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Technologies for Low Cost Reusable Launch Vehicles Eric Besnard, Professor California State University, Long Beach (562) 985-5442

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Presentation on theme: "Technologies for Low Cost Reusable Launch Vehicles Eric Besnard, Professor California State University, Long Beach (562) 985-5442"— Presentation transcript:

1 Technologies for Low Cost Reusable Launch Vehicles Eric Besnard, Professor California State University, Long Beach (562)

2 Technologies for Low Cost RLVs CSU, Long Beach Background California Launch Vehicle Education Initiative – CALVEIN – Partnership between California State University, Long Beach and Garvey Spacecraft Corporation started in 2001 – Participants include educational institutions & industry Objectives – Education: Provide CSULB undergraduate students with hands-on system development experience: from requirements definition to hardware dev. and flight testing Provide CSULB graduate students with opportunities for applied R&D – Technology development: Primarily small launch vehicle/booster related Small scale makes technology compatible with small spacecraft buses: propulsion, TT&C, GN&C, etc. – Launch Provide students from other institutions (USC, Montana State, Stanford, Cal Poly SLO, etc.) with payload integration and flight experience Working toward capability for cost-effective delivery of small spacecraft to Low Earth Orbit: NLV (Nanosat Launch Vehicle), 10 kg to LEO

3 Technologies for Low Cost RLVs CSU, Long Beach Accomplishments 13 liquid-propelled LOX/hydrocarbon (ethanol, methane & propylene) prototype launch vehicles; Many rocket engines: 130 to 4,500 lbf thrust Aerospike engines – First ever flight test of liquid-propellant aerospike rocket engine in 2003 (AvWeek, Sept. 2003) – Currently developing advanced multi-chamber aerospike engine (MDA) Alternative hydrocarbon fuels – 500 lbf thrust LOX/propylene – First ever flight test of LOX/methane rocket engine (AvWeek, May 5, 2008) Composite tanks: use of linerless composite tanks for both propellants, including cryogenic conditions (Prospector-9)  Experience in developing end-to-end liquid propulsion systems, including cryo-cryo (LOX/methane) First ever LOX/methane flight test with 1,000 lbf thrust engine, 2008 Aerospike engine which led to first ever flight test, 2003

4 Low cost, reliable, non-toxic RCS CSU, Long Beach Motivation Tomorrow’s RLVs, particularly human-rated, require reliable, low cost RCS Objective of Research Develop low cost Reaction Control Systems (RCS): – improved performance when compared with cold gas systems – no operational constraints like that associated with hydrazine thrusters – Examples include use of nitrous oxide as monopropellant Technical Approach & Results Review options available and conduct trade studies Perform preliminary design of selected system Define development and qualification plan

5 Health management of composite propellant tanks for cryogenic propellants CSU, Long Beach Motivation Composite materials offer the promise of reduced mass for propellant tanks Little operational experience exists beyond DC-XA Recent developments: linerless tanks Need for monitoring tanks during life cycle Objectives of Research Define qualification criteria (proofing, cycles, etc.) Define health monitoring approaches during ops. Technical Approach & Results Define qualification and operational requirements (burst pressures, defect sizes, location, cycles, porosity, etc.) Assess monitoring options available Develop preliminary qualification plan & monitoring approaches

6 Aerospike engine performance analysis CSU, Long Beach Motivation Aerospike engines offer the promise of altitude compensation capability No flight data exists for transonic, over- expanded conditions Ready to flight-test CSULB-developed 1,300 lbf engine Objectives of Research Establish correlation between CFD & flight data Validate aerospike engine concept Technical Approach & Results Perform CFD analyses of vehicle/engine interactions Compare CFD models with flight data Advanced 10-C/SiC thruster 1,300 lbf aerospike engine, 2008


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