Author Topic: AJAX MLP/KSC modifications  (Read 24119 times)

Offline FinalFrontier

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AJAX MLP/KSC modifications
« on: 07/15/2010 04:18 AM »
Thread Purpose:
1. To discuss any and all necessary steps for leveraging existing assets such as the Ares MLP, STS mlps, and Existing fixed structures in support of AJAX
2. Discuss any needed modifications to existing KSC infastructure including the VAB, Crawler, Crawlerway, FSS, and LC 39 in support of AJAX
3. Discuss any and all new propellant farms/systems modifications to LC 39 and/or surrounding areas (with consideration to handle up to 6 Atlas CCBS capcity for RP1 and LOX (additional to needed core stage lox and stage two lox) , potentially 8 if its doable)

Reminder the Baseline is the AJAX 440 with growth options to 460 and 480, so concept ideas should keep these growth potential options in mind.


Preliminary thinking (IMO) is to utilize the Ares 1 MLP as much as possible, as DIRECT recently proposed for their rocket. This involved cutting the tower away from the MLP and attaching it to some portion of the FSS at 39 B (since lightning towers are already there) and then reconstructing the base for an SDHLV. A small Ubmilical strong back style structure (very simple) would replace the tower on the MLP and would rought all umbilical lines traveling from the Ares 1 tower+ FSS to the rocket. The fixed tower would also contain the Crew Ingress/Egress ramp, as well as the emergency Egress system (derived from CXP if possible).
 Doing these things for AJAX may be more complex due to load bearing differences and the 4-8 CCBS, this needs to be discussed.



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« Last Edit: 07/15/2010 04:20 AM by FinalFrontier »
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Offline sdsds

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Re: AJAX MLP/KSC modifications
« Reply #1 on: 07/18/2010 03:27 AM »
Getting clear of the tower(s):

The AJAX vehicle design could come under criticism because the service structures would have to be somewhat unique because they might "get in the way" as the vehicle begins it ascent.

Does each CCB require its own service structure?  Or for the 440 configuration could each pair of CCBs share a single service structure?  For the core, can both fuel and oxidizer loading happen at the base of the vehicle?  Can payload access (or spacecraft ingress and egress) be accomplished with structures that swing away as T-0 approaches?

These questions arise because if the vehicle experiences wind gusts (or wind shear) it will need to respond with engine gimbal motion which, given thrust, mass and structural integrity considerations, might involve some considerable rotations and horizontal translations of the vehicle.  Thus the service structures will need to "get out of the way" -- perhaps more so than for other vehicle designs.
« Last Edit: 07/18/2010 03:28 AM by sdsds »
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Offline Downix

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Re: AJAX MLP/KSC modifications
« Reply #2 on: 07/18/2010 03:41 AM »
Getting clear of the tower(s):

The AJAX vehicle design could come under criticism because the service structures would have to be somewhat unique because they might "get in the way" as the vehicle begins it ascent.

Does each CCB require its own service structure?  Or for the 440 configuration could each pair of CCBs share a single service structure?  For the core, can both fuel and oxidizer loading happen at the base of the vehicle?  Can payload access (or spacecraft ingress and egress) be accomplished with structures that swing away as T-0 approaches?

These questions arise because if the vehicle experiences wind gusts (or wind shear) it will need to respond with engine gimbal motion which, given thrust, mass and structural integrity considerations, might involve some considerable rotations and horizontal translations of the vehicle.  Thus the service structures will need to "get out of the way" -- perhaps more so than for other vehicle designs.
No, already confirmed.  The fuel-lines are ground-level, so would be flush with the base of the MLP.
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Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: AJAX MLP/KSC modifications
« Reply #3 on: 07/18/2010 04:40 PM »
Another issue that was discussed on the launcher thread by mistake comes to mind: Sound Supression System. If we are doing a preburn, or it just takes 6 seconds to bring everything online, add that to the low T/W so longer to clear the pad, we will need a much large water system.

Thoughts on how to do this? I was thinking that if the pipes that go into the pad at the concrete base don't have to be change we save money. To get the extra capacity ethier enlarge the existing tower or add 1 to 2 more, and tie them into the existing lines.

Also we should discuss how the MLP will look. If we are using the Ares tower on top the FSS than the only thing that will be on the MLP will be a strong back for routing lines. if you want a picture of what this looks like for DIRECT PM ross, I tried posting a copy of it but it wouldn't post.

Also, we should discuss how much of the old FSS we can use (assume RSS will be deleted completly). I was thinking remove the upper levels and install the ares 1 tower on top of some of the lower levels. It seems like it would be too tall if you just stuck the ARes tower on top of the top of the FSS.
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Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: AJAX MLP/KSC modifications
« Reply #4 on: 07/18/2010 04:45 PM »
Getting clear of the tower(s):

The AJAX vehicle design could come under criticism because the service structures would have to be somewhat unique because they might "get in the way" as the vehicle begins it ascent.

Does each CCB require its own service structure?  Or for the 440 configuration could each pair of CCBs share a single service structure?  For the core, can both fuel and oxidizer loading happen at the base of the vehicle?  Can payload access (or spacecraft ingress and egress) be accomplished with structures that swing away as T-0 approaches?

These questions arise because if the vehicle experiences wind gusts (or wind shear) it will need to respond with engine gimbal motion which, given thrust, mass and structural integrity considerations, might involve some considerable rotations and horizontal translations of the vehicle.  Thus the service structures will need to "get out of the way" -- perhaps more so than for other vehicle designs.
No, already confirmed.  The fuel-lines are ground-level, so would be flush with the base of the MLP.

Ok Baseline concept:

1. GOX and GH vent lines will be at the same level as STS, will be plumbed along the length of the Ares 1 fixed tower until they reach the right level, then will be routed via the strong back to the appropriate conncection points.

2. Stage two fuel lines will be run up the length of the Ares 1 tower and routed by the strong back (on the MLP) into the second stage.


3. Stage two GOX and GOH lines will be run up the length of the Ares 1 tower and routed by stronback to the second stage.


4. Power/Prop lines for Orion will also run up the length of the Ares 1 fixed tower , and then will be routed by the strong back to the SM.


5. Crew ingress/egress will be at the top level of the Ares 1 tower and will go directly to Orion (no strong back connection).





Issues with this proposal?
« Last Edit: 07/18/2010 06:16 PM by FinalFrontier »
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Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: AJAX MLP/KSC modifications
« Reply #5 on: 07/18/2010 10:20 PM »
4. Power/Prop lines for Orion will also run up the length of the Ares 1 fixed tower , and then will be routed by the strong back to the SM.


5. Crew ingress/egress will be at the top level of the Ares 1 tower and will go directly to Orion (no strong back connection).

The Orion can be launched on top of one or two stages so the tower will need multiple sets of connectors.  Or possibly the connectors will be built into a lift.

Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: AJAX MLP/KSC modifications
« Reply #6 on: 07/18/2010 10:23 PM »
4. Power/Prop lines for Orion will also run up the length of the Ares 1 fixed tower , and then will be routed by the strong back to the SM.


5. Crew ingress/egress will be at the top level of the Ares 1 tower and will go directly to Orion (no strong back connection).

The Orion can be launched on top of one or two stages so the tower will need multiple sets of connectors.  Or possibly the connectors will be built into a lift.
Ideally, the baseline would have two sets of SM/ Crew I/E gantrys, one for level 1 (no second stage) and one for level 2 (with a second stage). If a third stage was needed then a third level would have to be added to the tower.

OFC, if you assume a second stage for the baseline LV, you only need "level 2"


The tower as it is now may be tall enough for both level 1 and 2. Anyone know exactly how tall the Ares 1 tower is?
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Offline sdsds

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Re: AJAX MLP/KSC modifications
« Reply #7 on: 07/19/2010 04:42 AM »
"Anyone know exactly how tall the Ares 1 tower is?"

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=%22Ares+I%22+tower+height
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Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: AJAX MLP/KSC modifications
« Reply #8 on: 07/21/2010 12:52 AM »
Direct seems to be about 350 feet high at the tallest (j241 SH).

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Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: AJAX MLP/KSC modifications
« Reply #9 on: 07/21/2010 12:55 AM »
The FSS is currently: 267 feet tall (without the lightning mast). If we thus keep: 200 feet worth of FSS levels, and attach the Ares 1 tower to the top of them we get: 545 feet for the finished "AJAX FSS" That should be more than sufficent.

I would like to expound on an appropriate height as I believe 500 feet is excessive.

How about 370?
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Offline simcosmos

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Re: AJAX MLP/KSC modifications
« Reply #10 on: 07/21/2010 09:31 AM »
Quick comment only to write that beyond a few generic comments, it might be a little too soon to start looking at extra details about some types of modifications eventually required to VAB / MLP / several support and launch facilities, etc when - as far as I can tell - there isn't yet a solid baseline for the AJAX launcher itself and for some associated ground rules.

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Offline Jim

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Re: AJAX MLP/KSC modifications
« Reply #11 on: 07/21/2010 01:30 PM »
No need for GOX vent lines.
 
An umbilical mast on the MLP  should be used for all connections.  The exception might be crew access which could come from fixed tower at the pad.    This fixed tower could also provide access to other points on the vehicle.


Orion doesn't need prop lines but power, comm, ECS, cooling and other consumables (O2)

 AJAX guidance system would need ECS, power and comm

Interstages need ECS. 

Intermediate stages (not the final stage nor the core stage) avionics need ECS, power and comm

Any pressurant bottles would need fill and vent lines (may be doubled up on other umbilicals)

Booster nose cones need ECS
« Last Edit: 07/21/2010 01:43 PM by Jim »

Offline trout007

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Re: AJAX MLP/KSC modifications
« Reply #12 on: 07/30/2010 02:02 AM »
The FSS is currently: 267 feet tall (without the lightning mast). If we thus keep: 200 feet worth of FSS levels, and attach the Ares 1 tower to the top of them we get: 545 feet for the finished "AJAX FSS" That should be more than sufficent.

I would like to expound on an appropriate height as I believe 500 feet is excessive.

How about 370?

The FSS was made from the top of the Apollo ML Tower. It will not be strong enough to "attach" another 300 ft of tower to it.

How tall of a tower do we need?

Offline Downix

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Re: AJAX MLP/KSC modifications
« Reply #13 on: 07/30/2010 03:29 AM »
The FSS is currently: 267 feet tall (without the lightning mast). If we thus keep: 200 feet worth of FSS levels, and attach the Ares 1 tower to the top of them we get: 545 feet for the finished "AJAX FSS" That should be more than sufficent.

I would like to expound on an appropriate height as I believe 500 feet is excessive.

How about 370?

The FSS was made from the top of the Apollo ML Tower. It will not be strong enough to "attach" another 300 ft of tower to it.

How tall of a tower do we need?

The advantage here is, no SRB, can attach the tower to the MLP.

I would prefer an Atlas V like tower, rather than the classic scaffolding. 
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Offline sdsds

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Re: AJAX MLP/KSC modifications
« Reply #14 on: 03/30/2011 03:53 AM »
I wonder if this thread is an OK place to explore options for getting RP1, LH2, and LO2 into an AJAX vehicle.  At modern launch complexes, how many propellant fill (and drain) lines get attached the the vehicles?  Is the attachment done by people or by machinery?  And then at some point, are all the detachments done automatically?

The four CCBs surrounding the AJAX 440 core would each have LOX and RP1 lines, so eight lines would need to be attached and detached, plus an LH2 line and a LOX line for the core?
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Offline Downix

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Re: AJAX MLP/KSC modifications
« Reply #15 on: 03/30/2011 04:15 AM »
I wonder if this thread is an OK place to explore options for getting RP1, LH2, and LO2 into an AJAX vehicle.  At modern launch complexes, how many propellant fill (and drain) lines get attached the the vehicles?  Is the attachment done by people or by machinery?  And then at some point, are all the detachments done automatically?

The four CCBs surrounding the AJAX 440 core would each have LOX and RP1 lines, so eight lines would need to be attached and detached, plus an LH2 line and a LOX line for the core?
All of this attachment would occur in the VAB, as it is between AJAX and the MLP.
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Offline Lobo

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Re: AJAX MLP/KSC modifications
« Reply #16 on: 03/30/2011 07:43 PM »
The FSS is currently: 267 feet tall (without the lightning mast). If we thus keep: 200 feet worth of FSS levels, and attach the Ares 1 tower to the top of them we get: 545 feet for the finished "AJAX FSS" That should be more than sufficent.

I would like to expound on an appropriate height as I believe 500 feet is excessive.

How about 370?

The FSS was made from the top of the Apollo ML Tower. It will not be strong enough to "attach" another 300 ft of tower to it.

How tall of a tower do we need?

The advantage here is, no SRB, can attach the tower to the MLP.

I would prefer an Atlas V like tower, rather than the classic scaffolding. 

Well, for a crewed launch, you need a scaffolding with elevators, emergency egress, etc, right?  So why wouldn't you just put that one tower -on- the MLP and have it do both like the Saturn V tower? 
As opposed to a minimal umbilical tower like Atlas V (or I think Direct has something like that too) plus then  fixed tower for crew access.

That's supposed to be the advantage of AJAX that it's light enough you can put the tower back on the MLP. 

Offline Downix

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Re: AJAX MLP/KSC modifications
« Reply #17 on: 03/30/2011 07:55 PM »
The FSS is currently: 267 feet tall (without the lightning mast). If we thus keep: 200 feet worth of FSS levels, and attach the Ares 1 tower to the top of them we get: 545 feet for the finished "AJAX FSS" That should be more than sufficent.

I would like to expound on an appropriate height as I believe 500 feet is excessive.

How about 370?

The FSS was made from the top of the Apollo ML Tower. It will not be strong enough to "attach" another 300 ft of tower to it.

How tall of a tower do we need?

The advantage here is, no SRB, can attach the tower to the MLP.

I would prefer an Atlas V like tower, rather than the classic scaffolding. 

Well, for a crewed launch, you need a scaffolding with elevators, emergency egress, etc, right?  So why wouldn't you just put that one tower -on- the MLP and have it do both like the Saturn V tower? 
As opposed to a minimal umbilical tower like Atlas V (or I think Direct has something like that too) plus then  fixed tower for crew access.

That's supposed to be the advantage of AJAX that it's light enough you can put the tower back on the MLP. 
I've actually been working on a way to do both.  My thinking is, the minimal tower fixed to the platform has advantages, especially if you're not handling a crewed launch regularly.  What I was figuring was that the minimal AV-like would be fixed to the MLP, with a modular add-on unit added for when crewed launches were to occur.  Alternatively, could use a flat pad for LC-39B and have a crew tower at LC-39A, with the minimal tower on the MLP.  I think the modular unit would be the better way, however.  One issue I noticed with DIRECT and Ares is that due to crew access, the height of the fairing had to be fixed.  This limits a lot of things.  Having a modular crew-access unit, which could be put at whatever height is needed, would be better.  The minimal tower would have a lift for service access anyways, after all.
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Offline Lobo

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Re: AJAX MLP/KSC modifications
« Reply #18 on: 03/30/2011 08:18 PM »
I've actually been working on a way to do both.  My thinking is, the minimal tower fixed to the platform has advantages, especially if you're not handling a crewed launch regularly.  What I was figuring was that the minimal AV-like would be fixed to the MLP, with a modular add-on unit added for when crewed launches were to occur.  Alternatively, could use a flat pad for LC-39B and have a crew tower at LC-39A, with the minimal tower on the MLP.  I think the modular unit would be the better way, however.  One issue I noticed with DIRECT and Ares is that due to crew access, the height of the fairing had to be fixed.  This limits a lot of things.  Having a modular crew-access unit, which could be put at whatever height is needed, would be better.  The minimal tower would have a lift for service access anyways, after all.

I think the modular would be the way to go to, so you can better allow the option of having other crewed vehicles launching from LC39.  I think it'd be better to have two clean pads with modular service hookups that would mate with whichever MLP was rolled out to either pad.  And not have a fixed tower sort of in the way (or at least loitering at one of the pads) when you really don't need it. 
Then the towers could be modified in the VAB if necessary if multiple LV's share a single MLP (as crewed F9's and A5's likely could, as they are similar enough, single-stick EELV class rockets). 
You could also work on the tower -in- the VAB to fix any blast damage, rather than working on it at the pad which could need large cranes and such. 

SO you think that minimal Atlas V type umbilical tower could be strong enough to add a modular crew access equipment to it?  That's cool if so, but then why did they build a scaffold type tower for Ares 1?

Offline Downix

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Re: AJAX MLP/KSC modifications
« Reply #19 on: 03/30/2011 08:34 PM »
I've actually been working on a way to do both.  My thinking is, the minimal tower fixed to the platform has advantages, especially if you're not handling a crewed launch regularly.  What I was figuring was that the minimal AV-like would be fixed to the MLP, with a modular add-on unit added for when crewed launches were to occur.  Alternatively, could use a flat pad for LC-39B and have a crew tower at LC-39A, with the minimal tower on the MLP.  I think the modular unit would be the better way, however.  One issue I noticed with DIRECT and Ares is that due to crew access, the height of the fairing had to be fixed.  This limits a lot of things.  Having a modular crew-access unit, which could be put at whatever height is needed, would be better.  The minimal tower would have a lift for service access anyways, after all.

I think the modular would be the way to go to, so you can better allow the option of having other crewed vehicles launching from LC39.  I think it'd be better to have two clean pads with modular service hookups that would mate with whichever MLP was rolled out to either pad.  And not have a fixed tower sort of in the way (or at least loitering at one of the pads) when you really don't need it. 
Then the towers could be modified in the VAB if necessary if multiple LV's share a single MLP (as crewed F9's and A5's likely could, as they are similar enough, single-stick EELV class rockets). 
You could also work on the tower -in- the VAB to fix any blast damage, rather than working on it at the pad which could need large cranes and such. 

SO you think that minimal Atlas V type umbilical tower could be strong enough to add a modular crew access equipment to it?  That's cool if so, but then why did they build a scaffold type tower for Ares 1?
ULA proposed the idea originally, so I cannot claim credit.  The key that I can see is to have a bit beefier a tower than otherwise.  As for why a scaffold type, I can come up with a few reasons, most of them having to do with the life cycle of bacon. 

You can see an example from this presentation:
http://www.highfrontier.org/Archive/hf/STAIF%202006%20Atlas%20Human%20Rating.pdf

Page 17 on the right hand side.
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