Author Topic: ISRO's VTVL Test: ADMIRE  (Read 2167 times)

Offline sanman

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ISRO's VTVL Test: ADMIRE
« on: 12/27/2018 06:34 am »
ISRO plans to carry out a test of VTVL (Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing) technology

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/isro-focuses-on-vertical-landing-capability/articleshow/67262964.cms



Quote
AHMEDABAD: India is aspiring to move a notch up in the reusable launch system development programme with rockets that will have Vertical take-off and Vertical Landing (VTVL) capabilities. Now on Isro’s priority list are launch vehicles that will have similar capabilities like the one developed by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Grasshopper rockets.

Distinguished Isro professor and founding director of Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) Dr B N Suresh gave a peek into the ADMIRE test vehicle, that will have supersonic retro propulsion, special retractable landing legs which will in fact act as steerable grid fins, to guide the rocket back to its launch pad. The launch vehicle emulates technology that is embedded in US-based SpaceX’s Grasshopper and Falcon 9 rockets. Suresh explained how the new ADMIRE test vehicle will demonstrate Isro’s VTVL and recovery of launch vehicle capabilities and is carefully timed. The rocket will be guided by integrated navigation system that will have a laser altimeter and a NavIC receiver.

“A test and landing site is being developed by Isro for this purpose,” Suresh revealed at the three-day anniversary general meeting of Indian National Science Academy at its first symposium at Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) on Wednesday.



Gee, I wonder who it is that they seem to ADMIRE so much?   ;)
But as per the article, the answer should be obvious - since after all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
« Last Edit: 12/28/2018 11:04 pm by sanman »

Offline A.K.

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Re: ISRO's VTVL Test: ADMIRE
« Reply #1 on: 12/27/2018 08:05 am »
Suppose ISRO's able to operationalize HTHL and VTVL bases reusable launchers, would expendable systems like SSLV or ULV series would be needed then??
« Last Edit: 12/27/2018 08:06 am by A.K. »

Offline sanman

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Re: ISRO's VTVL Test: ADMIRE
« Reply #2 on: 12/27/2018 08:53 am »
Suppose ISRO's able to operationalize HTHL and VTVL bases reusable launchers, would expendable systems like SSLV or ULV series would be needed then??

My assumption is that this is just a test program, like RLV-TD, or ATV. Whereas those latter 2 are meant for VTHL winged reusable development (TSTO), this ADMIRE program seems meant to explore technologies required for the alternative VTVL path (similar to ESA's Callisto). No idea whether it would lead to an an actual VTVL alternative. But I remember Dr Sivan previously saying in an interview that they've discussed the idea of a clustered configuration that could land in the A&N islands to the east. No idea if something like that could actually develop, as it would be a major change in existing roadmaps.

SSLV was a recent development, pushed through due to the rapidly emerging smallsat launch market. ULV concept has been around longer, but is farther up the roadmap. ADMIRE sounds like it's only a testbed program, and I'd wonder if a small VTVL could really have enough payload mass fraction to be anything more than just a suborbital testbed (although there was a recent article in Space Review which felt otherwise.)

Also, I'd like to know whether ADMIRE is even an acronym, or just a project codename (in which case, what's it being capitalized for?)
« Last Edit: 12/27/2018 09:32 am by sanman »

Offline sanman

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Re: ISRO's VTVL Test: ADMIRE
« Reply #3 on: 12/28/2018 04:46 am »
I was trying to figure out the acronym. How about:

Autonomous Descent MultI-flight Reusability Experiment

Otherwise, I can't come up with a useful word that starts with "I"


Offline worldtimedate

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Re: ISRO's VTVL Test: ADMIRE
« Reply #4 on: 12/28/2018 05:31 am »
I was trying to figure out the acronym. How about:

Autonomous Descent MultI-flight Reusability Experiment

Otherwise, I can't come up with a useful word that starts with "I"

You seem to have hit the nail on the head. It is a good acronym. By the way do you have any idea when the test will take place ? ISRO has to expedite its RLV-TD experiment before developing the actual version of RLV. Otherwise, other foreign space agencies will topple ISRO.

Offline tappa

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Re: ISRO's VTVL Test: ADMIRE
« Reply #5 on: 12/28/2018 10:28 am »
Happy to see this effort. 

IMHO I think the time has come for India to increase its space budgets to let ISRO try multiple big ideas simultaneously (e.g. Human Spaceflight, VTVL, Mars / Moon / Venus missions etc). As I think this is critical to both expand the technology base as well as act as a multiplier to economic & technological growth of the country.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: ISRO's VTVL Test: ADMIRE
« Reply #6 on: 12/28/2018 12:54 pm »
I was trying to figure out the acronym. How about:

Autonomous Descent MultI-flight Reusability Experiment

Otherwise, I can't come up with a useful word that starts with "I"

You seem to have hit the nail on the head. It is a good acronym. By the way do you have any idea when the test will take place ? ISRO has to expedite its RLV-TD experiment before developing the actual version of RLV. Otherwise, other foreign space agencies will topple ISRO.
There is no urgency, most ISRO launches are carrying government payloads, they aren't going to switch to lower cost offshore RLVs. While it might cost more for domestic LV all that money stays in local economy, with lot of it ending up back in government coffers via tax.

I don't see it being VTHL vs VTVL but a case for both methods depending on velocity and size of stage being recovered.
Eg VTHL for US and VTVL for boosters.



Offline sanman

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Re: ISRO's VTVL Test: ADMIRE
« Reply #7 on: 12/28/2018 10:50 pm »
I was trying to figure out the acronym. How about:

Autonomous Descent MultI-flight Reusability Experiment

Otherwise, I can't come up with a useful word that starts with "I"

You seem to have hit the nail on the head. It is a good acronym. By the way do you have any idea when the test will take place ? ISRO has to expedite its RLV-TD experiment before developing the actual version of RLV. Otherwise, other foreign space agencies will topple ISRO.


Let's refine it a bit - how about:

Autonomous Descent MultI-flight Retropropulsion Experiment



After all, even RLV-TD was autonomous and meant to test reusability. The key distinguishing feature of VTVL is the retropropulsion. (Also, "Multi-flight" and "Reusability" are a bit redundant.  :P )

Retropropulsion seems to be a key technology to demonstrate here, in addition to controls & guidance. The article specifically mentions "supersonic retropropulsion", which to me implies a series of flights that reach higher and higher regimes, like Grasshopper and New Shepard did. I wonder how many flights that could involve - and where will they take place?
No idea when all this could happen, though - let's all try to ask around.

Also, what kind of engine will be used? It will have to be restartable. Will it be a simple hypergolic? Maybe the basic diagram at the top isn't anything to reliably go by, but it seems to show 1:1 tankage.

Another one that jumped out at me was "special retractable landing legs which will in fact act as steerable grid fins" - legs as gridfins - what does that mean?
The grid-fins seen on F9R or on ISRO's Crew Abort system look quite thick and sturdy, which might help them in doing double duty as legs to support the weight of the vehicle. But can grid-fins really be situated at the bottom of a vehicle, where legs should normally be?
Don't grid-fins have to be positioned near the Center-of-Pressure or behind it?
« Last Edit: 12/29/2018 05:27 am by sanman »

Offline sanjaykumar

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Re: ISRO's VTVL Test: ADMIRE
« Reply #8 on: 12/29/2018 02:28 pm »


@11:00 Somanath talks about ISRO learning from ELons success and ISRO working on Recovery of Rockets for reusability other than winged flights.

Offline sanman

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Re: ISRO's VTVL Test: ADMIRE
« Reply #9 on: 12/30/2018 06:57 am »
I don't see it being VTHL vs VTVL but a case for both methods depending on velocity and size of stage being recovered.
Eg VTHL for US and VTVL for boosters.

We've all seen this pic for India's TSTO, which has been on the roadmap for some time:



So the upper stage on that TSTO was still supposed to do a vertical retropropulsive landing. Could ADMIRE be a natural milestone in the development of that upper stage?
Could the end result then still be what's been on the roadmap for some time now? (ie. TSTO with winged flyback booster and VTVL upper stage)
[EDIT: diagram shows upper stage using parachute, and thus supersonic retropropulsion would be an improvement over that]

ULV was supposed to allow a mix-n-match from a limited set of common pieces. Would that approach be feasible/useful for an RLV? (ie. sometimes using a winged flyback lower stage, sometimes using a VTVL lower stage, sometimes using a winged upper stage, sometimes using a VTVL upper stage - all depending on what your mission requirements were)
« Last Edit: 12/31/2018 07:22 am by sanman »

Offline worldtimedate

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Re: ISRO's VTVL Test: ADMIRE
« Reply #10 on: 01/12/2019 06:26 am »
ISRO Is Working on Two Competing Reusable Launcher Designs

Quote
A member of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has confirmed it has made progress on its plan to test a new class of reusable rockets. B.N. Suresh, an honorary distinguished professor at ISRO, discussed some details of the ADMIRE project at a meeting of the Indian National Science Academy on December 26. And in doing so, he continues a vaunted tradition of announcing mission updates sans any advertisement and in seemingly random speeches made around the country.

The test-rocket, called ADMIRE - it's not clear what the acronym stands for - is distinct from the Reusable Launch Vehicle programme also in development. According to Times of India, Suresh told an audience of scientists that ISRO has plans for a test site and a test as well. These are expected to be off of its usual launchpad in Sriharikota, although the dates are unknown.

Offline sanman

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Re: ISRO's VTVL Test: ADMIRE
« Reply #11 on: 01/12/2019 09:36 am »
ISRO Is Working on Two Competing Reusable Launcher Designs

I skipped on posting that article, because they're quoting us in this thread on NSF. So if we cite them citing us, then it becomes kind of circular.

Offline Lars-J

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Re: ISRO's VTVL Test: ADMIRE
« Reply #12 on: 01/16/2019 03:58 am »
I don't see it being VTHL vs VTVL but a case for both methods depending on velocity and size of stage being recovered.
Eg VTHL for US and VTVL for boosters.

We've all seen this pic for India's TSTO, which has been on the roadmap for some time:



So the upper stage on that TSTO was still supposed to do a vertical retropropulsive landing. Could ADMIRE be a natural milestone in the development of that upper stage?
Could the end result then still be what's been on the roadmap for some time now? (ie. TSTO with winged flyback booster and VTVL upper stage)

I think they are just being smart by observing what has worked for others. SpaceX has had success with landing first stages vertically. And several orbital vehicles have made winged re-entries. (Shuttle, Burtan, X-38) So perhaps it makes more sense to do that instead. Or they are just doing tech demonstrators to learn both technologies.

But vertical landing technology will be an essential component of any future road map. Either for first stages, upper stages, or lunar/mars landers. So it is smart to get the effort started.

Offline Comga

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Re: ISRO's VTVL Test: ADMIRE
« Reply #13 on: 01/16/2019 04:11 am »
Wait


Quote
AHMEDABAD: India is aspiring to move a notch up in the reusable launch system development programme with rockets that will have Vertical take-off and Vertical Landing (VTVL) capabilities. Now on Isro’s priority list are launch vehicles that will have similar capabilities like the one developed by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Grasshopper rockets.

Distinguished Isro professor and founding director of Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) Dr B N Suresh gave a peek into the ADMIRE test vehicle, that will have supersonic retro propulsion, special retractable landing legs which will in fact act as steerable grid fins, to guide the rocket back to its launch pad. The launch vehicle emulates technology that is embedded in US-based SpaceX’s Grasshopper and Falcon 9 rockets. Suresh explained how the new ADMIRE test vehicle will demonstrate Isro’s VTVL and recovery of launch vehicle capabilities and is carefully timed. The rocket will be guided by integrated navigation system that will have a laser altimeter and a NavIC receiver.
(snip).

My emphasis
How can "landing legs ... act as steerable grid fins"?
They go on opposite ends of a Falcon 9 style rocket.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Lars-J

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Re: ISRO's VTVL Test: ADMIRE
« Reply #14 on: 01/16/2019 04:14 pm »
Wait


Quote
AHMEDABAD: India is aspiring to move a notch up in the reusable launch system development programme with rockets that will have Vertical take-off and Vertical Landing (VTVL) capabilities. Now on Isro’s priority list are launch vehicles that will have similar capabilities like the one developed by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Grasshopper rockets.

Distinguished Isro professor and founding director of Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) Dr B N Suresh gave a peek into the ADMIRE test vehicle, that will have supersonic retro propulsion, special retractable landing legs which will in fact act as steerable grid fins, to guide the rocket back to its launch pad. The launch vehicle emulates technology that is embedded in US-based SpaceX’s Grasshopper and Falcon 9 rockets. Suresh explained how the new ADMIRE test vehicle will demonstrate Isro’s VTVL and recovery of launch vehicle capabilities and is carefully timed. The rocket will be guided by integrated navigation system that will have a laser altimeter and a NavIC receiver.
(snip).

My emphasis
How can "landing legs ... act as steerable grid fins"?
They go on opposite ends of a Falcon 9 style rocket.

Just like a horizontal stabilizer can be placed at the tail or the front (as a canard). Both are possible, although it may require more active steering. Besides, many have for ages suggested that SpaceX should use the legs as active air brakes. Maybe they are giving it a shot?

More approaches to a similar problem is not a bad thing.

Offline sanman

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Re: ISRO's VTVL Test: ADMIRE
« Reply #15 on: 01/17/2019 06:25 pm »
From the French: Le'ggridfin

All the latest rage in India.

Or the Leggo-my-Eggo waffle iron catalogue.  ;)



Wait

My emphasis
How can "landing legs ... act as steerable grid fins"?
They go on opposite ends of a Falcon 9 style rocket.

Just like a horizontal stabilizer can be placed at the tail or the front (as a canard). Both are possible, although it may require more active steering. Besides, many have for ages suggested that SpaceX should use the legs as active air brakes. Maybe they are giving it a shot?

More approaches to a similar problem is not a bad thing.


What are the pro's and cons of this?

If such a tail-canard-gridfin concept actually worked, then could it potentially provide a mass savings as compared to having legs and gridfins being totally separate from each other, like with F9R?

If an ASDS-style landing deck is already a waffle iron (like a shipboard helipad), then can you set a waffle iron down on a waffle iron in the same way? Or would there be traction issues?

Furthermore, given that gridfins have to be precisely actuatable for steering purposes (as opposed to legs which just have to flip between up & down positions) then how will this be impacted by bearing the static load of the stage, as well as the dynamic load/shock of touchdown? What will the cyclical effects be, and how would they affect cycle life as well as any refurbishment requirements between flights?
« Last Edit: 01/17/2019 06:54 pm by sanman »

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