Author Topic: ULA Innovation: Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF)  (Read 124218 times)

Offline jongoff

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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

Offline Lars-J

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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?

Offline TrevorMonty

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.

Online Coastal Ron

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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.
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Offline Lars-J

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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)

Offline jongoff

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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

Offline jongoff

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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

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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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.

Offline Lar

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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!
« Last Edit: 12/16/2016 02:53 am by Lar »
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Offline 1

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A much more recent publication puts the engine size about 750cc.

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.
« Last Edit: 12/16/2016 03:39 am by 1 »

Offline jongoff

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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

Offline Damon Hill

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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
« Last Edit: 12/16/2016 10:10 pm by Lar »

Offline Chasm

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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.

Offline Jim

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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

Offline Damon Hill

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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

Offline c3infinity

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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.

Offline TrevorMonty

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.

Offline Jim

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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.

Offline john smith 19

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A much more recent publication puts the engine size about 750cc.

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.
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Offline Rocket Jesus

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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." 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.”

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." 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...



« Last Edit: 05/18/2018 05:06 am by Rocket Jesus »

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