Author Topic: Fairing reuse  (Read 586979 times)

Offline intrepidpursuit

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #1840 on: 12/05/2018 01:31 PM »
My question is, if they can reuse fairing halves even after a dunk, why even bother trying to catch them? It has proven a difficult problem to solve. The only explanation that makes sense to me is that refurb after it drops in the water is still significant enough to pay for the crazy ship.

It seems they are pursuing a less ambitious goal along with a more ambitious goal. Just seems odd to do both and odd that they didn't go for soft landing in water first before going all in on the ship.

Offline MaxTeranous

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #1841 on: 12/05/2018 02:50 PM »
My question is, if they can reuse fairing halves even after a dunk, why even bother trying to catch them? It has proven a difficult problem to solve. The only explanation that makes sense to me is that refurb after it drops in the water is still significant enough to pay for the crazy ship.

It seems they are pursuing a less ambitious goal along with a more ambitious goal. Just seems odd to do both and odd that they didn't go for soft landing in water first before going all in on the ship.

This stuff isn't simple and no-one knew the specifics of how fairings would react until they tried. Go for an ambitious goal and see how it works along the way is how SpaceX operates. The "right" answer in the end may prove to be water proofing it abit and fishing them out the water, but either way they need a ship to do it and ship mods are cheap in the grand scheme of things.

Online Mark K

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #1842 on: 12/05/2018 02:51 PM »
My question is, if they can reuse fairing halves even after a dunk, why even bother trying to catch them? It has proven a difficult problem to solve. The only explanation that makes sense to me is that refurb after it drops in the water is still significant enough to pay for the crazy ship.

It seems they are pursuing a less ambitious goal along with a more ambitious goal. Just seems odd to do both and odd that they didn't go for soft landing in water first before going all in on the ship.

Based on SpaceX quotes it sounds like one reason they think they can re-use even if the fairing was in the water is that the ship was right there immediately. So exposure to water would be less. This means they would have to do almost everything to catch them anyway in terms of ship tracking and guidance. Thus I am not sure if water catch is a whole lot less than catch to be usable.

Online matthewkantar

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #1843 on: 12/05/2018 04:11 PM »
As suggested by an earlier poster, it is possible the recent fairing recovery was in a calm sea. It maybe that in a rough sea state the fairing halves would be damaged, either by the sea itself, or by recovery from a rough sea.

Offline jee_c2

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #1844 on: 12/05/2018 05:47 PM »
As it looks like, capturing the fairing is really hard, even with a fast ship like Mr, Steven.
The speed and the maneuveribility is not enough, probably.

1. Question: was the mid air capture considered? There are already experiences with doing that with helicopter (as far as I remember, the comet dust collecting probe's return part was captured in air like that, may be, other probes as well).

2. If the fairing cannot be caight like that, and landing on the water remains the option, it could be still possible to protect it from getting into the water. The strange idea is: follow the fairing , while it is descending, flying on it's parachute, with a drone (or more), and attach inflatable baloons, floating bodies (inflatable boat like) onto the fairing's bottom part. While mid air (and drone/s left), inflate those bedore landing on water surface- result way less contact with sea water, if at all.
I see, there are some fuzzy points in the process: like where and how to attach the baloons - while flying.
What kind of drones could be used? What is the needed speed, how to avoid unwanted crash while the synchronized flying (perhaps the baloons has tobe able to move around the surface of the fairing, little robots)

The drones could be brought by Mr. Steven , which is needed anyway.

Note: Of course, sending the baloons already with the fairing is too big mass penalty, I think, but I am not sure.

(I wrote this earlier, haven't seen the last posts then, but it is connected to then)

Offline AC in NC

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #1845 on: 12/05/2018 09:29 PM »
1. Question: was the mid air capture considered?

Somewhere, I believe upthread, was a link to a non-SpaceX study of recovery with 1-10 ratings on various factors from Really not Suited to Best Suited.  MidAir rated quite poorly comparatively in part due to complexity, weather, time of day, etc...

Online Slarty1080

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #1846 on: 12/06/2018 06:17 PM »
How about a large drone fitted with a line and grapple(s) and a deflated balloon and hydrogen cylinder?

Launch the drone(s) from Mr Steven when at an appropriate distance / altitude pilot the drone(s) up to the descending fairing and aim to fly over the top of it with several lines / grapples to tangle in the chute and its cords. When snagged inflate the balloon to provide extra lift and time for Mr Steven to get underneath the faring. When positioned slowly deflate the balloon so fairing drones and balloons all recovered. Parachute might not be reusable.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #1847 on: 12/06/2018 06:30 PM »
How about a large drone f

What large drone?

Offline kaiser

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #1848 on: 12/06/2018 10:07 PM »
How about a large drone fitted with a line and grapple(s) and a deflated balloon and hydrogen cylinder?

Launch the drone(s) from Mr Steven when at an appropriate distance / altitude pilot the drone(s) up to the descending fairing and aim to fly over the top of it with several lines / grapples to tangle in the chute and its cords. When snagged inflate the balloon to provide extra lift and time for Mr Steven to get underneath the faring. When positioned slowly deflate the balloon so fairing drones and balloons all recovered. Parachute might not be reusable.

Honestly, if you're close enough to launch a drone, maneuver, attach lines, tangle a chute, inflate balloons, do some more Rube Goldberg stuff etc, etc, just grapple it with a rope that's attach to Mr. Stevens and reel the sucker in.  Heck, have Elon on the deck dressed as Capt. Ahab shooting a whaling gun with a big suction cup tipped spear and reel it in while cackling.  Feel off topic?  Maybe.  But drones, with grappling hooks and balloons, etc just make things so complicated.  Or have the fairing dangle a lightweight line that Mr. Stevens catches and reels in.  Or, or, or. 

But most likely, just tune things up a bit better for better control, better info to the captain, etc.

I had a project where a team of MIT scientists were trying to get pilots to fly an incredibly complex and stringent flight path through the sky.  Years of work, lots of rube goldberg and other contraptions, plane modifications, chase and escort planes, etc, etc and tons of study.  You know what worked?  Adjusting the UI to the pilots.  3 or 4 iterations later on the UI and they were nailing it.  Likely something similar here; getting better info to the crew, presented better so that they can dial it in more precisely.  I know, not as sexy as drones with grappling hooks and inflatable helium balloons, but much more practical and workable.

Even pro baseball players warm up with a little throw / catch, give the crew a bit more practice and they'll probably finally dial it in with the latest set of fairings.

Online Slarty1080

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #1849 on: 12/06/2018 11:47 PM »
How about a large drone fitted with a line and grapple(s) and a deflated balloon and hydrogen cylinder?

Launch the drone(s) from Mr Steven when at an appropriate distance / altitude pilot the drone(s) up to the descending fairing and aim to fly over the top of it with several lines / grapples to tangle in the chute and its cords. When snagged inflate the balloon to provide extra lift and time for Mr Steven to get underneath the faring. When positioned slowly deflate the balloon so fairing drones and balloons all recovered. Parachute might not be reusable.

Honestly, if you're close enough to launch a drone, maneuver, attach lines, tangle a chute, inflate balloons, do some more Rube Goldberg stuff etc, etc, just grapple it with a rope that's attach to Mr. Stevens and reel the sucker in.  Heck, have Elon on the deck dressed as Capt. Ahab shooting a whaling gun with a big suction cup tipped spear and reel it in while cackling.  Feel off topic?  Maybe.  But drones, with grappling hooks and balloons, etc just make things so complicated.  Or have the fairing dangle a lightweight line that Mr. Stevens catches and reels in.  Or, or, or. 

But most likely, just tune things up a bit better for better control, better info to the captain, etc.

I had a project where a team of MIT scientists were trying to get pilots to fly an incredibly complex and stringent flight path through the sky.  Years of work, lots of rube goldberg and other contraptions, plane modifications, chase and escort planes, etc, etc and tons of study.  You know what worked?  Adjusting the UI to the pilots.  3 or 4 iterations later on the UI and they were nailing it.  Likely something similar here; getting better info to the crew, presented better so that they can dial it in more precisely.  I know, not as sexy as drones with grappling hooks and inflatable helium balloons, but much more practical and workable.

Even pro baseball players warm up with a little throw / catch, give the crew a bit more practice and they'll probably finally dial it in with the latest set of fairings.
LOL  ;D you're probably right
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Offline ppb

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #1850 on: 12/07/2018 05:41 AM »
Mr. Steven is obviously a fast boat. Does it chase the fairing and attempt to actively intercept it? Or is it stationary like the drone ships with the booster and let the parafoil steer to it? Or maybe a combination? This has probably been discussed on other threads. It seems downlinking the fairing's measured position and velocity to the boat or tracking it with radar and supplying that to a homing guidance law that automatically steered the ship to the intercept point might increase the capture probability.
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Offline edzieba

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #1851 on: 12/07/2018 01:14 PM »
It has indeed been discussed a LOT in other threads. And barring any actual evidence (which is yet to be forthcoming) the best guess is that the fairing tries to fly as straight a track as it can and Mr Steven manoeuvres under that track.

On saltwater exposure: my main concern would not be water getting into the 'concave side' of the fairing. My concern would be saltwater getting inside the actual fairing wall sandwich. The fairing is a pair of CF sheets bonded to either side of an aluminium honeycomb. That's a whole lot of tiny and nigh-impossible-to-access chambers of salt to become deposited within. That salt can attack both the aluminium honeycomb itself, and the adhesive bonding that honeyconb to the CF skins. You could power-wash the outside surfaces of the fairing all day and not touch any salt deposits within those honeycomb cells.

Offline Norm38

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #1852 on: 12/07/2018 01:28 PM »
Aren't the fairings fiberglass?  Aren't there millions of fiberglass boats in the ocean that float for decades?
Sea water isn't battery acid, it doesn't dissolve metal on contact.  Salt corrosion takes a long time.
If fairings are being reused, then invest in some anodized coatings, etc, let them splash and fish them out.

Even if they don't touch the water they will be in a marine salt spray and fog environment.  They need to be designed to get salt water on them and get washed down.

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #1853 on: 12/07/2018 04:57 PM »
Aren't the fairings fiberglass?  Aren't there millions of fiberglass boats in the ocean that float for decades?
Sea water isn't battery acid, it doesn't dissolve metal on contact.  Salt corrosion takes a long time.
If fairings are being reused, then invest in some anodized coatings, etc, let them splash and fish them out.

Even if they don't touch the water they will be in a marine salt spray and fog environment.  They need to be designed to get salt water on them and get washed down.

Carbon fiber, way different than fiberglass.

The fairings are subjected to loads and temperatures that no boat ever experiences. 

We'll see what they come up with.  Even if they are recovered in the net, I'm still not sold they are reuseable until we see them fly a second time, successfully.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #1854 on: 12/08/2018 02:39 AM »
Not super different. Just lighter (and sometimes a bit stronger) than fiberglass.
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Offline darkenfast

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #1855 on: 12/08/2018 05:12 AM »
The fairing halves have variety of openings around their half-circumferences.  If openings can be sealed, the fairing will float very high.  Splash-down at low speed should not let a bunch of water in. 

Offline garcianc

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #1856 on: 12/08/2018 04:28 PM »
Aren't the fairings fiberglass?  Aren't there millions of fiberglass boats in the ocean that float for decades?
Sea water isn't battery acid, it doesn't dissolve metal on contact.  Salt corrosion takes a long time.
If fairings are being reused, then invest in some anodized coatings, etc, let them splash and fish them out.

Even if they don't touch the water they will be in a marine salt spray and fog environment.  They need to be designed to get salt water on them and get washed down.

Carbon fiber, way different than fiberglass.

The fairings are subjected to loads and temperatures that no boat ever experiences. 

We'll see what they come up with.  Even if they are recovered in the net, I'm still not sold they are reuseable until we see them fly a second time, successfully.

Absolutely. I think what some people forget is that the concern is not only corrosion or contamination to the fairing itself, but any residual contamination (or related environmental impact) that could expose future payloads. SpaceX might have decided to restrict any recovered fairing to re-fly with only certain payloads, which could be why water recovery is now an option.

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