Author Topic: "Direct" Pad Designs  (Read 13987 times)

Offline kraisee

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"Direct" Pad Designs
« on: 09/21/2006 09:07 AM »
Okay, I'm going away for a long weekend with the GF because it's my birthday today (yay me!) :)

But I thought I would leave you guys to have a quick look at these initial (and very rudimentary) designs for the launch pads needed to operate the "Direct" Shuttle Derivative LV which I've been harping on about.

Of particular note, the launch tower on the MLP is only required for the very tall EDS versions of the launchers.   It's job is purely to provide damping during the rollout in this design, and perhaps also through tanking.   The damper would be released to drop away a while before launch.   The CLV version *does not* require this tower because the mass is significantly lower, and the bending moments incurred would not be any worse than STS suffers today - making the damper unneccessary.

The key point here is that the FSS provides Service Arm maintenance access, completely removing the requirement for a big, heavy and very expensive LUT on the MLP.   This massively reduces costs in development, and maintenance throughout the life of the program.

The rocket is fuelled utilising T-0 Pull-away umbilicals and Tail Service Masts only.   In this design the T-0's are all attached to the FSS using four umbilical systems based on the very successful design used today with STS.   It *may* be better to attach the T-0's to the "damper tower" for all variants, and just have maintenance arms on the FSS, but that makes the MLP's more complex and increases maintenance requirements.

So here's the designs for peer review :)

*UPDATE*I've replaced the two 'Front' images to correct for Jim's observations.

Please feel free to make comments, although I might not get a chance to read any and reply until Monday.

Thanks, and ciao for now!

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline imfan

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Re: "Direct" Pad Designs
« Reply #1 on: 09/21/2006 09:16 AM »
happy birthday to you,
happy birthday to you,
happy birthday to our steely eyed missile man,
happy birthday to you :-)

Offline Wolverine

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Re: "Direct" Pad Designs
« Reply #2 on: 09/21/2006 11:28 AM »
Nice work Kraisee!

Offline Jim

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Re: "Direct" Pad Designs
« Reply #3 on: 09/21/2006 11:30 AM »
You have increase pad times and testing times.  Time to hook umbilicals, time to leakcheck, time to checkout electrical umbilicals.  If you run all the electrical stuff through the TSM's, then you have huge cable trays (weight and complexity)  on the tank to service the CEV, LSAM and EDS.    Doesn't the LSAM fly with the CEV on "Direct"?  If so, need more umbilicals

Offline kraisee

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Re: "Direct" Pad Designs
« Reply #4 on: 09/21/2006 01:55 PM »
Jim, perhaps you could help clarify part of your answer.

The umbilicals need hooking up anyway.   What is the advantage to hooking them up in the VAB instead of at the Pad?

You either spend 'X' number of man-hours preparing it inside the VAB, or a similar number of hours doing it at the Pad.   But ultimately, I don't see how the overall time allocation changes all that much for the overall flow?

If you attach things in the VAB, you spend a bit longer there, and couldn't start using the highbay to process the next vehicle.

Yet if you clear out of the Highbay, you'll be sitting on the Pad a bit longer and so that can't be re-utilised quite as rapidly either.

One seems to largely cancel out the other, so which is more beneficial to the overall schedule?

The advantage I see to having the umbilicals attached at the Pad is that you have two sets (one on each FSS) instead of three sets (one on each MLP).   Having everything on the MLP's would seem to me to require 50% extra maintenance every year.

Ross.

PS - Just added Electrical notation on all the umbilicals.   I figured the notation wasn't necessary because I can't think of any modern umbilical which doesn't have electrical as standard, but perhaps they should be noted if just for completeness sakes.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
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Offline Jim

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Re: "Direct" Pad Designs
« Reply #5 on: 09/21/2006 02:36 PM »
Then no testing worth anything can be done in the VAB.     Also the environment is worse at the pad vs the VAB wrt maintenance.  Delta IV is finding that Atlas V may be right.

Offline kraisee

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Re: "Direct" Pad Designs
« Reply #6 on: 09/21/2006 02:55 PM »
This sort of thing fascinates me.

As I understand it, the MLP's are usually left outside (at the pads, or at the stands next to the VAB), except explicitly for stacking ops.   Unless the SOP changed to putting them in the highbays specifically to keep them protected, I doubt there's much difference in weathering between 500ft and 5000ft from the ocean.   Could the current SOP *be* changed to offer them greater protection?

Also, won't pretty-much all of the testing have to be re-done at the pad anyway after the rollout to make sure nothing got shaken-loose?   What advantage is there in doing that testing in the VAB instead of the Pad?   I'm open to the idea, but I just don't grok the purpose behind it yet.

Can you explain it in enough detail to convince me?

And assuming there are advantages, the same relatively simple umbilical tower, extended a bit - with service arms still attached on the FSS would still be my approach, with the SA's still being able to perform maintenance to the umbilicals at all the key locations.   Would that approach 'fly' with you too?

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
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Offline Jim

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Re: "Direct" Pad Designs
« Reply #7 on: 09/21/2006 03:13 PM »
There is a huge difference in the salt environment between 500 ft and 15000 (VAB is 3 miles from Pad A).  The whole point in the mobile launch concept is to check the connections and the vehicle before rollout and minimized the work (access) at the pad.  For the LV services, there are less connections between the MLP and pad vs MLP and vehicle.  Full up electrical testing in the VAB involves IVT's between the elements/stages/spacecraft, system tests of the same and then a sim flight/flight program verfication with all outside elecments (i.e. MCC).  Pad testing is limited to checking out the MLP connections and hyper loading.   The next real test is countdown, which they are trying to get to two days for CEV/CLV.

Also you can swapped boxes that fail tests in the VAB and retest.  

CLV pad timelines want to be less than a week.   This includes TCDT, hyper load, ordanance, final stowage and countdown

Offline kraisee

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Re: "Direct" Pad Designs
« Reply #8 on: 09/21/2006 03:27 PM »
Okay, that's clearly an advantage then.   Thanks Jim.   I'm leaning strongly toward changing to the umbilicals on a narrow umbilical tower supported by a couple of SA's mounted permanently on the FSS.

No time today to re-draw to suit that though :)

2 days from rollout to launch eh?   Not bad at all.   I wonder how long the MLP will require post-launch before it can be reused again...

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline Jim

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Re: "Direct" Pad Designs
« Reply #9 on: 09/21/2006 03:30 PM »
Quote
kraisee - 21/9/2006  11:10 AM
2 days from rollout to launch eh?   Not bad at all.   I wonder how long the MLP will require post-launch before it can be reused again...

not quite.   LOL.   Countdown of 2 days and rollout 1 week before launch

Offline Jim

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Re: "Direct" Pad Designs
« Reply #10 on: 09/21/2006 03:33 PM »
Use a mast like Atlas V.  For OSP, the crew tower was at the pad.

Offline kraisee

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RE: "Direct" Pad Designs
« Reply #11 on: 09/25/2006 09:11 PM »
Back from my mini-vacation at last.

Took the time at the beach to do some reading-up on this entire issue.   Got a very good overview of all the different approaches used so far for umbilicals on different programs over the years.   Going to experiment with fit for a few different approaches and see what seems to work best.   When I have some results I'll update the thread here and demonstrate what appears to me to be a best case.

Atlas-V mast seems initially to get in the way of the *current* service arm location as it is attached to the FSS.   So something different needs to be done.   I'm "working it" to get something right :)

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline mike robel

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Re: "Direct" Pad Designs
« Reply #12 on: 09/25/2006 11:26 PM »
Ineresting Stuff Ross.  Why can't you (we) do it more like the Russians do Soyuz?      Check out in the buildling, roll out, erect, and shoot within <24 hours?

mike

Offline Jim

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Re: "Direct" Pad Designs
« Reply #13 on: 09/26/2006 12:14 AM »
Just aheads up.  There are some requirements floating around that the CEV will have to be in an environmental enclosure while at the pad to protect it from the weather.

Offline RedSky

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Re: "Direct" Pad Designs
« Reply #14 on: 09/26/2006 01:18 AM »
Huh?  Even when its protected under the launch abort cover?

Offline Jim

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Re: "Direct" Pad Designs
« Reply #15 on: 09/26/2006 02:20 AM »
Quote
RedSky - 25/9/2006  9:01 PM

Huh?  Even when its protected under the launch abort cover?

The SM isn't covered

Offline bad_astra

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Re: "Direct" Pad Designs
« Reply #16 on: 09/26/2006 10:05 PM »
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RedSky - 25/9/2006  8:01 PM

Huh?  Even when its protected under the launch abort cover?

yeah.. what he said.  :o
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Offline kraisee

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RE: "Direct" Pad Designs
« Reply #17 on: 09/27/2006 09:01 PM »
I can't actually see such a cover as being all that big a deal.

Heck, if they really wanted I could imaging a Service Arm with a 'Clamshell' design which would allow a roof and 360degree walkaround capability all around the spacecraft at the Pad.

Half of the clamshell would be fixed, and it would rotate into place next to the LV, and then the other half could rotate around into place and lock all around the craft.   It wouldn't be all that complicated.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline Avron

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Re: "Direct" Pad Designs
« Reply #18 on: 09/29/2006 04:28 AM »
"I could imaging a Service Arm with a 'Clamshell' design which would allow a roof and 360degree walkaround capability"... now lets just add a large lifting device, that can swing within the Clamshell.. and there will be no need to move a thing other than "Clamshell's"... KISS

Offline kraisee

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Re: "Direct" Pad Designs
« Reply #19 on: 10/05/2006 07:55 PM »
One thing I was thinking about was a 'rack' of service arms.   A single block of trusswork, starting about 100ft above the Deck-0 height, and going all the way up.   Every 10-ft section could have a work platform which extends on the end providing full access up and down the rocket.

Something that sort of physical size might be strong enough to have a small crane integrated in, but I doubt a simple service arm would be strong enough to lift any really significant masses.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

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