Author Topic: Fairing reuse  (Read 587018 times)

Offline Basto

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #680 on: 03/24/2017 01:38 PM »
Could be a smaller and simpler vessel than an ASDS, but here's a shot:

Another thought... aren't there two support ships that tow the barge out?  What I you had a net suspended between these two ships...

Offline rsdavis9

Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #681 on: 03/24/2017 01:41 PM »
Barges with inflatable bouncy houses.  :)
Basically like the inflatable domes that are currently available for sports events.
Inflate before landing. Allow quick deflation when fairing lands.

EDIT:
So how cheap can the barges be?
Do they need the four hydraulic props?
Could they just be actively towed? In other words 1 mph headway. Should be little or no risk to towing ship.

« Last Edit: 03/24/2017 01:44 PM by rsdavis9 »
With ELV best efficiency was the paradigm. The new paradigm is reusable, good enough, and commonality of design.
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Offline bstrong

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #682 on: 03/24/2017 01:56 PM »
Could be a smaller and simpler vessel than an ASDS, but here's a shot:

I like this a lot. Angle the support poles outwards, and you can make do with a much smaller barge (or have a much larger net). Add the ability to quickly roll out a second net a couple of meters above the first and you can make do with one barge instead of two.

Offline cscott

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #683 on: 03/24/2017 02:37 PM »
Elon tweeted something interesting, maybe a hint at a fairing recovery experiment?
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/845290713776451584

Offline Toast

Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #684 on: 03/24/2017 03:15 PM »
Elon tweeted something interesting, maybe a hint at a fairing recovery experiment?
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/845290713776451584

I don't think that has anything to do with fairing recovery, he's referring to it being the first reuse of a Falcon 9 first stage.

Offline intrepidpursuit

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #685 on: 03/24/2017 07:10 PM »
Elon tweeted something interesting, maybe a hint at a fairing recovery experiment?
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/845290713776451584

I don't think that has anything to do with fairing recovery, he's referring to it being the first reuse of a Falcon 9 first stage.

Referring to fate seems to indicate something experimental. He wouldn't refer to a successful launch as requiring fate, and landings have become pretty routine as well. He could just be trying to avoid over confidence, but to me that indicates something more. I think only nerds would care about the roomba, but seeing parafoils pop out of a fairing would be pretty exciting.

Offline virnin

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #686 on: 03/24/2017 07:31 PM »
You can get GPS-guided parafoil payload systems that, with tweaking, can reliably hit the barge deck of an ASDS (50m x 90m). So maybe put a huge net on 4 poles (one on each corner of an ASDS) 15m high.

That leads to the, unanswerable by us, question of how many fairings would they have to recover to pay for at least two, but more likely four, additional ASDS?

They would be a lot simpler than the Falcon ASDS. Also unlike a Falcon core it is perfectly feasible to transfer fairing halves to a ship for transport and leave the ASDS at position for a while. So just 2.

Two on each coast, so four.  Maybe 6 after Boca Chica comes online.

Agreed simpler than ASDS.  Just has to be big enough to hold the net stable during off-center catches.
Could even be manned, with crew under protective cover during catch ops.  Like a retired container ship.

Offline Toast

Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #687 on: 03/24/2017 07:39 PM »
Referring to fate seems to indicate something experimental.

Relaunch of a first stage is experimental.


« Last Edit: 03/24/2017 07:46 PM by Toast »

Offline iamlucky13

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #688 on: 03/24/2017 07:45 PM »

Referring to fate seems to indicate something experimental. He wouldn't refer to a successful launch as requiring fate, and landings have become pretty routine as well. He could just be trying to avoid over confidence, but to me that indicates something more. I think only nerds would care about the roomba, but seeing parafoils pop out of a fairing would be pretty exciting.

Reflying a booster is experimental, and it's a significant part of SpaceX's business plan. I see nothing inconsistent with talking about fate for such a significant milestone.

Fate has bitten him twice in as many years on brand new hardware on missions thought to be routine. Although he has talked up his confidence in the past about reflight, even going as far as talking about "flight proven" hardware and booking a paying customer for the launch, I don't for one second believe he is completely free from doubts.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #689 on: 03/25/2017 12:14 AM »
Referring to fate seems to indicate something experimental.

Relaunch of a first stage is experimental.
It's almost like you and iamlucky13 have no idea of who Musk is. When Musk is given an opportunity to double down, he does. No way he's just a referring to reflying a stage.
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Offline meekGee

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #690 on: 03/25/2017 12:18 AM »
My vote is for the fact it's a re-launch.

Confident as he may be, you gotta get butterflies before this launch.  Are you kidding?

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Offline Toast

Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #691 on: 03/25/2017 12:26 AM »
Referring to fate seems to indicate something experimental.

Relaunch of a first stage is experimental.
It's almost like you and iamlucky13 have no idea of who Musk is. When Musk is given an opportunity to double down, he does. No way he's just a referring to reflying a stage.

I won't go so far as to rule out SpaceX trying something else new on this flight (after all, they're almost always trying something new, even if we don't see it), I just think Elon referring to first stage reuse is a much more likely interpretation of this tweet. Every time Elon tweets, people bend over backwards trying to interpret his tweets (and almost always trying to make them fit their personal desires), and I think people lose sight of the fact that he probably only spends less than a minute on each tweet and most likely isn't really deliberating on his word choice. In fact, I know he spent less than a minute on this tweet, because he sent out another tweet about the Model 3 less than a minute before sending out this one (plus ~50 more in the same hour).

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #692 on: 03/25/2017 01:30 AM »
Referring to fate seems to indicate something experimental.

Relaunch of a first stage is experimental.
It's almost like you and iamlucky13 have no idea of who Musk is. When Musk is given an opportunity to double down, he does. No way he's just a referring to reflying a stage.

I won't go so far as to rule out SpaceX trying something else new on this flight (after all, they're almost always trying something new, even if we don't see it), I just think Elon referring to first stage reuse is a much more likely interpretation of this tweet. Every time Elon tweets, people bend over backwards trying to interpret his tweets (and almost always trying to make them fit their personal desires), and I think people lose sight of the fact that he probably only spends less than a minute on each tweet and most likely isn't really deliberating on his word choice. In fact, I know he spent less than a minute on this tweet, because he sent out another tweet about the Model 3 less than a minute before sending out this one (plus ~50 more in the same hour).

You've got a good point in people over-interpreting Musk tweets. But, since we're doing it anyway: Musk often writes up drafts of tweets before he sends them. And just because it doesn't take long to say something doesn't mean he wasn't thinking about such things for a long time.

Look, everyone already knows about the fact that SES10 is a recovered booster. There's zero surprise, there, and while the reusability-can't-work goal-post-movers might have at one point said "but they just /recovered/ a rocket, they haven't actually launched it again," I really don't think this is terribly amazing (it is expected), at least not worth Musk noting what is already obvious (that SES10 will be a reused core) as if it's something unexpected.

For context, this is the actual exchange:
Quote
BlueBowles:
@elonmusk how excited are you about the SES launch next week?! I don't know how you're focused on model 3 with that ahead! #makinghistory
Quote
Elon Musk‏:
@BlueBowles If fate is on our side, it will be amazing. Will talk about that in detail next week.

What is there to discuss in detail?
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Offline dglow

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #693 on: 03/25/2017 01:39 AM »
What is there to discuss in detail?

The Roomba. It'll be a 'cool new surprise' for the public and nice embodiment of their efficiency and reuse ambitions.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #694 on: 03/25/2017 01:44 AM »
What is there to discuss in detail?

The Roomba. It'll be a 'cool new surprise' for the public and nice embodiment of their efficiency and reuse ambitions.
That's my point. It's something extra like Optimus Prime, fairing recovery, or something else like that. If Musk is discussing such stuff in detail, I doubt he'd ignore Optimus Prime, even if it weren't (for whatever reason) ready for this flight.

(But I think they're trying very hard to get it to work for this flight. That's why there are work lights around it. People are working late on this.
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To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline georgegassaway

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #695 on: 03/25/2017 06:00 AM »
BTW - what is the estimated mass of each  fairing half?

Given the potential changes in wind velocity at sea, I'm not so sure that a big net over a station-keeping barge (thrusters in four corners) would allow for enough of a margin for error. Also very hard to justify the cost of outfitting two barges for that, even at less cost than an ASDS landing barge.

A BIG net between two ships? They can't station keep, they'd have to be moving thru the water at some minimal speed to try to be parallel, as Navy ships have to do in refueling or taking on other supplies side-by-side from a resupply ship. That is an idea that certainly has simplicity (?) going for it (Well, relative to some other ideas), but does not seem very practical. Indeed with the mass of the fairings laid into such a big net, then the net would want to sag and pull the ships towards each other. So one ship would have to steer away from parallel to keep net taut, and may need to do so in very rough seas. That seems like a lot of precise steering to expect of a sea vessel not designed for precise maneuvering. Plus how to get the fairings out of the big big net onto the deck of a ship without a swell allowing the net to go slack and let the fairings dip into the sea water even once, negating the whole reason for a dry landing.

They would be a lot simpler than the Falcon ASDS. Also unlike a Falcon core it is perfectly feasible to transfer fairing halves to a ship for transport and leave the ASDS at position for a while. So just 2.

My thoughts, ONE barge, with aviation fuel storage onboard.  Two helicopters, each to air-snag one fairing coming down on gliding parafoil as shown in a previous post. The helicopter lowers the fairing half onto the deck and lands at one end. The other copter lowers the other fairing half and lands at the other end. Copters get refueled (if necessary, especially if they flew directly from on shore shortly before launch) and then fly back to shore alone, the fairings stay on the barge which is towed back to port.

It may not end up that way, but that seems feasible given that SpaceX does not want them to land in the ocean.

I just do not think it is very practical to air-snag the fairings then fly them back to shore under the copter. The fairings would have a lot of air drag and relatively light for their area, and would need to be flown back at a relatively low speed such as perhaps 30 knots (or perhaps less). That is a long time to be flying back from 200 or more miles out without any practical way to refuel (the idea of doing air to air refueling behind a C-130 while towing one of those ..... no way in Hades.  And AFAIK there are no civilian/commercial refueling capabilities. Only the military has such assets, which would be extremely unlikely to be used for a commercial venture such as this).

However, a lot of the mission-to-mission expense of using typical helicopters could be greatly reduced, if SpaceX developed something almost revolutionary. Because they don't have to truly design anything new, mostly scale up and build to their needs. There are big electric powered multicopters that can carry people. Scale that up a bit more, to develop a multicopter capable of carrying the mass of a payload fairing, and the automation (perhaps with remote human assist) to track down, approach, and air-snag the parachute. Then the rest could be totally automated like a hobby-type multicopter doing an automatic return to home.

I'm not counting on that actually happening. Not likely, but possible.

 Probably sounds too far-fetched right now. But then so did the idea of them doing a "Roomba" 6 months ago, or a rocket powered landing of a Falcon-9 on a barge 7 years ago. Certainly it would cost more to develop and build these than it would cost to use manned helicopters for the first few missions. But if they worked, over time they'd be far more cost effective and earn their keep. And in case of disaster, no risk to human pilots and the more expensive helicopters they fly.

The plus side of it is that making a full sized prototype of such a multicopter  would not require a long time.  Electric motor characteristics , LiPo batteries, and propellers are a known quantity so that choosing the right combo for a scaling up, for the desired payload capability, would not be too hard.  The level of automation would be the bigger issue to work out and that could be tested out and perfected in smaller scale. 

I wonder where in  the Musk-Verse that they might find anyone who knows about how to make a vehicle know exactly where it is and how to self-navigate? As well as to visually recognize certain shapes (like a parafoil canopy), and exactly how close it is to such a "target shape" in 3 dimensions, and guide itself along the correct path to intercept from behind?  :)   And at that, real-time remote human assistance might also be worth including in case the automation might be too difficult to handle every aspect of it reliably enough.

Whatever they do, or may have already tested on a flight, if they do get it to work, it'll be really great to see whatever method and techniques they use for safely landing fairings without getting wet.

Of course they may have something else up their sleeves that's not been considered much in this thread......   :)

(Yeah, I went shopping for this unreal photo, and not seriously suggesting it)
« Last Edit: 03/25/2017 09:57 AM by georgegassaway »

Offline Kaputnik

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #696 on: 03/25/2017 10:56 AM »
Each fairing half is estimated at about a tonne (see further back in this thread).

An in house developed drone would hbe a very Musky way of tackling this. But it would be a pretty big project in its own right. Would an upsized quad opter have the speed and manoeuvrability for the task?
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Offline rsdavis9

Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #697 on: 03/25/2017 11:38 AM »
barge landing on air bag.
With ELV best efficiency was the paradigm. The new paradigm is reusable, good enough, and commonality of design.
Same engines. Design once. Same vehicle. Design once. Reusable. Build once.

Offline meekGee

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #698 on: 03/25/2017 02:49 PM »
Each fairing half is estimated at about a tonne (see further back in this thread).

An in house developed drone would hbe a very Musky way of tackling this. But it would be a pretty big project in its own right. Would an upsized quad opter have the speed and manoeuvrability for the task?
Quadcopters as a form factor are much less efficient than helicopters when it comes to flying range, and automated helicopters exist.

But yes - the idea of a drone is very Musky.
« Last Edit: 03/26/2017 02:34 AM by meekGee »
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Offline douglas100

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #699 on: 03/25/2017 04:38 PM »
If you've got a vessel downrange, then the range of the helicopters or drones is less of an issue. They would be fueled or recharged on the ship or barge. They would only take off only after the rocket had left the pad. Essentially you'd be doing SMART twice, in short order. The cost of operating a second downrange vessel is an important consideration, of course.
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