers better.

In the outlined (IVF) flat head piston engine the enthalpy comes indirectly through the cooling system. Perhaps a sub-atmospheric turbine would supply the enthalpy (heat output)  more directly (/simply) , much as in the above CHP application.

(makes one wonder if a sub-atmospheric staged combustion rocket engine is feasible and possibly simpler - no feed pump, lower pressures, and better scalability - though using the propellant as a heat sink before burning it upstream sends logical circularity warning Klaxons in my head - though I think it works?)

-----------------------------------------------------------
Hi, This question is for Frank Zegler (see below)
------------------------------------------------------------

Dr Sowers,

When eliminating turbine based units from the IVF system design, were sub-atmospheric 'inverted brayton cycles' such as outlined in the linked pdf, considered.  This is a scheme for a residential scale CHP (high enthalpy) micro-turbine system, that reverses compressor and turbine sequence to  produce very-low-power turbo-generators.

Or would continuous combustion require too high a fuel flow to keep combustion temperatures sensible, (what is the peak combustion temperature in the IC engine anyway)?

http://www.agileturbine.com/publications/Small%20Scale%20Combined%20Heat%20and%20Power.pdf (http://www.agileturbine.com/publications/Small%20Scale%20Combined%20Heat%20and%20Power.pdf) 

thanks
Toby

Post this question on the IVF thread.  I'll get Frank Zegler, the inventor, to answer.  (Another way of saying: I haven't the foggiest...)
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Designvis on 04/20/2015 07:18 pm
Frank Zegler of ULA here to answer a few questions about the IVF architecture and how we got to where we are. 

We considered every type of prime energy convertor at the outset of IVF. The original design was a strictly thermodynamic system without moving parts.  This had the regrettable feature of being impossible to test on earth.  But maybe someday.  We just need an orbital lab.

We considered turbines including devices with integral thruster function.  This was ultimately rejected as having several significant risks which could undermine the system operation.  We looked at old fashioned and PEM fuel cell systems as well as hybrids of these chemical systems and solar power. 

To understand our thinking we need to talk about how power is consumed on existing and future in-space vehicles. These are long-duration missions and we have very long periods of minimal power output punctuated with short-duration high-power demands.  In other words we have a very high power turn-down ratio- on the order of 30:1 or greater.  Most power systems do not like this sort of thing.  Fuel cell systems are excellent at sustained low-power demands but if you try to pull 20kW out at their low cell voltages you will run into rapidly increasing losses that ultimately degrade efficiency to the point that standard heat engines begin to look attractive.  This is not to say it can't be done.  It can be- generally at a large mass penalty.  The question is what is the cost and complexity of such a system and how flexible and extensible is it to missions we don't even know about now.

We considered turbine based systems for quite a while.  An innovative design called a single rotor turbine which combined a centrifugal compressor and turbine into a single wheel was considered.  Some sort of turbine-based system can almost certainly be developed but there was a lot more risk.  One of the key issues is that we are burning pure hydrogen and oxygen without the traditional nitrogen diluent.  We run at low MR and the excess hydrogen thus acts to suppress combustion temperatures.  But this means you have to pump a fair bit of hydrogen up through a reasonable pressure rise.  Pumping liquid hydrogen centrifugally is a nuisance but pumping gaseous hydrogen that way begins to fall in the category of very hard.  Making the H2 hot makes this problem worse.  You are facing multiple stages running at extremely high speeds.  We considered running at very low pressures but this does not push you towards compact, light, easy-to-build stuff.  While we could cool the turbine rotor with hydrogen we recognized that we were feeding it with a potential cutting torch.  Even a few milliseconds of high MR operation would turn the rotor to slag.  Certainly we could address this with superalloys and sophisticated burners and elaborate active cooling passages and control systems.  The question is: can you make something like this for $40,000? We didn't think so.   

Importantly we had to drive both generators and compressors and these don't want to spin at 50,000 RPM.  So we were facing multiple high reduction (likely planetary) gearboxes with significant losses.  We were also concerned about the power/time demand for starting such a turbine.  This stuff starts to mount up against a tight cost and mass budget. 

Based on prior art done by Vickers & NASA in the early 1960's we were pretty sure that a simple IC engine could produce this kind of power and do it cheaply.  Plus we had the benefit of decades of evolution.  We built a single cylinder engine and tried it- it worked great.  Then we tried a flight-weight, gas-cooled Wankel engine and it worked even better- except that we learned a lot about H2/O2 combustion and cooling that reinforced our judgement about a turbine.  Long story short we decided to dissipate the energy over a broader area with the 6-cylinder.  It is simpler to cool and lubricate and we can run at much higher chamber mixture ratios. 

After racking up about 250 hours over multiple engine evolutions and builds we have concluded that the multiple cylinder system fits our needs very well.  Its super-redundant, cheap, has a huge turndown ratio and is fast to build.  It starts fast and easy and has resisted all our attempts to destroy it via ignorance- a strong recommendation.  The thing is incredibly tough.  Weirdly all of our testing has pointed us more and more towards even more conventional ICE designs.  Though we were only asking for 20kW we have come to realize that we  could readily extend power up to in excess of 80kW.  Meaning that extremely large vehicles and all kinds of unknown demands could be supported without any mass change to the ICE.  That is a huge benefit. 

I mentioned in a previous post that IVF works very well with fuel cells and solar electric systems and here's why.  A fuel cell system on a long-duration cryogenic vehicle has to deal with widely varying inlet reactant conditions and in general the cells want feed pressures that are above what vehicle tank pressures run at during coast.  Much of IVF is a thermal control and heat balance system.  It has recirculating coolant, cryogenic heat exchangers and compressors that can act to support a fuel cell just as well as the ICE  It has the controller to manage all this and the power handling electronics to take low-voltage fuel-cell generated electrical power and boost it up to the 300V that allows us to move it around efficiently.  And it has a high-voltage battery to handle spike loading and permit the fuel cell to operate at peak efficiency.  The incremental mass delta to add the PEM cell stack into IVF is very small compared to a stand-alone system.   You run the ICE when you need and the fuel cell the rest of the time.  This extends usable mission time even further.  It takes all the good things from fuel cells, addresses all the risks and supplies all the gizmos required to get those cells to run properly for weeks.   

In general the same applies to solar.  You can keep array size down and suppress mass and cost by sizing to just the sustained average load.  This can mean the elimination of deployment mechanisms which are the biggest pain.  The power handling electronics are already on board the IVF controller. 

The six cylinder engine halves rotate together in the same direction.  Consider the engine and its loads together- net torques are very small except during speed transitions.  Vibration is very low.

Anyway I'm sure all this will spur further questions.  But at least you can now see the path that lead us to where we are.  It's a classic evolution based on learning from testing. 

z
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Kansan52 on 04/20/2015 07:28 pm
Thanks! I understood!!. The only problem was extrapolating (hopefully correctly) Internal Combustion Engine from ICE.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: jimvela on 04/20/2015 07:38 pm
Frank Zegler of ULA here to answer a few questions about the IVF architecture and how we got to where we are. 

Thank you for taking the time to comment.
Kudos to ULA for engaging through NSF- you will find the signal to noise ratio very high here...
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Lee Jay on 04/20/2015 07:44 pm
I mentioned in a previous post that IVF works very well with fuel cells and solar electric systems and here's why.  A fuel cell system on a long-duration cryogenic vehicle has to deal with widely varying inlet reactant conditions and in general the cells want feed pressures that are above what vehicle tank pressures run at during coast.  Much of IVF is a thermal control and heat balance system.  It has recirculating coolant, cryogenic heat exchangers and compressors that can act to support a fuel cell just as well as the ICE  It has the controller to manage all this and the power handling electronics to take low-voltage fuel-cell generated electrical power and boost it up to the 300V that allows us to move it around efficiently.  And it has a high-voltage battery to handle spike loading and permit the fuel cell to operate at peak efficiency.  The incremental mass delta to add the PEM cell stack into IVF is very small compared to a stand-alone system.   You run the ICE when you need and the fuel cell the rest of the time.  This extends usable mission time even further.  It takes all the good things from fuel cells, addresses all the risks and supplies all the gizmos required to get those cells to run properly for weeks. 

In such a scenario, why run (or even have) the ICE at all?  Batteries are quite capable of supplying massive amounts of peak power (I have batteries at home capable of 2kW/kg sustained and 4kW/kg peak for 30 seconds) and I thought that was the whole reason to have the ICE in the first place.

Thanks so much for your presence and your detailed post on the IVF!
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Coastal Ron on 04/20/2015 07:56 pm
Frank Zegler of ULA here to answer a few questions about the IVF architecture and how we got to where we are.

Great explanation.  IVF is certainly an exciting technology, and we're all looking forward to the possibilities it can enable.

I have one question:
 
Quote
...The original design was a strictly thermodynamic system without moving parts.  This had the regrettable feature of being impossible to test on earth.  But maybe someday.  We just need an orbital lab.

Obviously the ISS was envisioned to help with such experiments, and no doubt you considered it.  Was there any particular reason that using the ISS at this time did not fit your needs?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: sanman on 04/20/2015 08:21 pm
Hi Mr Zegler,

You've mentioned how you coupled the ICE to the PEM, but when considering ultracapacitors and/or battery pack, then how far did they fall short of the mark? Did you investigate any possible use of superconductive motors to drive compressors, since you have cryogenic propellants available to provide cooling?

If Wankel rotary engines were considered, then what made them disadvantageous? I'd read that Wankels have higher power-to-weight ratio compared to reciprocating piston engines, while also isolating the fuel inlet from the combustion for added safety.

Do you still see ultracaps, superconductive motors, Wankel rotary engines as possible future upgrade paths?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: jg on 04/20/2015 09:13 pm

If Wankel rotary engines were considered, then what made them disadvantageous? I'd read that Wankels have higher power-to-weight ratio compared to reciprocating piston engines, while also isolating the fuel inlet from the combustion for added safety.


Frank already answered the Wankel question, if you read his previous responses carefully.  Roughly, Wankel's can have the same sort of problems that doomed a turbine, given no nitrogen in the fuel; the wearing part of the Wankel will get too hot with insufficient area to dissipate the heat...
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: the_other_Doug on 04/20/2015 09:28 pm
Frank Zegler of ULA here to answer a few questions about the IVF architecture and how we got to where we are. 

Thank you for taking the time to comment.
Kudos to ULA for engaging through NSF- you will find the signal to noise ratio very high here...

Yes, thanks, Dr. Ziegler!  You've addressed my issues very nicely.  I'm feeling a heck of a lot more confident in the IVF technology than I was before.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: DatUser14 on 04/20/2015 09:42 pm
Dr Ziegler, first of all thanks for doing this. How will the IVF technology fit on Centaur (and eventually ACES). Is it being designed to fit in the existing compartments or will the stage be redesigned?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/20/2015 11:05 pm
IVF embodies the KISS principle: if it doesn't need to be complicated, Keep It Simple.  That almost always saves money and improves reliability.   Better to impress with simple elegance than complex technology.

Most of the bulky stuff (hydrazine and helium tanks, batteries, at least some electronics) is mounted on the bottom of the LOX tank adjacent to the RL10 engine(s).  The IVF systems are fully contained on a single and fairly compact platform that will mount in the same locations and look kind of lonely with all of the previously mentioned hardware now eliminated.  Two such platforms will be used partly for redundancy.

Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/21/2015 12:36 am
Thank you Frank for answering our questions.

What is the fuel consumption (LH & LOX in kg/hr) for ICE at 20KW?

What is the expected weight savings on a IVF Centuar?

Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Designvis on 04/21/2015 06:53 pm
Frank Zegler of ULA.  I'm glad you folks are interested in this concept.  Its consumed me for getting a decade and has lots of fascinating aspects. 

Regarding orbital testing:  We would have needed a test lab that could handle liquid hydrogen and oxygen in fairly large quantities.  Doing testing at ISS is challenging even when you are not proposing to light large fires or manipulate cryogens under high heat transfer conditions.  Eventually we will need an orbital facility that can do this but we are decades away from this I fear.  Once this is in place we will learn at an accelerating pace since we will be able to rapidly interact with a test article on a daily basis.  That is how you really learn what works and what doesn't. 

Regarding Wankel Engines
We chose this as our initial prime focus since these things are light, simple and have very high power/mass ratios.  Kind of like a compromise between turbine and reciprocating engine.  Plus no valve system and the induction system is not subject to combustion pressures and temps.  Plus at the time we were only looking for around 5kW- it was an earlier iteration of the IVF system with liquid instead of gas compressors.  It extracted heat energy from the thrusters instead.... but I digress. 

Combustion in a Wankel happens in the same place for every ignition- unlike in a 4-stroke multi-cylinder engine.  That area never gets an exhaust or intake stroke to cool down.  H2/O2 combustion is a beautiful thing- it should be in every IC engine textbook as the perfect combustion process.  You should see how crummy gasoline or even natural gas burn. it is astonishing you can actually make gasoline engines run as well as they do.  It is a tribute to the skills of the automotive engineers that they can do this.  Anyway H2 combustion happens fast and is incredibly repeatable.  It is also intense and the heating at the ignition source is very high.  This limits the peak MR that can be tolerated.  The rest of the Wankel is dead cold by comparison- this creates incredible dimensional distortion problems.  Cooling the rotor is another issue and of course lubricating the side seals and apex seals is highly non-trivial.  We investigated the internal lubrication systems on three commercial Wankel engines and were blown away by the sophistication required to get these engines to run properly.  We saw a huge thermodynamic and tribology project ahead of us.  Compound that with the non-redundancy of the single rotor and we did not see an affordable and reliable path forward. 

We had incredible success with the thruster and actually built two types. One was a higher pressure pulsed motor like a typical hydrazine thruster that was intended for maneuver.  We also built one for vehicle settling that had heat rejection systems built in and operated at very low chamber pressures since it was only fed by ullage gases. This low pressure was a significant risk item.  Once we showed excellent ignitions we realized that we didn't need both types and could consolidate to one even simpler design and field it sooner. 

Since we wanted reliability and simplicity the 6 cylinder was a clear choice due to its smooth power delivery, low vibration, dispersed heat rejection and wider MR capability.  Even the smallest six cylinder ( we used the smallest practical pistons for example) could produce much more power though- which was fine since we could use the waste heat from the ICE alone to drive the pressurization process.  The greater power permitted gas compressors which drastically simplified their design too.  That design step enabled tank pressurization without mass addition and that made a huge difference to system performance. 

Regarding Batteries and ICEs
It is critical to understand that when we say the IC engine is a 20kW machine we are quoting the shaft power only.  In most heat engines the waste Q is just that- waste.  In IVF we use the wall Q completely and hence the actual usable energy output of the ICE is at least twice what we quote when talking shaft power.  So working together the two IVF modules can deliver up to 80 kW of enthalpy rise to the vehicle tanks.  This is conservative.  In addition we use the remaining energy in the ICE exhaust for settling. So the utility of the energy released is very high. 

No doubt you could store up energy in a battery system to run compressors and heaters but you would be rejecting the waste heat from a fuel cell for example during that charge period and it would be lost. To match the ICE architecture the battery system would really have to release twice the power or thereabouts.
IVF has small lithium ion batteries that run at 300V and they have awesome power capability to handle spike loads- almost as big as the ICE output. But to reliably handle an 80kW demand for hundreds of seconds while maintaining the battery voltage in a reasonable band would drive the mass up considerably- well in excess of the ICE.  Like all hybrid systems there is trade between the prime mover mass and the energy storage system mass.  A balance must be struck based on peak vs average power and practical limitations.

Regarding Super-Caps
We are still investigating these but so far their energy density and system support flexibility is inferior to Lithium batteries.  The jury is still out for specific areas. 

Regarding the IVF installation
The two IVF modules are intended to be mounted to the aft area of an upper stage and they will be tested together with their interconnecting structure, plumbing and harnessing as a unit.  They are extremely compact units- 900mm long, 600mm wide and depending on where you measure (due to thrusters protruding)  either 800mm or 600mm tall. 

The target mass for this entire IVF installation is 500 lbm.  Performance savings are complicated by the reduction in consumables like hydrazine and helium.  The IVF capabilities are so much larger that to make a matching traditional system is rather impractical.  That makes comparisons difficult or meaningless. Suffice it to say that if you were just doing 15 minute launches to LEO you would likely not select IVF.  That is the mission scenario that ICBMs were optimized around more or less.  IVF would be lighter but not by enough to justify the investment.  Our challenge is to reduce system mass (and cost) for the simple missions (LEO) and yet provide a capability that simply cannot be matched for more advanced multi-day missions.  When you are talking about these kinds of missions the mass savings can be in the tons.  So the answer is that the savings vary from hundreds of pounds to many thousands. 

Regarding Motors
How you take power off of the ICE is a matter of choice depending on what you intend to do with it.  It is presently being done mechanically and via generators.  There is much to recommend both depending on the overall power flow and practical issues like gearboxes, lubrication, power switching etc.  If you want to read a great document showing how such hybrid systems are engineered look at the report from Oak Ridge Labs about the 2010 Prius teardown they did. Much of the design those Toyota engineers did is very similar to IVF.  Beautiful design really. 

Oh and by the way I'm not a doctor. 
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Malderi on 04/21/2015 08:23 pm
Frank, your recent posts are some of the best on this forum for design insight. Thank you so much for taking the time to write them for us.

You mentioned the mass savings end up varying considerably based on the type of mission, which makes sense. Can you talk about what design reference missions, if any, you've used for design optimization?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 04/21/2015 10:15 pm
I have a mental image of a Centaur/ACES putt-putting its way on a TLI trajectory, leaving little sequential frost-puffs in its wake...

Has the Isp of the engine exhaust been estimated?  I know the thrust is miniscule but it should keep the propellant settled.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/21/2015 10:49 pm
Mr Ziegler,

Thank you for your very lucid description of the current system and the design choices that produced it. -

It was fascinating to see how, as the test results and analyses came in the design morphed the Wankel as prime mover gave way to the 6 cylinder in line, while the the separate settling and attitude thrusters merged into one common design.

One thought struck about the Wankel design. The highly localized heat release of the Wankel reminded me of that produced by the CPU of high end lap tops. In that application heat pipes have been used to spread the load across the whole of the base. I wondered if there would be enough mass in a Wankel engine block that you could spread the heat, giving an overall "warm" block (probably too hot to touch but nowhere near melting) giving a larger surface area to tap the heat from. This is obviously hindsight now the I6 is the engine of choice.

AFAIK everyone who's aware of IVF (however it's implemented) thinks it's a really clever idea. It's just a pity that it doesn't look like it will get a flight slot before 2018.  :(
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: sdsds on 04/23/2015 07:19 pm
Interplanetary trajectories (to Mars or asteroids) have been studied that include "broken plane" maneuvers part way through the coast phase of the transfer. These can reduce overall delta-v and perhaps more importantly reduce the delta-v requirement to orbit or rendezvous with the destination. I'm wondering if ULA is proposing use of a long-lived (IVF) upper stage to perform this kinds of broken plane trajectory? Or would the time of flight before the maneuver be too challenging?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: georgesowers on 04/23/2015 08:18 pm
Interplanetary trajectories (to Mars or asteroids) have been studied that include "broken plane" maneuvers part way through the coast phase of the transfer. These can reduce overall delta-v and perhaps more importantly reduce the delta-v requirement to orbit or rendezvous with the destination. I'm wondering if ULA is proposing use of a long-lived (IVF) upper stage to perform this kinds of broken plane trajectory? Or would the time of flight before the maneuver be too challenging?

Variations of our distributed lift architecture could do a mission like this.  ACES with attached drop tank.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Prober on 04/30/2015 02:20 am

Regarding Motors
How you take power off of the ICE is a matter of choice depending on what you intend to do with it.  It is presently being done mechanically and via generators.  There is much to recommend both depending on the overall power flow and practical issues like gearboxes, lubrication, power switching etc.  If you want to read a great document showing how such hybrid systems are engineered look at the report from Oak Ridge Labs about the 2010 Prius teardown they did. Much of the design those Toyota engineers did is very similar to IVF.  Beautiful design really. 

Oh and by the way I'm not a doctor.

This Toyota fuel cell auto sure impressed me.....enjoy ;)
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/30/2015 12:37 pm
Yeah, and Toyota is saying the Mirai will be half the price of a Tesla.

(Mirai is the fuel cell vehicle toyota will be selling in 2015)
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: sdsds on 09/20/2015 06:14 am
What's the current thinking about the first mission on which IVF-Centaur will fly? Is there a USAF payload that makes sense for this? Or with the reemergence of commercial customers on Atlas (e.g. Morelos 3), could it be one of them?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: john smith 19 on 10/23/2015 11:49 am
What's the current thinking about the first mission on which IVF-Centaur will fly? Is there a USAF payload that makes sense for this? Or with the reemergence of commercial customers on Atlas (e.g. Morelos 3), could it be one of them?
I found this item.

http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/Published_Papers/Supporting_Technologies/Orbital_Disposal_of_Launch_Vehicle_Upper_Stages_final.pdf

It seems fairly recent and they are talking specifically about a flight test in June 2016 for disposal of upper stages.  However they also talk of using fuel cells, which I thought was pretty much off the table.

Apparently upper stage disposal is tough, especially if the payload was bound for GEO. Tapping remaining propellant lets you put it in an orbit with a low probability of collision, which seems to be better than one which (eventually) decay to reentry, but in a fairly random way and hence could hit something on the way down.

I really hope this is going ahead. It will demonstrate (partly) the IVF concept works and gather operating data to help refine the design

ULA had done their 100th consecutive successful launch, as measured by their customers. As the first of the IVF flight trials it could be even more important to the company.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Newton_V on 10/23/2015 04:35 pm
What's the current thinking about the first mission on which IVF-Centaur will fly? Is there a USAF payload that makes sense for this? Or with the reemergence of commercial customers on Atlas (e.g. Morelos 3), could it be one of them?

H2/O2 thrusters will probably fly well before IVF.  Probably not on a government mission anytime soon.  Nobody wants "unnecessary features" on their mission.

I suspect a commercial mission will be the first flight.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Prober on 10/23/2015 04:49 pm
What's the current thinking about the first mission on which IVF-Centaur will fly? Is there a USAF payload that makes sense for this? Or with the reemergence of commercial customers on Atlas (e.g. Morelos 3), could it be one of them?
I found this item.

http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/Published_Papers/Supporting_Technologies/Orbital_Disposal_of_Launch_Vehicle_Upper_Stages_final.pdf

It seems fairly recent and they are talking specifically about a flight test in June 2016 for disposal of upper stages.  However they also talk of using fuel cells, which I thought was pretty much off the table.


Conventional Hydrogen/oxygen yes they would be off the table.  However, two other fuel cells I know of would work in that platform.  One might work extremely well with the right catalyst.

Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: john smith 19 on 10/23/2015 06:37 pm
Conventional Hydrogen/oxygen yes they would be off the table.  However, two other fuel cells I know of would work in that platform.  One might work extremely well with the right catalyst.
No I mean the point of IVF is that the 6 cylinder engine provides main tank pressure by heating the tank gases. Fuel cells don't really do that. One of the features of the IVF was the realization that heat is not a "waste product" but something to be used. Fuel cells simply don't provide this.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: sdsds on 10/23/2015 07:21 pm
So does the WorldView 4 mission seem likely as the first test of the gaseous H2-O2 thrusters? This payload was called GeoEye 2 when it was sent to long term storage back in 2013....
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: russianhalo117 on 10/23/2015 07:41 pm
So does the WorldView 4 mission seem likely as the first test of the gaseous H2-O2 thrusters? This payload was called GeoEye 2 when it was sent to long term storage back in 2013....
its a good candidate. they havent selected the flight yet, but has begun procuring flight rated parts for the test flight.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Newton_V on 10/23/2015 09:38 pm
So does the WorldView 4 mission seem likely as the first test of the gaseous H2-O2 thrusters? This payload was called GeoEye 2 when it was sent to long term storage back in 2013....

It will not have H2-O2 thrusters.
It will have cubesats though.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 10/24/2015 01:46 am
What's the current thinking about the first mission on which IVF-Centaur will fly? Is there a USAF payload that makes sense for this? Or with the reemergence of commercial customers on Atlas (e.g. Morelos 3), could it be one of them?
I found this item.

http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/Published_Papers/Supporting_Technologies/Orbital_Disposal_of_Launch_Vehicle_Upper_Stages_final.pdf

It seems fairly recent and they are talking specifically about a flight test in June 2016 for disposal of upper stages.  However they also talk of using fuel cells, which I thought was pretty much off the table.

Apparently upper stage disposal is tough, especially if the payload was bound for GEO. Tapping remaining propellant lets you put it in an orbit with a low probability of collision, which seems to be better than one which (eventually) decay to reentry, but in a fairly random way and hence could hit something on the way down.

I really hope this is going ahead. It will demonstrate (partly) the IVF concept works and gather operating data to help refine the design

ULA had done their 100th consecutive successful launch, as measured by their customers. As the first of the IVF flight trials it could be even more important to the company.

Here is FISO talk associated with orbital disposal paper.

http://spirit.as.utexas.edu/~fiso/telecon/Reed_8-5-15/
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Prober on 08/26/2016 06:37 pm
Was looking for a thread.....
a ULA video popped up, see some LM in this :)


https://youtu.be/BbZKfno1KNc




older...
https://youtu.be/Bu72H3jMpuY
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: PahTo on 08/26/2016 06:48 pm

"Weeks" and "month(s)" of loiter time due to reduced boil off/use of advanced MLI, plus 10+ restart capability, plus in-space refueling.
Pretty snazzy, now "let's" make it happen!
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: shooter6947 on 08/26/2016 07:13 pm

"Weeks" and "month(s)" of loiter time due to reduced boil off/use of advanced MLI

This could be specifically enabling for planetary missions.  I know of some cases where amazing gravity assist trajectories were found that would save time and allow for high mass allocations for planetary deliveries to the outer solar system.  But they were so tightly peaked that there was only like 24-36 hours of launch window.  These used to be dismissed out of hand.  But with weeks of loiter, you could use such a tightly peaked gravity-assist trajectory if you launched a few weeks in advance of the 24-hour 'window', thereby allowing time for ground-based launch delays due to weather or technical concerns, or whatever.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: rcoppola on 08/26/2016 07:19 pm
Would love to see this scaled up and offered as an SLS EUS upgrade path.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: rcoppola on 08/26/2016 07:21 pm
The weak part for me is the need to launch another expensive expendable launcher to refuel the 2nd stage. This is where having a reusable architecture would fit very nicely into an ACES architecture. Or vice versa. IMO.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: RonM on 08/26/2016 07:30 pm
The weak part for me is the need to launch another expensive expendable launcher to refuel the 2nd stage. This is where having a reusable architecture would fit very nicely into an ACES architecture. Or vice versa. IMO.

ULA is planning on later recovering the engines on the first stage. They say that would reduce first stage costs by 90%.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: brickmack on 08/27/2016 02:25 am
The weak part for me is the need to launch another expensive expendable launcher to refuel the 2nd stage. This is where having a reusable architecture would fit very nicely into an ACES architecture. Or vice versa. IMO.

This is why asteroid/lunar mining is so important, they could get all that fuel in space and only need the one launch. Even before that happens, perhaps they could pool the residual fuel of multiple ACES from previous missions instead of dedicated tanker flights, at least for some profiles. A fully-fueled ACES in LEO will have a kinda ridiculous payload capacity to GEO (on the order of 25 tons to GEO direct insertion and back to LEO if my math is right), so even if an ACES only has like 10% of its fuel leftover from its first mission, thats good enough for most payloads not to need an additional tanker flight
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 08/27/2016 03:30 am
Their Lunar ACES is pretty interesting. They are now using hydrolox for the small descent engines on the sides, instead of storable propellant.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Coastal Ron on 08/27/2016 03:54 am
Would love to see this scaled up and offered as an SLS EUS upgrade path.

Well, with the "distributed lift" they talked about in the 2nd video we may not need the SLS at all.

Distributed lift and in-space assembly obviates the need for any non-commodity launcher, and ACES is one of the key technologies that can help make this happen.

I wish they would go faster with ACES, but at this point it's really tied to the development of Vulcan, so at least that should mean it will happen.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: jongoff on 08/29/2016 11:26 pm
The weak part for me is the need to launch another expensive expendable launcher to refuel the 2nd stage. This is where having a reusable architecture would fit very nicely into an ACES architecture. Or vice versa. IMO.

I think that even tanker launches by an expendable vehicle can give you some real benefits, but agree that pairing Vulcan/ACES with a more reusable earth-to-orbit launch vehicle can make the idea even better. The big takeaway I've always had for reusable vehicles is that you need a lot of flights per year for a fully-reusable vehicle to shine, and launching propellant for distributed lift could be just such a market.

It is interesting that ULA has good relationships with both Blue Origin (that is developing its own orbital RLV), and Masten (which is one of the contenders for XS-1's Phase 2), so there may be some interesting possibilities down the road.

The key is to enable upper-stage to upper-stage rendezvous and propellant transfer, which are pieces that I'm trying to get on the table with Altius.

~Jon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: sdsds on 08/30/2016 07:05 pm
The key is to enable upper-stage to upper-stage rendezvous and propellant transfer

Well put! For so long it seemed everyone thought a "depot" was required. Reality is slowly sinking in: a depot is nice but the key enabler is propellant transfer.

With Vulcan (or more specifically distributed launch), ULA is certainly expediting this shift in thinking!
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Kansan52 on 08/30/2016 07:38 pm
For a poor math boy, that chart really brings it home for me!
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: jongoff on 08/30/2016 10:41 pm
The key is to enable upper-stage to upper-stage rendezvous and propellant transfer

Well put! For so long it seemed everyone thought a "depot" was required. Reality is slowly sinking in: a depot is nice but the key enabler is propellant transfer.

With Vulcan (or more specifically distributed launch), ULA is certainly expediting this shift in thinking!

Distributed Launch requires about 90% of the effort of a depot, but gives you more flexibility on parking orbits. One of the big dings on depots was that if you're going to some oddball destination (say a NEO) with a high declination, it's hard to get a LEO depot to work correctly without penalties (me and an astrogator friend of mine found a way, but haven't had the time to write it up yet). But with distributed lift, it's really a single-use depot that you can put in whatever parking orbit makes the most sense for the mission.

Really distributed lift is just the fuzzy end of a spectrum of "depot" options, but unlike depots, ULA is allowed by its parents to talk about distributed lift...

Note also that the numbers you provided assume only a partial (<50%) refilling of the ~70mT ACES tank--what you'd get with a two Vulcan/ACES launch architecture. If you refilled the tank all the way (using a second tanker, or something more reusable topping the first tanker all the way up before you launch the departure ACES/spacecraft), you'd get the full 36mT LEO payload to a 28km^2/s^2 C3, which is more than GEO or LLO insertion, and more than most TMI injections.

~Jon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 08/30/2016 11:00 pm
Distributed Lift may not need to wait for ACES. They are planning on converting Centuar to IVF and paper gives scenarios where Centuar is used.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: HIP2BSQRE on 08/30/2016 11:02 pm
The weak part for me is the need to launch another expensive expendable launcher to refuel the 2nd stage. This is where having a reusable architecture would fit very nicely into an ACES architecture. Or vice versa. IMO.

I think that even tanker launches by an expendable vehicle can give you some real benefits, but agree that pairing Vulcan/ACES with a more reusable earth-to-orbit launch vehicle can make the idea even better. The big takeaway I've always had for reusable vehicles is that you need a lot of flights per year for a fully-reusable vehicle to shine, and launching propellant for distributed lift could be just such a market.

It is interesting that ULA has good relationships with both Blue Origin (that is developing its own orbital RLV), and Masten (which is one of the contenders for XS-1's Phase 2), so there may be some interesting possibilities down the road.

The key is to enable upper-stage to upper-stage rendezvous and propellant transfer, which are pieces that I'm trying to get on the table with Altius.

~Jon

Jon,

Who has need for distributed lift? 
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: jongoff on 08/31/2016 01:14 am
Who has need for distributed lift? 

Not counting any future interplanetary stuff, ULA often provides direct GSO insertion flights, and those could potentially benefit from some level of distributed lift.

Longer-term, anyone trying to do anything serious beyond LEO should give distributed lift serious thought. Especially if coupled with a cheap propellant source, it's a very affordable way of doing beyond LEO transportation.

~Jon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: jongoff on 08/31/2016 01:16 am
Distributed Lift may not need to wait for ACES. They are planning on converting Centuar to IVF and paper gives scenarios where Centuar is used.

As I understand it, they're planning on doing some level of IVF demonstration on Centaur, but I'm not sure they're going to redesign Centaur to make IVF an operational part of it.

~Jon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: jongoff on 12/15/2016 04:48 am
I posted the link over on the Altius thread, but George Sowers tweeted this video of the recent hot firing of the IVF Thruster Gimbal prototype Altius and IES have been developing for ULA: https://twitter.com/george_sowers/status/809132858832916480

~Jon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Lars-J on 12/15/2016 05:11 am
I posted the link over on the Altius thread, but George Sowers tweeted this video of the recent hot firing of the IVF Thruster Gimbal prototype Altius and IES have been developing for ULA: https://twitter.com/george_sowers/status/809132858832916480

~Jon

So ACES (and perhaps IVF Centaur) will use gimballed thrusters? So it will have fewer thrusters, but instead have them gimbal? It seems like a strange trade-off, but perhaps the genius lies in a simple gimbal system?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 12/15/2016 05:43 am
I posted the link over on the Altius thread, but George Sowers tweeted this video of the recent hot firing of the IVF Thruster Gimbal prototype Altius and IES have been developing for ULA: https://twitter.com/george_sowers/status/809132858832916480

~Jon
The link is for picture, still from video ?. Do you have link for video.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Coastal Ron on 12/15/2016 05:49 am
I posted the link over on the Altius thread, but George Sowers tweeted this video of the recent hot firing of the IVF Thruster Gimbal prototype Altius and IES have been developing for ULA: https://twitter.com/george_sowers/status/809132858832916480

~Jon
The link is for picture, still from video ?. Do you have link for video.

It was a video for me.

Pretty interesting.  I'm excited about IVF as a capability, and I'm glad ULA is making progress on it.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Lars-J on 12/15/2016 06:00 am
I posted the link over on the Altius thread, but George Sowers tweeted this video of the recent hot firing of the IVF Thruster Gimbal prototype Altius and IES have been developing for ULA: https://twitter.com/george_sowers/status/809132858832916480

~Jon
The link is for picture, still from video ?. Do you have link for video.

I'm using Chrome, and just had to wait a few seconds before the video started. (it did look like a still first)
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: jongoff on 12/15/2016 06:02 am
I posted the link over on the Altius thread, but George Sowers tweeted this video of the recent hot firing of the IVF Thruster Gimbal prototype Altius and IES have been developing for ULA: https://twitter.com/george_sowers/status/809132858832916480

~Jon

So ACES (and perhaps IVF Centaur) will use gimballed thrusters? So it will have fewer thrusters, but instead have them gimbal? It seems like a strange trade-off, but perhaps the genius lies in a simple gimbal system?

I shouldn't say much, but part of why the tradeoff isn't so strange is that these are O2/H2 thrusters, so they're more complicated than traditional hydrazine cat-bed thrusters.

~Jon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: jongoff on 12/15/2016 06:03 am
I posted the link over on the Altius thread, but George Sowers tweeted this video of the recent hot firing of the IVF Thruster Gimbal prototype Altius and IES have been developing for ULA: https://twitter.com/george_sowers/status/809132858832916480

~Jon
The link is for picture, still from video ?. Do you have link for video.

It was a video for me.

Pretty interesting.  I'm excited about IVF as a capability, and I'm glad ULA is making progress on it.

Yeah, it's been a lot of fun watching this evolve from a feasibility analysis to hot-firing hardware.

~Jon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 12/15/2016 11:24 pm
The largest advocate and reason such a great deal of advances in the IVF and ACES has occurred is because of Tory Bruno. He is the force behind much of the advancement of ULA from being the status quo to a almost "New Space" company. I see in a few years (around the introduction of ACES and Vulcan) to be no different than the other highly innovative "New Space" LV providers.

The advancement and near term (relative in the normal long timeframes of the space business) first flight of IVF is heartening. It is not a vary far off item after that point for the Masten Lunar Lander design. Add in on-orbit refueling and the Atlas V with ACES becomes a significant SHLV capability (from the standpoint of higher orbits where refueling in LEO allows heavy payloads to higher orbits like to the Moon at near the same size as can be placed only in LEO.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Lar on 12/16/2016 02:52 am
I shouldn't say much, but part of why the tradeoff isn't so strange is that these are O2/H2 thrusters, so they're more complicated than traditional hydrazine cat-bed thrusters.

Jon:

Can you say how fast these spool up from a standing start? I asked Dr. Sowers but I don't think he replied to that question.. I'm wondering if these can be used for rapid response time maneuvering the way hypergolics can, or if they don't start up that fast...

This is cool stuff in any case!
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: 1 on 12/16/2016 03:38 am
A much more recent publication puts the engine size about 750cc. (http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/Published_Papers/Extended_Duration/Space_2016_Enabling_Long_Duration_Spaceflight_via_IVF.pdf)

Cross posting the link in this thread for any folks that haven't recently perused the "Published papers" section of ULA's website. Probably nothing 'new' in there, but it makes for a pretty good overview of the system.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: jongoff on 12/16/2016 06:14 pm
I shouldn't say much, but part of why the tradeoff isn't so strange is that these are O2/H2 thrusters, so they're more complicated than traditional hydrazine cat-bed thrusters.

Jon:

Can you say how fast these spool up from a standing start? I asked Dr. Sowers but I don't think he replied to that question.. I'm wondering if these can be used for rapid response time maneuvering the way hypergolics can, or if they don't start up that fast...

This is cool stuff in any case!

Unfortunately this is one of those cases where I know the technical answer, but am not sure if it's appropriate to share. I'll have to defer to the ULA folks like George on how they want to respond. If it were one of my technologies (Sticky Boom, in-space refueling cryo coupler), I could probably be more candid about it.

~Jon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 12/16/2016 09:18 pm
I posted the link over on the Altius thread, but George Sowers tweeted this video of the recent hot firing of the IVF Thruster Gimbal prototype Altius and IES have been developing for ULA: https://twitter.com/george_sowers/status/809132858832916480

~Jon

So ACES (and perhaps IVF Centaur) will use gimballed thrusters? So it will have fewer thrusters, but instead have them gimbal? It seems like a strange trade-off, but perhaps the genius lies in a simple gimbal system?
I shouldn't say much, but part of why the tradeoff isn't so strange is that these are O2/H2 thrusters, so they're more complicated than traditional hydrazine cat-bed thrusters.

~Jon
The whole point of IVF is to eliminate hydrazine, high-pressure helium and most batteries by using H2 and O2 boil off, which has always been simply vented and wasted.  The IC engine exhaust can be used for ullage instead of steadily burning off a hydrazine supply, for example, and autogenous pressurization eliminates the helium.  There is an appreciable net weight savings, especially for extended duration missions and after-mission disposal of the stage that basically uses virtually all of the cryogenic propellant.  The trade-off is some added complexity, but the IVF 'pallet' can easily be made redundant.

edit/Lar: fixed quotes
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Chasm on 12/16/2016 11:18 pm
One of the interesting parts of IVF is the setup.
Each IVF pod has 1 engines, and 1 gimbaled O2/H2 thrusters. The system is duplicated for redundancy.

So ignoring redundancy for a second 1 of the gimbaled systems is enough to replace whole set of the hydrazine thrusters. - Not bad at all.

Searching through the whitepapers it's interesting that some renders have 3 nozzles on each gimbal. 1 is dissimilar, smaller in some, bigger in other renders. Gimbaled IVF exhaust? Together with the double setup of the "big" that seems like a way to get throttle range.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 12/17/2016 03:54 am
The IC engine exhaust can be used for ullage instead of steadily burning off a hydrazine supply,


You mean ullage control, because it can't be used for ullage, since it will freeze
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Damon Hill on 12/18/2016 11:15 pm
The IC engine exhaust can be used for ullage instead of steadily burning off a hydrazine supply,


You mean ullage control, because it can't be used for ullage, since it will freeze

Correct, I should have said ullage thrust (head smack).

--Damon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: c3infinity on 12/18/2016 11:26 pm
I shouldn't say much, but part of why the tradeoff isn't so strange is that these are O2/H2 thrusters, so they're more complicated than traditional hydrazine cat-bed thrusters.

Jon:

Can you say how fast these spool up from a standing start? I asked Dr. Sowers but I don't think he replied to that question.. I'm wondering if these can be used for rapid response time maneuvering the way hypergolics can, or if they don't start up that fast...

This is cool stuff in any case!

I'm thinking that startup may not be an issue. If these thrusters are being used for settling thrust, then they'd already be on. Then, if a maneuver is required, they simply gimbal to the needed attitude.

And a semi-related question: do these thrusters throttle? I can't remember if I've seen anything on that.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: TrevorMonty on 12/19/2016 08:40 pm
Anybody know how much a DV a ACES stage would have when there is only pressurized GH and GOX in tanks.

In this state stage could survive for months, comes down to leakage and gas consumed for power generation.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Jim on 12/19/2016 09:08 pm

I'm thinking that startup may not be an issue. If these thrusters are being used for settling thrust, then they'd already be on. Then, if a maneuver is required, they simply gimbal to the needed attitude.


the IC exhaust is used for settling.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: john smith 19 on 12/20/2016 12:00 am
A much more recent publication puts the engine size about 750cc. (http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/Published_Papers/Extended_Duration/Space_2016_Enabling_Long_Duration_Spaceflight_via_IVF.pdf)

Cross posting the link in this thread for any folks that haven't recently perused the "Published papers" section of ULA's website. Probably nothing 'new' in there, but it makes for a pretty good overview of the system.
Read the paper.  Actually it does clarify a few things.

Until now I thought LH2 and LO2 were used directly as engine block coolants and piped back to the tanks for pressurization. This paper states there is a separate coolant loop around the cylinder block and an HX. References to a pressurizing pump system has also disappeared from later papers but it seems that was always a part of the plan. Pressuize the GH2/GO2 from the tanks, then pass it through the HX system to raise it's enthalpy, needing less propellant to fill the tank volume.

My impression was also that the settling thrusters were fixed but this is saying they are actually have quite a wide pointing range, even planning to allow ACES to be "backed away" from a payload, possibly eliminating pyro driven separation.

Sadly it still looks like the earliest flight test (and it's only a possibility) remains 2018.  :(

Overall quite instructive.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: Rocket Jesus on 05/18/2018 05:05 am
Interesting piece of news, albeit dated, which I have not seen on NSF.
Anybody willing to bet that client is not ULA?  I could use some easy money. Jokes aside, I'd love NSF input on this...
how significant is it in reality? any guesses on the part(s) of IVF which may be made with the Xline 2000R?

"One of Roush’s aerospace projects includes additively manufacturing engine components for an undisclosed aerospace cryogenic propulsion system." (https://www.sae.org/news/2018/02/roush-to-support-aerospace-industry-with-king-of-metal-3d-printers) Roush’s 3D printing capabilities are also being utilized on aerospace projects. Badami said a client she couldn’t identify is working on a next-generation cryogenic propulsion system. A key component “had to be printed as a single part.” (https://advancedmanufacturing.org/roush-looks-3d-printing/”)

Roush bought a Concept Laser Xline 2000R, which is very noteworthy given that "The Xline 2000R is the largest machine in Concept Laser’s range and Roush is the first service supplier in North America to install this model." (http://www.metal-am.com/roush-expands-additive-manufacturing-business-concept-laser-xline-2000r/) Assuming Roush matures this tech fairly quickly so that it's acceptable for ULA's high standards, this could significantly improve the IVF business case.

Key suppliers just might save ULA's ass at the end of the day...



Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF): First flight in Early 2018
Post by: chipguy on 05/18/2018 04:38 pm
Interesting piece of news, albeit dated, which I have not seen on NSF.
Anybody willing to bet that client is not ULA?

"One of Roush’s aerospace projects includes additively manufacturing engine components for an undisclosed aerospace cryogenic propulsion system."

I guess that depends on whether you interpret "cryogenic" narrowly
as rocket shorthand for LH2.

By wider usage LOX/LCH4 are considered cryogenic too and I can
think of at least two potential customers that aren't ULA.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: Jim on 05/18/2018 04:41 pm
Interesting piece of news, albeit dated, which I have not seen on NSF.
Anybody willing to bet that client is not ULA?

"One of Roush’s aerospace projects includes additively manufacturing engine components for an undisclosed aerospace cryogenic propulsion system."

I guess that depends on whether you interpret "cryogenic" narrowly
as rocket shorthand for LH2.

By wider usage LOX/LCH4 are considered cryogenic too and I can
think of at least two potential customers that aren't ULA.

RP-1 and LOX is cryogenic propulsion system too
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: brickmack on 05/18/2018 04:59 pm
We know Roush is the developer of the ICE for IVF, is there any other known launch company previously said to be using their services?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: docmordrid on 05/19/2018 06:59 am
Roush is literally up the freeway  from here in Livonia, Michigan  but they have dozens of buildings in the Detroit area - a fast expanding high tech region.

On this Aerospace promo page is a graphic which looks like Vulcan,

https://www.roush.com/markets-we-serve/aerospace/

I see their Allen Park facility is looking for a "launch engineer."

Footnote: George Sowers is no longer at ULA.

He's Professor, Space Resources, Colorado School of Mines. Also  doing consulting work via Sowers Space Solutions.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/george-sowers-7a20a731

Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: envy887 on 05/19/2018 12:23 pm
Roush is literally up the freeway  from here in Livonia, Michigan  but they have dozens of buildings in the Detroit area - a fast expanding high tech region.

On this Aerodpace promo page is a graphic which looks like Vulcan,

https://www.roush.com/markets-we-serve/aerospace/

I see their Allen Park facility is looking for a "launch engineer."

Footnote: George Sowers is no longer at ULA.

He's Professor, Space Resources, Colorado School of Mines. Also  doing consulting work via Sowers Space Solutions.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/george-sowers-7a20a731

That is a ULA render of Vulcan 441.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: jongoff on 08/08/2018 11:47 pm
It may have been mentioned elsewhere, but ULA was awarded a $10M tipping point contract (a public-private partnership that requires ULA to match that $10M by at least 25%) today to flight demonstrate the IVF system on a Centaur flight within the next 3.5yrs.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2018/08/08/nasa-announces-partnerships-develop-space-exploration-technologies/

~Jon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: speedevil on 08/09/2018 03:12 am
It may have been mentioned elsewhere, but ULA was awarded a $10M tipping point contract (a public-private partnership that requires ULA to match that $10M by at least 25%) today to flight demonstrate the IVF system on a Centaur flight within the next 3.5yrs.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2018/08/08/nasa-announces-partnerships-develop-space-exploration-technologies/
Would this also tend to encourage NASA payloads to be optimistic on their assessment of risks from IVF to their payload and encourage acceptance?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: Markstark on 08/09/2018 03:38 am
EUS is getting delayed (or maybe worse) to the fourth SLS mission. I wonder if this investment  (though small) on ULA upper stages technology might hint at an alternate upper stage(s). Is NASA allowed to use IVF in their own projects with this partnership?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: brickmack on 08/09/2018 05:05 am
IVF was (is?) under consideration for EUS, so its possible.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: docmordrid on 08/09/2018 06:58 am
So.... possibly Vulcan-Centaur 5/"ACES-ish"  for both the test and early SLS?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: Chasm on 08/09/2018 12:47 pm
Could play out that way. (If there is an EUS. If new tech is not too much of a risk for it...)

Flying the experiment on Vulcan seems likely, easier to have it in a new contract than to modify (adding risk) an existing one.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: edkyle99 on 08/09/2018 02:07 pm
It only makes sense to develop a shared-use upper stage.  After all, that is how ICPS is used, shared with SLS and with Delta 4.  An "ICPS" is flying this weekend for Parker Solar Probe.  I wouldn't want to guess just yet which upper stage would be selected.  EELV-2 (see, I've already forgotten the new name for this program) will choose two launch systems.  Vulcan may or may not be one of them.

 - Ed Kyle 
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: envy887 on 08/09/2018 02:32 pm
It only makes sense to develop a shared-use upper stage.  After all, that is how ICPS is used, shared with SLS and with Delta 4.  I wouldn't want to guess just yet which upper stage would be selected.  EELV-2 (see, I've already forgotten the new name for this program) will choose two launch systems.  Vulcan may or may not be one of them.

 - Ed Kyle

That kind of rocket lego usually results in very inefficient designs, if used between multiple boosters of very different sizes.

IVF itself should scale pretty well between systems, though.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: edkyle99 on 08/09/2018 03:06 pm
It only makes sense to develop a shared-use upper stage.  After all, that is how ICPS is used, shared with SLS and with Delta 4.  I wouldn't want to guess just yet which upper stage would be selected.  EELV-2 (see, I've already forgotten the new name for this program) will choose two launch systems.  Vulcan may or may not be one of them.

 - Ed Kyle

That kind of rocket lego usually results in very inefficient designs, if used between multiple boosters of very different sizes.

IVF itself should scale pretty well between systems, though.
Yes, but if there's not enough billions to develop EUS, using something extant could still offer substantial improvement.  Centaur 5+ Long will carry 77 tonnes of propellant, 2.87 times more than ICPS.  Omega Heavy upper stage might carry even more propellant.  Best of all, maybe, could be New Glenn second stage with its almost-EUS propellant load.

There are plenty of examples in NASA history.  Centaur flew on Atlas, Titan, and Atlas 5.  The Agency nearly flew it on Shuttle and at one point was deep into working on Saturn IB/Centaur.  Agena flew on Thor, Atlas, and Titan.  The Star 48 going up on Delta 4 Heavy has previously flown on Delta 2 and Minotaur 4/5.  It is also cataloged for Antares 232+. S-IVB, of course, flew on Saturns 5 and 1B.  Etc.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: envy887 on 08/09/2018 03:28 pm
It only makes sense to develop a shared-use upper stage.  After all, that is how ICPS is used, shared with SLS and with Delta 4.  I wouldn't want to guess just yet which upper stage would be selected.  EELV-2 (see, I've already forgotten the new name for this program) will choose two launch systems.  Vulcan may or may not be one of them.

 - Ed Kyle

That kind of rocket lego usually results in very inefficient designs, if used between multiple boosters of very different sizes.

IVF itself should scale pretty well between systems, though.
Yes, but if there's not enough billions to develop EUS, using something extant could still offer substantial improvement.  Centaur 5+ Long will carry 77 tonnes of propellant, 2.87 times more than ICPS.  Omega Heavy upper stage might carry even more propellant.  Best of all, maybe, could be New Glenn second stage with its almost-EUS propellant load.

 - Ed Kyle

Yes, either would be better than DCSS.

The most useful part would be IVF, though. The 77-tonne Centaur with IVF could take 20 tonnes to LOP-G, leave 10 t there and return 10 t to LEO (or take 30 t to LOP-G and return to LEO empty). SLS could do this in 1 launch, or Vulcan in 3. New Glenn, with a similar cryogenic management system (which they also got a SBIR to work on) could do it in 2 launches with their larger rocket and upper stage.

IVF is that part that enables a lot of flexibility , and turns the small(ish) upper stage into an advantage due to lower dry mass - as long as it reaches orbit full or can be refilled.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: jongoff on 08/09/2018 03:41 pm
Could play out that way. (If there is an EUS. If new tech is not too much of a risk for it...)

Flying the experiment on Vulcan seems likely, easier to have it in a new contract than to modify (adding risk) an existing one.

Yeah, I'm almost positive this will be on a Vulcan/Centaur V flight. It would be cool if they could convince NASA to consider IVF for EUS--it would make it a far more useful stage. Combine IVF and the CELSIUS insulation that Paragon won a Tipping Point contract for, and you could make EUS long lived enough to do Lunar Orbit Insertion instead of forcing Orion to do it. That would allow NASA to to put Gateway in LLO where it would be more useful for lunar surface ops, and would make SLS/EUS much more useful for taking cargo to the Moon.

All that said, I have no idea if NASA has bought into the idea of IVF on EUS at all.

~Jon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: jongoff on 08/09/2018 03:46 pm
It only makes sense to develop a shared-use upper stage.  After all, that is how ICPS is used, shared with SLS and with Delta 4.  I wouldn't want to guess just yet which upper stage would be selected.  EELV-2 (see, I've already forgotten the new name for this program) will choose two launch systems.  Vulcan may or may not be one of them.

 - Ed Kyle

That kind of rocket lego usually results in very inefficient designs, if used between multiple boosters of very different sizes.

IVF itself should scale pretty well between systems, though.

And scaling could be in the form of just adding extra IVF modules. IIRC, four EUS is about the size that it would work well with four stock IVF modules. That would give you some pretty insane power capacity if you ever needed it, and would give you added thruster-out redundancy, and make it easier to give EUS enough control authority to enable rendezvous/prox-ops...

But yeah, I'd go with a common module design, and implement it across multiple stages, not try to force a common stage. Though I guess my old ACES/EUS concept (where you use a common engine/thrust structure/backside of the LOX tank between ACES and EUS) could possibly also work.

~Jon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: Markstark on 08/09/2018 04:14 pm

Quote
Though I guess my old ACES/EUS concept (where you use a common engine/thrust structure/backside of the LOX tank between ACES and EUS) could possibly also work.

Is this on your blog somewhere?
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: Chasm on 08/09/2018 06:51 pm
Looks like this blog entry from 2013 (https://selenianboondocks.com/2013/06/random-thoughts-sls-dual-use-upper-stage-as-a-super-aces/).


And we finally knew why ULA selected RL10 once again.  ;D

As long as we talk about the same engine choice a (mostly) common engine section / thrust structure would make sense. There are only so many ways to plumb it after all. Since thrust stays the same "just" add a 8.4m adapter ring... Doubling the amount of IVF pods from 2 to 4 should be simple.
That said from my perspective sense and SLS have a rough relationship...

Talking about long duration time upper stages I'm also quite interested in the $10M contract for Blue. Cyrogenic lunar lander.
Just landing the thing, or keeping the lander fueled on the way to Lunar orbit also included.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: jongoff on 08/10/2018 04:26 am
Looks like this blog entry from 2013 (https://selenianboondocks.com/2013/06/random-thoughts-sls-dual-use-upper-stage-as-a-super-aces/).


And we finally knew why ULA selected RL10 once again.  ;D

As long as we talk about the same engine choice a (mostly) common engine section / thrust structure would make sense. There are only so many ways to plumb it after all. Since thrust stays the same "just" add a 8.4m adapter ring... Doubling the amount of IVF pods from 2 to 4 should be simple.
That said from my perspective sense and SLS have a rough relationship...

This is why I'm still annoyed that EUS wasn't properly competed like it should've been. If ULA wasn't owned by Boeing/LM, they would've had grounds for protesting the sole-sourcing.

~Jon
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: brickmack on 08/10/2018 04:45 am
As long as we talk about the same engine choice a (mostly) common engine section / thrust structure would make sense. There are only so many ways to plumb it after all. Since thrust stays the same "just" add a 8.4m adapter ring...

This was basically what JAXA/MHI proposed. MB-60 engines, common structure and LOX tank between EUS and the H-III upper stage. Then NASA and JAXA would individually handle the hydrogen tanks
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: Chasm on 08/10/2018 02:11 pm
The who gets to be contractor game certainly got messed up by the ULA merger.
With all the STS heritage hubbub Centaur-G Prime should have been the some leverage.
ICPS right now and just modify the tower later was also a great idea.


I think the best part about the IVF flight test contract is the additional leverage.
Should be easier to make one NASA department accept the slightly increased risk if another NASA department pays you to fly the test. Similar argument but more complex for other missions paid with tax money.
So far the argument always was that flying anything new is risk and that customers just won't accept any additional risk no matter now minuscule.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: Jim on 08/10/2018 03:00 pm
The who gets to be contractor game certainly got messed up by the ULA merger.
With all the STS heritage hubbub Centaur-G Prime should have been the some leverage.
.

Huh?  How would Centaur-G Prime have helped?  And it did fly as the Titan IV Centaur.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: Chasm on 08/10/2018 09:31 pm
How?
SLS needs an upper stage, so how about a heritage piece like the SSME or solids. Just from a better day, where STS was not plagued with deadly accidents... (Plz ignore the unsafe gorilla behind the curtain.)

Not really important.
I can't be bothered to look up who actually did the contracting in the past (IIRC LM) and who will do for EUS (IIRC Boeing at NASA Michoud). Tax money gets spent where politicians say to. If and when SLS becomes too much of a hot potato they'll find new and less controversial ways to achieve their goal.


The important bit is that IVF is going ahead (finally) and that if it is anywhere near as good as expected it will advance the state of the art in upper stage a lot. No matter if Vulcan turns out to be viable or not.
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: Jim on 08/11/2018 03:36 am
How?
SLS needs an upper stage, so how about a heritage piece like the SSME or solids.


It was nothing of the sort. Heritage is not applicable since it never flew.  It never was heritage man rated hardware.  Besides the existing Centaur is just as large and ICPS is larger and safer
Title: Re: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/23/2019 03:57 pm
Not sure if this has been posted before. It's a Roush presentation regarding the ICE that's at the core of IVF.

https://www.gtisoft.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Cryogenic_Propulsion_Modeling.pdf#page=12&zoom=auto,-91,540

For me the interesting part was making the pipes in the heat exchangers as spirals to get centrifugal force since they have to operate in zero g.