Author Topic: Fairing reuse  (Read 550755 times)

Offline cscott

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #820 on: 03/31/2017 03:11 PM »
Is anyone else surprised the fairing sank? They were close enough to photograph it, they didn't have the gear to retrieve it? Also, isn't it filled with air pockets from the construction method? A sizable piece floated to the Bahamas not so long ago.

Matthew
We don't know exactly what the photo was: it's possible it was a "chutes out but not yet in contact with ocean" shot from a considerable distance, like we get of dragon recovery.  The fairing could easily have broken apart on contact w the ocean surface, plus night was falling so it could be difficult to find the pieces once the recovery ship gets to the last known position, in darkness.

I bet they've got good video/telemetry, though, so they should know exactly what happened, how close they got to their aim point, etc.

Online launchwatcher

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #821 on: 03/31/2017 03:15 PM »
Thinking about faring reuse raises some interesting questions.

Historically there seems to have been a fair bit of customizing on the fairing for each payload. Custom sized (and shaped) doors and access panels.

SpaceX doesn't do customized fairings (yet). "Historically" applies to other LSP's.
In 2015 at least they offered a little bit of customization.   The user guide says:
Quote
The fairing can accommodate up to two access doors in the cylindrical portion as a standard service. The
standard payload fairing door is elliptical, with a maximum size of 450 x 550 mm (17.7 x 21.7 in.).

Through-fairing RF antenna (re-radiation) systems are available as a nonstandard service; they are
intended for use during payload antenna testing while on the launch pad, not for use during flight.
(top of page 37 of http://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/files/falcon_9_users_guide_rev_2.0.pdf)

Offline cscott

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #822 on: 03/31/2017 03:27 PM »
Thinking about faring reuse raises some interesting questions.

Historically there seems to have been a fair bit of customizing on the fairing for each payload. Custom sized (and shaped) doors and access panels.

SpaceX doesn't do customized fairings (yet). "Historically" applies to other LSP's.
In 2015 at least they offered a little bit of customization.   The user guide says:
Quote
The fairing can accommodate up to two access doors in the cylindrical portion as a standard service. The
standard payload fairing door is elliptical, with a maximum size of 450 x 550 mm (17.7 x 21.7 in.).

Through-fairing RF antenna (re-radiation) systems are available as a nonstandard service; they are
intended for use during payload antenna testing while on the launch pad, not for use during flight.
(top of page 37 of http://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/files/falcon_9_users_guide_rev_2.0.pdf)
Padrat is a SpaceX employee. His post is definitive.

Offline CharlieWildman

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #823 on: 03/31/2017 03:36 PM »
I fly paraplanes and paragliders. The control mechanism setup is be very easy and cheap for a steerable parachute (parafoil).

Parafoils use wing warping for heading changes and throttle or thermals for altitude changes. One servo with a capstan holding both control wires will provide perfect directional control. Pulling on one set of risers while  releasing the other set is how control is maintained. Pitch is mostly irrelevant with a parafoil, and altitude can be bled off by circling as needed. 

They can circle down and fly the shell halves back towards shore remotely for helicopter pickup just off the coast or airbag landing in the water (Elon's "bouncy house").  Or just land them right in the brush at LZ-1. They are going to want a fairly low glide ratio (like 2:1 or 3:1) because the huge surface area of the aeroshell half underneath that is also catching the wind.

I wonder how long it took for the fairing halves to reach the water.  If under a parafoil obliviously significantly longer than the booster.  Maybe there would be enough time to safe the booster, attach Rumba, scooch the booster to one end of the ASDS then inflate a bouncy house and land the fairings. Just a crazy idea.
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Offline JasonAW3

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #824 on: 03/31/2017 03:49 PM »
Is anyone else surprised the fairing sank? They were close enough to photograph it, they didn't have the gear to retrieve it? Also, isn't it filled with air pockets from the construction method? A sizable piece floated to the Bahamas not so long ago.

Matthew

Even if the didn't, a couple of float bags with CO2 inflation cartridges would't be too hard to rig.  Heck, they could even rig the inflaters to go off when the are immersed in seawater, like the Navy has for their lifeboats.
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Offline cscott

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #825 on: 03/31/2017 04:19 PM »
Is anyone else surprised the fairing sank? They were close enough to photograph it, they didn't have the gear to retrieve it? Also, isn't it filled with air pockets from the construction method? A sizable piece floated to the Bahamas not so long ago.

Matthew

Even if the didn't, a couple of float bags with CO2 inflation cartridges would't be too hard to rig.  Heck, they could even rig the inflaters to go off when the are immersed in seawater, like the Navy has for their lifeboats.
Float bags don't help you find small pieces in the middle of the Atlantic at night.

Online Phil Stooke

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #826 on: 03/31/2017 04:23 PM »
No... but if it's in one piece it will be there in the morning.

Offline cscott

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #827 on: 03/31/2017 04:29 PM »
No... but if it's in one piece it will be there in the morning.
I'm not ruling out seeing pieces return on the deck of Go Searcher.  I think that's consistent with Elon's clarification.

I think you're underestimating the difficulty of finding even a mostly intact fairing half in the middle of the ocean if telemetry ceases on impact or after battery exhaustion.
« Last Edit: 03/31/2017 04:31 PM by cscott »

Online Paul_G

Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #828 on: 03/31/2017 05:09 PM »
We don't know exactly what the photo was: it's possible it was a "chutes out but not yet in contact with ocean" shot from a considerable distance, like we get of dragon recovery.

Didn't Martin Halliwell joke that it was the wrong half - which I take to mean the half with the SES log on. Presumably the photo must have been taken relatively close for that to be visible?

Paul

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #829 on: 03/31/2017 05:20 PM »
Is anyone else surprised the fairing sank? They were close enough to photograph it, they didn't have the gear to retrieve it? Also, isn't it filled with air pockets from the construction method? A sizable piece floated to the Bahamas not so long ago.

Matthew

Even if the didn't, a couple of float bags with CO2 inflation cartridges would't be too hard to rig.  Heck, they could even rig the inflaters to go off when the are immersed in seawater, like the Navy has for their lifeboats.
Gwynne Shotwell has stated that they want to keep them out of the water.  So I believe the next steps will be working toward landing them on something.
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Offline cscott

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #830 on: 03/31/2017 05:24 PM »
We don't know exactly what the photo was: it's possible it was a "chutes out but not yet in contact with ocean" shot from a considerable distance, like we get of dragon recovery.

Didn't Martin Halliwell joke that it was the wrong half - which I take to mean the half with the SES log on. Presumably the photo must have been taken relatively close for that to be visible?

Paul
Maybe?  Hard to say.  Compare this photo of Dragon, perhaps taken at roughly similar stand-off distance and light. (However, note that dragon landing is at sun*rise*, to give the recovery team maximum working time, while the fairing reentered at sun*set*.)

Now imagine that the fairing was *catching* the light, instead of being silhouetted.  You'd have to make some assumptions about the angle the fairing is held under the parafoil.  I could argue either way.  If things are just right, you might be able to just make out the flag (or, more likely, lack of SES logo).  Or if the conditions are wrong (fairing close to horizontal, fairing in silhouette) I could see how it would be impossible to tell at that distance.

Maybe this actually came up in earlier banter, so the SES CEO knew already that only one half would be recovered, and that it wouldn't be the "right" one, so it didn't have to be visible in the photo either way.
« Last Edit: 03/31/2017 05:26 PM by cscott »

Offline CraigLieb

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #831 on: 03/31/2017 06:06 PM »
We are beginning to see the designs of Elon, the evil genius...  (pinkie firmly planted in corner of mouth)

The fairing will deploy cold-gas thrusters and small pop-out grid fins to stabilize into a flyable aeroshell, navigating to a selected capture zone. At which point, the very large airship will open up it's large under slung cargo hold and the fairings will fly in and be caught in nets. The airship will then make its way to Elon's secret volcano lair ... which opens up it's hidden landing pad area, etc. Submarines or fast boats will return the shells to shore for additional processing.

 8)

I was really close here...   
    thrusters (check - sort of)
    flyable aeroshell  (sort of again, check)
    airship = really large bouncy castle  (check)

volcano lair ... welllll, we don't know the whole plan yet, really so I still have a shot.

 8)

Edit/Lar: Followups probably at some point belong in the party thread. That's where I replied anyway... :)
« Last Edit: 03/31/2017 07:27 PM by Lar »
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Offline Stan-1967

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #832 on: 03/31/2017 06:29 PM »
If the parafoil can maneuver for a precision landing, I think SpaceX should be able to recover both halves with a single ship or barge.  I envision deploying booms off the starboard & port sides, and each half has it's own landing space.  See the attached image & replace a barge or ship instead of the proud guy who needs floaties in the swimming pool.

The ship or barge in the middle would have a crane or hoist to move the fairing onto the vessel.  It may also be an open question if this method can work like the rocket DPL concept where the barge is at a predetermined GPS coordinate.  This method may require the ship to chase the fairings within the landing ellipse & the fairings may need a way to identify the landing target & self guide.   Not enough information to know what it will be at this point.

Offline rsdavis9

Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #833 on: 03/31/2017 07:26 PM »
If the parafoil can maneuver for a precision landing, I think SpaceX should be able to recover both halves with a single ship or barge.  I envision deploying booms off the starboard & port sides, and each half has it's own landing space.  See the attached image & replace a barge or ship instead of the proud guy who needs floaties in the swimming pool.

The ship or barge in the middle would have a crane or hoist to move the fairing onto the vessel.  It may also be an open question if this method can work like the rocket DPL concept where the barge is at a predetermined GPS coordinate.  This method may require the ship to chase the fairings within the landing ellipse & the fairings may need a way to identify the landing target & self guide.   Not enough information to know what it will be at this point.

Or the BO method. Moving recovery vessel and bring PLF down on a moving vessel. Vessel could be lots of things...
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Offline john smith 19

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #834 on: 03/31/2017 07:47 PM »
There isn't really much customization done to the fairings. We're working towards keeping them very generic, obviously an advantage when you want to eventually reuse them. The goal, at least for the commercial customers, is to get to a basic universal design where the only differences are the logo and antenna setup. The most customization gets done to the payload adapter, of course. But yet, even those are surprisingly the same few basic setups (mostly)
This is one of those odd little quirks that only seems important to space geeks but is actually turning out to be a key to making the reuse of this structure affordable.

I note you specify commercial customers. That suggests govt payloads under the EELV contracts may be more customized. Will that rule out reuse entirely?
Is anyone else surprised the fairing sank? They were close enough to photograph it, they didn't have the gear to retrieve it? Also, isn't it filled with air pockets from the construction method? A sizable piece floated to the Bahamas not so long ago.

Matthew

Even if the didn't, a couple of float bags with CO2 inflation cartridges would't be too hard to rig.  Heck, they could even rig the inflaters to go off when the are immersed in seawater, like the Navy has for their lifeboats.
Float bags don't help you find small pieces in the middle of the Atlantic at night.
The obvious answer to which is of course don't launch at night.  :)

However failing that this has been a problem before. The usual answer are some high intensity low frequency strobe beacons. I'm guessing you could put them in some little fairings on the outside so as the halves floated down their flickering would be seen for miles, barring heavy fog.
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Offline CraigLieb

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #835 on: 03/31/2017 07:48 PM »
anyone notice the image before fairing release? In hosted webcast? Mission time 3:43
« Last Edit: 03/31/2017 07:49 PM by CraigLieb »
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Offline Bargemanos

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #836 on: 03/31/2017 08:37 PM »
anyone notice the image before fairing release? In hosted webcast? Mission time 3:43


Just compared with the Echostar 23 launch but didn't find any notable difference.

Offline cscott

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #837 on: 03/31/2017 08:47 PM »
We could be looking at the wrong side of the fairing in those pictures.

Offline DAZ

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #838 on: 03/31/2017 09:37 PM »
I guess the fairing landed, but was not recovered. (sunk before they could get to it?)
https://twitter.com/SpaceBrendan/status/847599001746644996
Quote
Brendan Byrne @SpaceBrendan
Musk: Correction, not recovered, but it was directed to a landing area. Will have "bouncy" castle soon.

Aha! So it looks like my guess that they will try to land it on an inflated surface was correct.  8)

Your guess and others.

Offline gosink

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #839 on: 04/01/2017 05:38 PM »
The following links might be of general interest with respect to the topic of steerable automated parachutes & parafoils: 


« Last Edit: 04/01/2017 05:38 PM by gosink »

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