Black Cab: A British Nanosat Launcher


Published on

"Black Cab": Concept for a winged reusable nanosat launch vehicle by Rick Newlands.

Published in: Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Black Cab: A British Nanosat Launcher

  1. 1. <ul><li>Rick the Rocketeer </li></ul>Preliminary thoughts on a UK nanosat launcher
  2. 2. Benefits of air-launch <ul><li>Launch occurs above Troposphere (above the weather). </li></ul><ul><li>Height increase: less propellant required to reach orbit. </li></ul><ul><li>Air thinner at altitude: less back-pressure on the rocket nozzle improves thrust. </li></ul><ul><li>Launchsite infrastructure no longer required. </li></ul><ul><li>Can launch out at sea (lowest population density). </li></ul><ul><li>Launch point can be easily moved so that there is no maritime traffic at launch point or first stage impact point. </li></ul><ul><li>Wide choice of launch locations, can vary for launching into different orbits. </li></ul><ul><li>No acoustic damage to launcher from pad reflection of noise </li></ul><ul><li>More abort options. </li></ul>
  3. 3. White Knight 2: a gift from the Lift gods
  4. 4. White Knight 2: Lift <ul><li>Excess lift capacity (around 17 tonnes) can carry a heavier launch vehicle with ease, which allows use of lower mass ratios per stage, which allows: </li></ul><ul><li>Lower energy propellants (Lox not required). </li></ul><ul><li>Conservative construction: improves reliability. </li></ul><ul><li>Simple gas pressurisation of propellants rather than pumps. </li></ul><ul><li>Spare mass available for systems to recover and reuse 1 st stage. </li></ul>
  5. 5. White Knight 2: drag <ul><li>Launch above 50,000 feet allows: </li></ul><ul><li>Lower drag loss, allows much fatter fuselage (White Knight 2 can handle a fuselage up to 2.3 metres in dia). </li></ul><ul><li>Fatter fuselage allows more efficient tankage (more spherical), reduces mass. </li></ul><ul><li>Fatter fuselage allows use of lower density propellants (nitrous, ethane, propane, peroxide). </li></ul><ul><li>Unlike all other air-launch schemes, White Knight 2 places no volumetric constraints on the launcher. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Candidate propulsion, 1 st stage: <ul><li>Moderate to high chamber pressure required. </li></ul><ul><li>Safety requirement: close proximity to a manned aircraft on the ground and during climb to 50,000 feet. </li></ul><ul><li>Use British experience with nitrous. </li></ul><ul><li>White Knight 2 already has nitrous conditioning hardware for Spaceship 2 (engine hot air bleed for warming the nitrous tanks). </li></ul><ul><li>Large multiport nitrous hybrid. </li></ul><ul><li>Alternatively, nitrous-ethane self-pressurising biprop (similar to very reliable XCOR ‘teacart’ engine). </li></ul>
  7. 7. Candidate propulsion, 2nd stage: <ul><li>Can use low chamber pressure (space engine). </li></ul><ul><li>Restart capability required for orbital insertion. </li></ul><ul><li>No volume restrictions on tankage. </li></ul><ul><li>Biprop preferable for Isp and thrust-vectoring. </li></ul><ul><li>British experience with both nitrous and peroxide. </li></ul><ul><li>Nitrous-propane, gas-pressurised peroxide-propane, gas-pressurised peroxide-gas pressurised kero. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Candidate propulsion, 3rd stage <ul><li>Same as 2 nd stage. </li></ul><ul><li>Or, use a solid. </li></ul><ul><li>Solid is simpler, but less accurate orbital insertion unless the previous stage does the ‘pointing’ and delta V tweaks, as the Black Arrow 2 nd stage did. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Current thinking: <ul><li>There are two distinct schools of thought in the community for launching from an aircraft: </li></ul><ul><li>1: airdrop: drop conventional rocket from underneath or out the back of an aircraft. </li></ul><ul><li>2: winged: drop or tow a rocket with wings. </li></ul>
  10. 10. 1: Airdrop method <ul><li>Example of one of several air-launch methods currently being investigated. </li></ul><ul><li>Uses parachute to retard the rocket’s back-flip (retards pitch rate). </li></ul><ul><li>Rocket then fires from the vertical position as required. </li></ul><ul><li>Lightweight and simple solution. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. ‘Quickreach’: 40,000 kg launch mass for 450 kg into LEO. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Airdrop method continued <ul><li>Peak thrust vector control angles reduced compared to horizontal release (pegasus). </li></ul><ul><li>Peak dynamic pressures (max Q) reduced. </li></ul><ul><li>No longitudinal bending loads on airframe. </li></ul><ul><li>No possibility of carrier aircraft being struck by launch vehicle or its debris, because vehicle passes well behind the aircraft upon ascent. </li></ul><ul><li>Low tech solution. </li></ul><ul><li>Proposed by Tspace (carried under the aircraft) and Airlaunch LLC (rolled out of the rear aircraft door). </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>3 stages, all solids. </li></ul><ul><li>Dropped from horizontal at 39,000 ft and Mach 0.82 </li></ul><ul><li>23,130 kg at launch for 227 kg into 400 nm sun-synch orbit. </li></ul><ul><li>Ratio of launch mass to payload = 102:1 </li></ul>2: winged, e.g. Pegasus
  13. 13. Pegasus continued <ul><li>Dropped at high airspeed (Mach 0.82, 240 Kts IAS) due to small wing area. </li></ul><ul><li>High airspeed and lowish altitude (39,000 ft) gives high max Q (max equivalent airspeed). </li></ul><ul><li>High-speed pullup eats a lot of sky: noticable delta V loss. </li></ul><ul><li>Pullup is gee-limited to around 2.5 gee. </li></ul><ul><li>1 st stage steered by 3 movable fins only. Upper stages use thrust vectoring nozzles. </li></ul><ul><li>High acceleration on 1 st stage (approx 9 gee at burnout) keeps equivalent airspeed high enough for fins-only steering before staging. </li></ul><ul><li>1 st stage has good inert mass fraction despite wings, stiff fuselage to resist transverse lift load, and fin actuators: a good composites achievement but proves it’s do-able. </li></ul>
  14. 14. CNES/ONERA Dedalus <ul><li>European rip-off of Pegasus (CNES). </li></ul><ul><li>3 stages, all solids. </li></ul><ul><li>Like Pegasus, the upper stages hang off the nose, therefore the first stage ends up very tail-heavy upon stage separation: makes 1 st stage aerodynamically unstable, so can’t glide-recover 1 st stage. </li></ul><ul><li>Upper stages aren’t recovered either. </li></ul><ul><li>Dropped at 16 Km (53,000 ft), Mach 0.7, horizontally. </li></ul><ul><li>15,000 kg at launch for 150 kg to Sun-synch orbit. </li></ul><ul><li>Ratio of launch mass to payload = 100:1 </li></ul>
  15. 15. CNES Telemaque <ul><li>3 stages: 2 nd and 3 rd stage within cargo bay of 1 st stage. </li></ul><ul><li>Cargo bay located at vehicle C.G. to minimise C.G. shift when upper stages separate. </li></ul><ul><li>1 st stage glide-recovered and reused. </li></ul><ul><li>Just over 30,000 kg at launch, for 250 kg into sun-synch orbit. </li></ul><ul><li>Ratio of launch mass to payload = just over 120:1 </li></ul><ul><li>To get decent first stage delta V (3 km/sec) need very light structure (low inert mass fraction). Need to work hard to achieve this with wings and stiff fuselage. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Recover 1 st stage? Sim results: <ul><li>Want around 3 km/sec delta V from 1 st stage. </li></ul><ul><li>Gives burnout Mach of around 10 ( if high gee ascent). </li></ul><ul><li>1 st stage apogee around 540 Km. </li></ul><ul><li>Re-entry starts at Mach 11 at 70 Km up. </li></ul><ul><li>Main deceleration occurs around Mach 6 at 40 Km up. </li></ul><ul><li>Moderate aero heating: need thermal protection (high temperature resins/carbon-carbon). </li></ul><ul><li>Need ballute (balloon ‘chute) or wings. </li></ul><ul><li>SpaceX intends recovering Falcon 1 1 st stage (not winged) from a higher delta V. Not sure how. </li></ul><ul><li>Similarly, Kistler aerospace proposed recovering both stages of KS1 (not winged). </li></ul>
  17. 17. Recover 1 st stage by parachute ? <ul><li>Supersonic large diameter ballute as first stage of recovery (tested by NASA up to Mach 10). Stainless steel inflatable cloth bag coated in viton rubber. </li></ul><ul><li>Somewhat conversely, the bigger the ballute, the lower the gees and the heating. (numerous sim results). </li></ul><ul><li>Then main chute (gliding chute?). </li></ul><ul><li>Splash down in sea, just offshore if using gliding chute. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Recover 1 st stage by wings ? <ul><li>Need moderately low wing-loading (= all-up mass divided by wing area) to limit re-entry gees during pull-up to near-horizontal glide. </li></ul><ul><li>Re-entry heating increases with square root of wing-loading. </li></ul><ul><li>Lower wing-loading reduces landing airspeed. </li></ul><ul><li>So need biggish wings. </li></ul><ul><li>Big wings gives drag and mass hit during ascent. </li></ul><ul><li>But launch from white knight 2 needs bigger wings anyway as white knight 2 max airspeed is lower than the pegasus launch aircraft. </li></ul><ul><li>Remotely piloted: land on land or sea? </li></ul><ul><li>If land on land need simple sprung undercarriage (mass penalty). </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Pimp Spaceship 2! </li></ul><ul><li>SS2 currently gives a delta V of around 1.4 Km/sec. </li></ul><ul><li>If this could be raised above 2 Km/sec then SS2 would be useful as a recoverable 1 st stage. </li></ul><ul><li>SS2 already in development: flight testing in progress, moulds available. </li></ul><ul><li>Remove crew, turn into an R.P.V. </li></ul><ul><li>Remove cabin, replace with mid-fuselage cargo bay for upper stages. </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce structural safety margins slightly to save mass (no longer crewed). </li></ul><ul><li>Add extra nitrous tank in nose. </li></ul><ul><li>Re-engine with larger hybrid. </li></ul><ul><li>Improve thermal protection. </li></ul>Just a wild thought:
  20. 20. Or:‘Black cab’ <ul><li>Combination of selected bits of Pegasus, Telemaque, Spaceship 2, Blue steel missile, and Skylon. </li></ul><ul><li>Potential problem of shock-shock interaction if trying to use SS2’s elevons: they might melt off at higher Mach Numbers. </li></ul><ul><li>Also, SS2 folds up the rear part of its wings to move the wing centre of lift forward at high angles of attack for trimming: this reduces the effective wing area, but we need all the wing area we can get. </li></ul><ul><li>Use canard instead, which translates fore and aft to take the trim over large angle of attack range. </li></ul><ul><li>Wing anhedral (negative dihedral) to increase re-entry supersonic lift to reduce gees and heating. </li></ul><ul><li>Re-enter at angle of attack for max lift (around 60 degrees). </li></ul><ul><li>Needs CFD (Cranfield?) for aerodynamic tweaking. </li></ul><ul><li>2 nd and 3 rd stages carried in payload bay at vehicle C.G. </li></ul>
  21. 21. ‘Black cab’ preliminary sketch
  22. 22. Black cab launch
  23. 23. Re-entry
  24. 24. British expertise <ul><li>Qinetiq and British Aerospace too big: would cost too much. </li></ul><ul><li>Cranfield Aerospace (docked onto Cranfield Uni, won the X43 contract). </li></ul><ul><li>Cranfield and Bristol Unis (Aerodynamics). </li></ul><ul><li>Marshalls Aerospace (Pegasus launch aircraft). </li></ul><ul><li>Formula One teams (composites). </li></ul><ul><li>Irvin Parachutes (UK). </li></ul><ul><li>Various UK rocket engineers. </li></ul><ul><li>Notable UK simulation engineers. </li></ul><ul><li>Airborne Engineering (engine test-stand, power systems and avionics) </li></ul><ul><li>Surrey Satellites. </li></ul>