Author Topic: Blue Origin fleet  (Read 3414 times)

Online matthewkantar

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Blue Origin fleet
« on: 05/30/2018 11:04 PM »
The word is out, Blue origin has purchased a ship. We're gonna need a bigger boat. Boat thread. Gonna need one.

Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #1 on: 05/31/2018 02:02 AM »
This excellent Blue Origin fleet-related post was written by CScott, on another Blue thread, just a few hours before this new thread was created.

It deserves to be here:

Jeff says they bought the boat for landing NG and are refitting it? Sounds like our marine sleuths over in the SpaceX ASDS threads ought to be given a heads up for a new hunting target...
I've done ASDS hunting, and I'll say that finding boat ownership from public records is quite hard. The typical ownership model seems to involve separate LLCs set up for each boat, which then have ownership and operating agreements with other opaque LLCs, etc.  SpaceX for example doesn't directly own any of their vessels, and Mr. Steven (for instance) which has been operated by Guice Offshore for months and has a big GO logo painted on it, still doesn't have any official paperwork documenting the relationship with GO; there seems to be a private contract beween SeaTran marine, Guice Offshore and SpaceX (or a subsidiary).

Custom-built commercial boats seem to be often "owned" by the builder and then "sold" for a nominal sum to the boat's own LLC when complete. Mr. Steven was sold by Gulf Craft LLC to Mr. Steven LLC for $1. So the boat owns itself.

Thus tracing top-down from Blue Origin to whatever ship it is outfitting is likely to be fruitless.  While Bezos says "bought" the likely case is that Blue Origin has signed contracts with a number of different folk, including perhaps the boat's own LLC, not actually transferred ownership in any boat registry.  We have better luck with folks that hang around docks with an ear to the rumor mill.
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Online cscott

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #2 on: 06/02/2018 02:30 AM »
Thanks for the quote.

For what it's worth, I did poke around the public databases looking for anything containing "origin", with no luck.  Lots of companies with "blue" in their name, but nothing useful among owners of large boats.  It's worth noting that, since boats tend to be owned by their own self-named LLC, a ownership search for "blue" turns up a lot of boats with "blue" in their names as well... and as you can imagine there's a lot of them.

I also searched for "Bezos" and "Amazon", just to make sure I wasn't overlooking the obvious.

I suspect we'll first get details either when blue tweets a photo or a very large boat shows up in one of the ports near the Cape.

Offline GWH

Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #3 on: 06/02/2018 07:30 PM »
I found this quote interesting, and related to the topic.
From CNES director of launches interview:
https://satelliteobservation.net/2018/06/02/cnes-director-of-launchers-talks-reusable-rockets/

"Blue Origin has a different concept, they will use a boat with hydrodynamic control surfaces for stability. The boat has to have some speed and the rocket has to match it."

I am not a ship guy, but interpret that as a ship having more than just your basic rudder and keel etc...

Online kevinof

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #4 on: 06/02/2018 07:45 PM »
Sounds like basic stability control fins each side of the hull. You need to be making headway (ie speed) for these to work. Work something like hydroplanes on a sub.

I found this quote interesting, and related to the topic.
From CNES director of launches interview:
https://satelliteobservation.net/2018/06/02/cnes-director-of-launchers-talks-reusable-rockets/

"Blue Origin has a different concept, they will use a boat with hydrodynamic control surfaces for stability. The boat has to have some speed and the rocket has to match it."

I am not a ship guy, but interpret that as a ship having more than just your basic rudder and keel etc...

Offline Chasm

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #5 on: 06/02/2018 08:03 PM »
It will be interesting to see what they have bought and how the modified it.

If it was a bespoke vessel I'd think along the lines of the Ullstein S182.
Most fiddly bits at the front end. Less spray during transfer. Fast crew transfer if you need it. Lots of space in the back.
A crane to move the stage around, perhaps lower it for transport. No need for a heavy lift crane though, a telescopic crane makes more sense to me.


@GWH
See Stabilizer (ship) or here for more detail. Usually two hydraulically controlled fins that primarily stabilize the roll of a ship. The reason why big cruise ships don't turn into a puke fest as soon as there is some weather.
Pros: Well known, effective, can be build to almost any size, mature control systems and software. Used from small yachts to the biggest cruise ships. Other commercial ships like use them too.
Main drawback: They need some water flow over the fins. Which is why Blue said that they'll recover during move.

Some Yachts use a different system. Large Gyroscopes are back. Rotate enough mass fast enough and the yacht will be quite stable, even at rest. Main drawback: Needs space and a lots of power. Pricey too.

Offline noogie

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #6 on: 06/03/2018 01:32 AM »
It will be interesting to see if they will incorporate any ability to do some (maybe eventually all) of the post landing processing of the first stage on the boat to speed up turn around times for reuse of the 1st stage.

Offline brickmack

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #7 on: 06/03/2018 02:09 AM »
It will be interesting to see if they will incorporate any ability to do some (maybe eventually all) of the post landing processing of the first stage on the boat to speed up turn around times for reuse of the 1st stage.

Given the size of the ship relative to the rocket, I bet you could fit several boosters in it if the ability existed to open up the deck and store stuff inside. This would be a lot easier than doing refurb at sea, yet some of the stuff needed for refurb (namely bringing the booster horizontal) would be required for both. This wouldn't help vehicle-level turnaround (the opposite in fact), but it would allow them to do several launches in quick succession with only a single landing ship needed. This would also make some sense given their oddly large planned New Glenn fleet.

Offline Kabloona

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #8 on: 06/03/2018 10:59 PM »
It will be interesting to see what they have bought and how the modified it.

If it was a bespoke vessel I'd think along the lines of the Ullstein S182.
Most fiddly bits at the front end. Less spray during transfer. Fast crew transfer if you need it. Lots of space in the back.
A crane to move the stage around, perhaps lower it for transport. No need for a heavy lift crane though, a telescopic crane makes more sense to me.

Probably the right idea, but that ship, at 115m length, is much shorter than the roughly 200m ship (as calculated by envy887 in link below, based on scaling comparison to the landing stage) shown in the Blue Origin landing video.

Also, since their ship will be in forward motion during landing, which introduces another variable into the equation and probably increases the error band, I'd expect they'll want plenty of length to allow for that potential error.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=10685.msg1653564#msg1653564

The new variable (landing platform in motion vs. stationary a la SpaceX) would seem to require that either (a) the  ship uses radar to acquire the incoming stage, and has its own onboard software running to calculate the most likely time of intercept (based on running the same guidance algorithm as programmed into the stage) or (b) the stage itself does the intercept time calculation and radios it to the ship, maybe as one element of a telemetry stream.

Since the ship will likely be recording the telemetry stream anyway, I'd guess option (b). Then it's up to the ship to hit the pre-preprogrammed coordinates at the predicted intercept time.
« Last Edit: 06/03/2018 11:14 PM by Kabloona »

Offline Asteroza

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #9 on: 06/06/2018 08:04 AM »
Ulstein also has a X-bow variant called X-stern, so it should make traveling backwards easier too, if that is how they want to work it.

Online Zed_Noir

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #10 on: 06/13/2018 09:29 AM »
....

The new variable (landing platform in motion vs. stationary a la SpaceX) would seem to require that either (a) the  ship uses radar to acquire the incoming stage, and has its own onboard software running to calculate the most likely time of intercept (based on running the same guidance algorithm as programmed into the stage) or (b) the stage itself does the intercept time calculation and radios it to the ship, maybe as one element of a telemetry stream.

Since the ship will likely be recording the telemetry stream anyway, I'd guess option (b). Then it's up to the ship to hit the pre-preprogrammed coordinates at the predicted intercept time.

option (c) A smaller support ship will track the landing platform ship and the incoming stage on 2 separate radars plus the fire-control tracking hardware to command the returning stage and the landing platform ship.

They will always need a support ship to move the landing platform ship's crew to before the landing attempt.

Offline Kabloona

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #11 on: 06/13/2018 04:54 PM »
There's no point in trying to uplink commands to the stage while it's trying to land, because the target coordinates can be pre-preprogrammed and hit quite precisely, as SpaceX has already shown.

Plus, trying to uplink commands to the stage adds another level of complication and possible failure mode. If the uplink fails, the stage splashes.

Landing ship already "knows" where in 2-D space the stage will intersect with the ship's deck altitude, because it's pre-programmed into the stage. The only variable is time, ie when that happens, which can be determined by radar, or the stage itself predicting its own landing time and broadcasting it within the telemetry stream.

Then the entire problem is reduced to steering the landing ship through the center of the pre-programmed landing coordinates at the calculated T-0.
« Last Edit: 06/13/2018 08:38 PM by Kabloona »

Offline AncientU

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #12 on: 06/13/2018 09:57 PM »
I think this is backwards... the stage has all the sped and thus maneuverability, and the ship is essentially stationary.  Instead of having a fixed point in the ocean that the stage is targeting, it should target a moving point in the ocean... a very, very slow (few m/s) moving point relative to the stage's velocity (hundreds of m/s at terminal velocity).

If the booster flight is ten minutes, the ship will only travel about 2km as the booster travels to space and then 1,000km down range.  At launch, the ship's coordinates and inertial velocity could be uploaded to the booster for targeting; the ship only then needs to maintain course and speed for ten minutes.  (Traveling into the wind would be the most stable for the landing platform.)  This would also cover launch delays, local wind conditions at the landing site, and other unforeseen situations such as the ship being a few km too far away from datum at launch. 

Think of the aircraft carrier... it has a general rendezvous point and time; it maintains a steady speed into the wind -- and the aircraft maneuver to it.  The aircraft aren't given a point and time where they are to land and the carrier drives under them...

Note that some variety of terminal guidance/communications would alleviate most of the unknowns here.
« Last Edit: 06/13/2018 10:07 PM by AncientU »
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