Автор Salo, 07.02.2012 16:10:23
0 Пользователей и 2 гостей просматривают эту тему.
ЦитатаBall, Aerojet Rocketdyne Ground-Test Green ThrustersBy Frank Morring, Jr.Source: Aerospace Daily & Defense ReportJuly 12, 2013Another non-toxic replacement for hydrazine monopropellant has passed ground testing, paving the way for a satellite flight test as early as 2015.Ball Aerospace and Aerospace Rocketdyne say their system, which uses a hydroxyl ammonium nitrate (HAN) mixture designated AF-M315E, with a special catalyst, has greater density than hydrazine for better storage efficiency, and produces better performance."When we look at this compared to a hydrazine monopropellant type of system, where we have a single fluid driving the system on the spacecraft, we have a 50% increase in performance over the standard hydrazine," says Christopher McLean, principal investigator on NASA's upcoming Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM).GPIM is scheduled to fly as a secondary payload on a SpaceX Falcon 9 Heavy, using a Ball Configurable Platform (BCP) 100 spacecraft bus and an Aerojet Rocketdyne thruster system that combines a 22N (5-lb.-thrust) thruster with four 1N units, all burning the "green" fuel to put the satellite testbed through the maneuvers an operational small satellite would see."These were selected because they have the largest market share, [so] we are developing the technologies that really meet the needs of the marketplace for this type of attitude control on a spacecraft," McLean says.Ecological Advanced Propulsion Systems (Ecaps), a unit of the Swedish Space Corporation, has tested a different green propellant -- based on ammonium dinitramide -- in space. The fuel was used in tandem with a hydrazine system on the Prisma mission's Mango satellite to maneuver in formation with a smaller spacecraft.Despite the completion of space qualification, sales of the Ecaps system have been slow to take off. Roger Myers of Aerojet Rocketdyne's Redmond, Wash., facility said the performance of the U.S. system in the ground test is better than the Swedish approach, and suggested there may be safety issues with the by-products of its evaporation.Ultimately Aerojet Rocketdyne hopes to "infuse" its new green technology into applications other than small satellites, including tactical missiles and large geostationary satellites, Myers said. The advantages of green propulsion over hydrazine, which requires special handling and equipment, should make it attractive wherever the toxic fuel is used."We can move, we think, to a shirtsleeve environment with this new fuel," says Michael Gazarik, associate administrator for NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is funding the GPIM mission. "That means less ground-processing time [and] less ground-processing cost in order to load the spacecraft with the fuel."
ЦитатаВ НАСА распечатали компонент ракеты-носителя на 3D принтере 22 Июля - 11:10 Испытания системы впрыска топлива для ракетного двигателя, полученной на 3D принтере, прошли успешно. Напечатанный инжектор показал высокие рабочие характеристики и в будущем его собираются производить именно таким образом. Технологии трехмерной печати открывают невиданные ранее возможности во многих сферах человеческой деятельности Технологии трехмерной печати открывают невиданные ранее возможности во многих сферах человеческой деятельности. В будущем на 3D принтерах будут печатать не только разнообразные детали, но даже еду и человеческие органы. Правда, до этого светлого времени еще далеко, но и сейчас подобные технологии могут приносить реальную пользу.Традиционно, ракетные инжекторы являются одними из самых дорогих компонентов носителя. Причина состоит в том, что на изготовление этого компонента уходит целый год. Однако трехмерная печать способна сократить этот срок до нескольких месяцев, что на 70 процентов удешевляет стоимость производства.Инжекторы отвечают за поставку топлива в камеру сгорания ракетных двигателей и обязаны выдерживать чудовищные нагрузки в те несколько десятков секунд, пока ракета несется ввысь, набирая первую космическую скорость. Испытания показали, что система впрыска, распечатанная на принтере компанией Aerojet Rocketdyne, полностью соответствует всем необходимым стандартам и может применяться в конструировании ракет. Конструкторы инжектора воодушевлены данным успехом и обещают в будущем научиться создавать посредствам трехмерной печати целые узлы ракет-носителей.
Цитатаhttp://sdnnet.ru/n/8843/ пишет:Испытания системы впрыска топлива для ракетного двигателя, полученной на 3D принтере, прошли успешно. Напечатанный инжектор показал высокие рабочие характеристики и в будущем его собираются производить именно таким образом.
ЦитатаАлександр Пономаренко пишет:Цитатаhttp://sdnnet.ru/n/8843/ пишет:Испытания системы впрыска топлива для ракетного двигателя, полученной на 3D принтере, прошли успешно. Напечатанный инжектор показал высокие рабочие характеристики и в будущем его собираются производить именно таким образом.http://www.nasa.gov/press/2013/july/nasa-industry-test-additively-manufactured-rocket-engine-injector-0/
ЦитатаAerojet Withholds Rocketdyne Payment Pending Russian Approval of RD-Amross Transfer By Peter B. de Selding | Jul. 24, 2013 Aerojet Chief Executive William M. Boley Jr. said following the mid-June purchase of Rocketdyne that it could take several months for the Russian government, whose state-owned Energomash builds the RD-180 engine (shown above), to approve the transfer to the new Aerojet Rocketdyne of the RD-Amross stake. PARIS -- Rocket-motor maker Gencorp Aerojet has withheld 25 percent of its payment to United Technologies Corp. (UTC) for the purchase of competitor Rocketdyne pending Russian government approval of the transfer to Aerojet of UTC/Rocketdyne's 50 percent stake in the company that provides the first-stage engine for the U.S. Atlas 5 rocket, Aerojet said.In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Aerojet left open the possibility that its purchase of UTC/Rocketdyne's 50 percent ownership of Cocoa Beach, Fla.-based RD-Amross, which adapts the Russian RD-180 engine for use on the Atlas 5, might not occur."The acquisition [of the RD-Amross ownership] and UTC's related business is expected to close following receipt of the Russian government regulatory approvals, if at all," Sacramento, Calif.-based Gencorp Aerojet said in the SEC filing, dated July 9.Aerojet Chief Executive Warren M. Boley Jr. said following the purchase of Rocketdyne in mid-June that it could take several months for the Russian government, whose state-owned Energomash builds the RD-180 engine, to approve the transfer to the new Aerojet Rocketdyne of the RD-Amross stake. Khimki-based Energomash owns the other 50 percent of RD-Amross.Boley did not mention any specific change-of-control provisions in the RD-Amross shareholders' agreement that would block or complicate a transfer of UTC/Rocketdyne's shares, and he said initial Russian government reaction to the Aerojet purchase of Rocketdyne was favorable. But he said to expect several months before the transfer of the RD-Amross stake would occur.Aerojet's purchase of Rocketdyne was valued at $550 million. In the SEC filing, Aerojet said the value of the RD-Amross ownership was set at $55 million, and that this sum had been subtracted fr om Aerojet's payment to UTC.Also deducted from the original purchase price was the portion of the UTC business that markets and sells the RD-180 engines. Finally, Aerojet said the purchase price had been reduced to account for "changes in customer advances, capital expenditures and other net assets, and is subject to further post-closing adjustments."The net result is that Aerojet has paid UTC $411 million, Aerojet said.Beyond any issues that may concern the Russian government, the purchase of UTC/Rocketdyne's RD-Amross equity places Aerojet, now called Aerojet Rocketdyne, in an unusual position.Aerojet has an established relationship with another Russian company, Kuznetsov Design Bureau/NK Engines, for which it refurbishes long-stored, Kuznetsov-built engines and sells them to Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., as AJ-26 motors powering Orbital's new Antares rocket.With the lim ited number of available AJ-26 engines dwindling - their production line in Russia has long been shut down - Orbital has sought to purchase RD-180 engines to replace the AJ-26.But RD-Amross, citing exclusivity agreements with Atlas rocket operator United Launch Alliance of Denver, has refused to permit Orbital to purchase RD-180s. Orbital has now sued United Launch Alliance in a U.S. District Court in Virginia alleging infringement of U.S. antitrust law.Boley said Aerojet and Kuznetsov have reached an agreement on restarting the engine production line once they have received a contract from Orbital.The purchase of RD-Amross would put Aerojet Rocketdyne on both sides of the issue. RD-Amross presumably sees at least some advantage to maintaining an exclusivity deal with United Launch Alliance that may or may not outweigh the potential to broaden its customer base to Orbital.How the pros and cons weigh for Aerojet Rocketdyne is unclear. The company said in its SEC filing that United Launch Alliance is already a major customer, accounting for 12 percent of Aerojet's business, or about $34 million, for the three months ending May 31, up from less than 10 percent in previous quarters.
ЦитатаU.S. Prepares Flight Test of "Green" Satellite PropulsionBy Frank Morring, Jr.Source: Aviation Week & Space TechnologyJuly 22, 2013 Credit: Aerojet RocketdyneSatellite manufacturers may soon have a second source of green propellant for their spacecraft thrusters, if space testing of a U.S.-developed alternative to highly toxic hydrazine monopropellant goes well. Ball Aerospace and Aerojet Rocketdyne say their system, which uses a hydroxyl ammonium nitrate (HAN) mixture designated AF-M315E, with a special catalyst, has greater density than hydrazine for better storage efficiency, and produces better performance than both hydrazine and a different "green" spacecraft propellant already tested by Sweden. It has passed ground testing, paving the way for a satellite flight test as early as 2015."When we look at this compared to a hydrazine monopropellant type of system, where we have a single fluid driving the system on the spacecraft, we have a 50% increase in performance over the standard hydrazine," says Christopher McLean of Ball, principal investigator on NASA's upcoming Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM).GPIM is designed to fly as a secondary payload on a SpaceX Falcon 9 Heavy, using a Ball Configurable Platform (BCP) 100 spacecraft bus and an Aerojet Rocketdyne thruster system that combines a 22N (5-lb.) thruster with four 1N units, all burning the green fuel to put the satellite testbed through the maneuvers an operational small satellite would see."These were selected because they have the largest market share, [so] we are developing the technologies that really meet the needs of the marketplace for this type of attitude control on a spacecraft," McLean says.Ecological Advanced Propulsion Systems (Ecaps), a unit of the Swedish Space Corp., has tested a different green propellant--based on ammonium dinitramide--in space. The fuel was used in tandem with a hydrazine system on the Prisma mission's Mango satellite to maneuver in formation with a smaller spacecraft.Despite the completion of space qualification, sales of the Ecaps system have been slow to take off. Roger M. Myers of Aerojet Rocketdyne's Redmond, Wash., facility says the performance of the U.S. system in the ground test is better than the Swedish approach, and suggests there may be safety issues with the by-products of its evaporation.Ultimately, Aerojet Rocketdyne hopes to "infuse" its new green technology into applications other than small satellites, including tactical missiles and large geostationary satellites, Myers says. As this photo of an Aerojet Rocketdyne technician with a beaker of AF-M315E shows, the green propellant requires none of the special handling or equipment mandatory for hydrazine."We can move, we think, to a shirtsleeve environment with this new fuel," says Michael Gazarik, associate administrator for NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is funding the GPIM mission. "That means less ground-processing time [and] less ground-processing cost in order to load the spacecraft with the fuel."Swedish space officials say they were able to fuel the green system on Prisma in one day, meeting Russian safety requirements for their launch on a Dnepr-1 rocket without wearing hazmat suits. During the formation-flying operations, the Mango satellite fired thrusters using hydrazine and the LMP-103S green propellant interchangeably (AW&ST Nov. 1, 2010, p. 69).Ball's GPIM spacecraft will use all five Aerojet Rocketdyne thrusters simultaneously to demonstrate attitude control, spacecraft point and hold, orbit lowering and inclination change. It will also characterize the thruster performance in space for future improvements, which could include shipping fueled spacecraft instead of fueling them at the launch site.The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory developed the HAN fuel/oxidizer blend, but it wasn't until Aerojet Rocketdyne worked with AFRL to perfect the catalyst necessary for it to fire that a spacecraft propulsion system became practical."These are high-temperature propellants; they burn at a higher temperature than hydrazine," says Myers. "So the catalyst lifetime is limited by the high-temperature operations, so we developed a new catalyst. That was the key breakthrough, a new catalyst material, a new catalyst processing capability to enable the catalyst to survive long life."For now, hydrazine remains qualified for longer service life than the U.S. green propellant. Myers says the ground test ran the thruster for 11 hr. continuously, which should qualify it for many small NASA, military and commercial missions. Basically, McLean says, the technology was designed for ESPA-class rideshare spacecraft, although it can be scaled to larger spacecraft and other applications."We're looking to demonstrate about 7 kg (15 lb.) of fuel out of the entire propulsion system. That really is just for a very small spacecraft. However, as part of the overall program that we're doing, we're not just testing the engines and the flight engines during the overall qualification program to those levels of fuel. We're actually testing them to 30 kg of throughput, especially on the 22N, so that we will demonstrate its compatibility with longer-life missions."
ЦитатаБольшой пишет:ЦитатаРакетный двигатель НК-33 прошел очередной цикл испытаний Специалисты ОАО «Кузнецов» завершили очередной этап огневых стендовых испытаний ракетного двигателя НК-33. На этот раз изделие проверяли с отдельными элементами нового производства в условиях трехкратного ресурса работы, сообщила пресс-служба предприятия. Основной целью длительных испытаний НК-33 стало подтверждение его качественных характеристик при реализованных технологических решениях по вновь изготовленным узлам камеры сгорания - коллектора и новых резинотехнических деталей агрегатов двигателя.В огневых испытаниях приняли участие руководители и специалисты американской двигателестроительной компании «Аэроджет Рокетдайн». Общая наработка НК-33 по итогам трех стендовых проверок составила 616 секунд. Двигатель отработал успешно, подтвердив все требуемые параметры.ОАО «Кузнецов» - одно из крупнейших предприятий авиационного и космического двигателестроения. Входит в состав Объединенной двигателестроительной корпорации.Подробнее: http://vpk-news.ru/news/17308
ЦитатаРакетный двигатель НК-33 прошел очередной цикл испытаний Специалисты ОАО «Кузнецов» завершили очередной этап огневых стендовых испытаний ракетного двигателя НК-33. На этот раз изделие проверяли с отдельными элементами нового производства в условиях трехкратного ресурса работы, сообщила пресс-служба предприятия. Основной целью длительных испытаний НК-33 стало подтверждение его качественных характеристик при реализованных технологических решениях по вновь изготовленным узлам камеры сгорания - коллектора и новых резинотехнических деталей агрегатов двигателя.В огневых испытаниях приняли участие руководители и специалисты американской двигателестроительной компании «Аэроджет Рокетдайн». Общая наработка НК-33 по итогам трех стендовых проверок составила 616 секунд. Двигатель отработал успешно, подтвердив все требуемые параметры.ОАО «Кузнецов» - одно из крупнейших предприятий авиационного и космического двигателестроения. Входит в состав Объединенной двигателестроительной корпорации.Подробнее: http://vpk-news.ru/news/17308
ЦитатаBoeing and Aerojet Rocketdyne Test CST-100 Thrusters Sept 20, 2013Rebecca Regan and Steven SiceloffJohn F. Kennedy Space CenterA thruster glows red during a hot-fire test at NASA's White Sands Test Facility in Las Cruces, N.M.,for Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft orbital maneuvering and attitude control (OMAC) system. Image Credit: BoeingArtist concept of Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft in orbit. The CST-100 is under development by Boeing in collaboration with NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP).Image Credit: Boeing Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft is one step closer to liftoff after a gauntlet of test firings of its steering jets at White Sands Space Harbor in Las Cruces, N.M. Boeing and Aerojet Rocketdyne recently completed the tests, which simulated the demanding environment of space. The tests assessed how the thrusters -- which fire with 1,500 pounds of force -- will speed up, slow down and move the spacecraft while carrying NASA astronauts in Earth's orbit. Boeing is developing a fully integrated crew transportation system, which includes the CST-100 spacecraft and the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, in partnership with NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP). New commercial spaceflight capabilities being developed by NASA partners through commercial crew initiatives eventually could provide services to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station, launching from American soil. Boeing is working on development milestones that are part of NASA's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative. "Boeing and Aerojet Rocketdyne continue to show a path forward for NASA's low-Earth orbit crew transportation needs by implementing cutting-edge technologies and showcasing decades of human spaceflight experience," said Ed Mango, CCP manager. The CST-100's orbital maneuvering and attitude control (OMAC) system has 24 thrusters, giving it the ability to perform critical maneuvers in space such as those required to refine the CST-100's orbit, as well as the braking maneuver near the end of a mission that slows the spacecraft down before re-entry. The OMAC thrusters will be jettisoned when the service module is released from the capsule just before re-entry. Positioned in four clusters of six on the service module of the spacecraft, the thrusters could steer the spacecraft in case an emergency calls for it to separate from its rocket during launch or ascent. During the tests, the OMAC thrusters were fired in a vacuum chamber that simulated the space-like environment at an altitude of 100,000 feet. These evaluations put the thrusters through the burns and stresses they would encounter during a real flight. Engineers equipped the jets with a host of instruments to measure changes in the smallest components. "The CST-100 OMAC thrusters are an example of leveraging proven flight hardware solutions to ensure mission supportability," said John Mulholland, Boeing vice president and manager for commercial programs. "We are very pleased with the data collected during this second series of tests and with our overall team performance as we continue to progress through CCiCap milestones on time and on budget." Previous tests of the OMAC thrusters verified their durability in extreme heat, evaluated the opening and closing of their valves and confirmed continuous combustion and performance. Designers are using the results of these tests to validate or adjust their complex computer models that predict how a thruster and spacecraft will work during a mission. "The OMAC engines met CCiCap test objectives," said Terry Lorier, Aerojet Rocketdyne's CST-100 Service Module Propulsion Program manager. "Aerojet Rocketdyne and Boeing are both pleased with the results and look forward to continuing our partnership." With the completion of Milestone 9, Boeing is on track to meet all 20 of its CCiCap milestones by summer 2014. All of NASA's industry partners, including Boeing, continue to meet their established milestones in developing commercial crew transportation capabilities. For more information about NASA's Commercial Crew Program and its aerospace industry partners, visit:http://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew
ЦитатаJ-2X Hot-Fire-Tests First Additive-Manufactured PartBy Guy NorrisSource: Aviation Week & Space TechnologySeptember 23, 2013 Credit: Guy Norris/AWSTFacing even greater budgetary uncertainty than before, Aerojet Rocketdyne is entering a key period of testing in its drive to cut cost fr om the propulsion element of NASA's heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) vehicle.Working closely with the space agency, the newly merged rocket engine company has a raft of cost-saving initiatives underway ranging fr om production streamlining to advanced, but cheaper, manufacturing methods. According to NASA's SLS liquid engines program manager Mike Kynard, the goal is straightforward. "We want SLS to be more affordable. We don't want to spend all our money on the truck that takes us to space--we want to be able to spend more on exploration when we get there."The vision statement stems as much fr om the fiscal realities of the pressurized NASA budget as it does fr om the bitter experience of the canceled Constellation program that preceded the SLS. "The Augustine Report said Constellation was not affordable, and we heard that message loud and clear," Kynard told reporters at NASA Stennis Space Center, Miss., where tests are underway of the liquid-oxygen/hydrogen (LOx/LH) J-2X upper-stage engine in development for the SLS.The latest hot-fire test of the J-2X on Sept. 5 included the first part made fr om selective laser melting (SLM), a subset of additive manufacturing. The part tested was an access port cover, not typical of the more complex, hard-to-make parts for which SLM will be generally used. But Aerojet Rocketdyne and NASA officials say its inclusion in the J-2X program helps pave the way for broader applications later. Initial targets include using SLM to help produce a more affordable, expendable version of the SLS's RS-25, which was originally developed as the space shuttle main engine (SSME).Jim Paulsen, Aerojet Rocketdyne Advanced Space and Launch deputy program manager, says the company needs "to start focusing on affordability, and that's going to be by using lessons learned from the RS68 and J-2X and applying it to the new RS-25." Paulsen adds, "we hope to get started on that fairly soon because there is a supply-base concern. We hope that when the new fiscal year starts in October we will be working on restarting RS-25 production."Kynard says potential applications of SLM include parts that are difficult to manufacture such as the "pogo" LOx splash-baffle, which is designed to prevent potentially damaging frequency harmonics in the fuel system. Company officials say the application of the SLM process is expected to bring significant cost and time savings. Gas-generator components that typically took nine months to produce at a cost of $300,000 are now expected to be made in 3-5 weeks for just $35,000. NASA SLS program manager Todd May says, "we are laser-focused on getting costs down," and notes that the sintering process is a valuable tool in this initiative.As well as affordability, the design focus for the new-build RS-25 units will counter obsolescence issues that have emerged over time. An example is the 1980s-vintage engine controller on the SSME. The new-build engine, which will retain the baseline RS-25 designation, is a modern digital-engine controller that will be derived from units tested on the new upper-stage engine."J-2X was made for Ares [under Constellation] and that's been adapted for SLS, so now it has different requirements," says Kynard. "So we are evolving the J-2X controller to control the RS-25. We think it is helpful to have a common engine controller anyway, so as we evolve the J-2X unit for the RS-25, we'll keep an eye on it and see if we can put it in the RS68, and if we resurrect it, the F-1B as well." The adapted J-2X controller will be run on a pair of RS-25 development engines at Stennis starting next year.Aerojet Rocketdyne is moving to restart RS-25 production soon because, even though NASA has 15 complete RS-25 former shuttle engines in storage at Stennis and a 16th due to be assembled from existing parts, this will only cover sufficient engines for four launches of the SLS. The first stage of the SLS will use four RS-25s. "The first 16 flight engines are covered, but we like to have four spares ready to go. So you could argue we are good for three launches," says Paulsen. The first four SLS flights are slated for 2017, 2021, 2023 and 2025. "So we will be looking at delivering the first new engines to Stennis in the 2021-22 time frame," he adds.Up to 50% of the cost-savings for the expendable RS-25 is also expected to be realized through the process of "value-stream mapping," the way the engine is put together. "Part of the close-out of the shuttle involved looking at what it takes to restart RS-25," says Tom Martin, development lead for the F-1B advanced booster risk-reduction program at Aerojet Rocketdyne. "We did value-stream mapping to see what drove the major costs and, in future, if we restart production, we will hit the ground running.""We saw opportunities before wh ere we could do things differently, but change was too expensive in the middle of the shuttle program for re-certification reasons," adds Chris Sanders, Aerojet Rocketdyne's deputy director for strategic planning and business development."After 30 years of work with space shuttle," Martin says, "there was a lot of baggage that you didn't want to mess with because it was a flight program. So you can look at it now and say, 'What do you want to keep and what don't you need?'""We changed the approach because the SSME was made in lim ited quantities and nobody had ever done value-stream mapping on it before," says Kynard. "We looked at every step to see if there was a better way to make the engine. Flow time has seen a huge benefit. We're seeing three to four months go to about one-month assembly periods. This engine is ripe for that, and we can make the flow common between engines. That way, the line doesn't care if it's a J-2X or an RS68."Under the revised process, the overall time for production of the new RS-25 from long-lead items to installation is expected to be reduced to around four years from the 6.5-year period it saw on the shuttle. "It's ambitious, but that's how you drive affordability," Kynard adds.Martin says the focus has been on three major areas: raw materials, touch labor and support labor from engineering staff. "So we've been going through and looking at all of that," he says. "We've been consolidating the supply chain."Sanders says that suppliers that represent a potential single-point failure have been eliminated, while the number that are common between multiple programs is growing. "For example, they are 65% common between the J-2X and RS-25 and it's likely that will go higher."As one of the major tenets of SLS is the heavy use of heritage hardware, Sanders believes this also plays a role in forcing the government-industry team to seek even more cost-saving initiatives. "NASA decided to go with mature and relatively low-risk technology, so we've ins erted in J-2X more modern manufacturing, and the facilities have been laid out to optimize the production and assembly flow," he says."So at the program level, we've got those kinds of things going on. At the company level, we've been reducing our footprint at the various campuses, which is down by 50% since we started the process in 2007," Sanders notes. "Head-count is also down by around 30% and part of that is the new reality of the business base--as well as a drive to be leaner and more affordable."Sanders says this is not just about "reducing square footage." The company has also been "making efforts to consolidate large turbomachinery production into one location [at West Palm Beach, Fla.], and at Stennis, wh ere we conduct all large-engine assembly and test. In one site, there is now RS68, RS-25 and J-2X," he says.Major manufacturing consolidation is also close to completion at Aerojet Rocketdyne's site in De Soto, Calif., near Los Angeles, wh ere the company has centralized activity away from the heritage facility at nearby Canoga Park. "That's the third big part. We've laid out assembly and flow to minimize production time and unnecessary flow," Sanders says."We are trying to use same manufacturing technology so that in a common shop the same people can work on different parts. For example, the move to hip-bonded chambers, which was implemented on the J-2X, is a good example of wh ere it se ts the stage for everything we're doing on RS-25," he says. "We use it on RS68 and intend to use it on the F-1B. In many ways, the J-2X is a testbed for everything we need to do for the RS-25. Also, the RS-25 is a restart of an existing production line, just like J-2X."Sanders stresses that the "SLS will only be successful if it is affordable." He asserts that "this program, more than any previous shuttle replacement effort, has the greatest chance because of the initiatives that are being taken now."
ЦитатаSalo пишет:Форсуночная головка.
ЦитатаNASA's J-2X Engine To Be Mothballed After TestingBy Frank Morring, Jr.Source: Aerospace Daily & Defense ReportOctober 04, 2013NASA's J-2X engine, once considered the pacing item for the next U.S. human-rated rocket, will go on the shelf after development testing wraps up next year because it will be years before the engine is needed to push humans toward Mars.While the agency is actively seeking other missions for the heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) in the planetary science and military arenas, most of the human flights it has in sight for the big new rocket probably can be accomplished with an upper stage powered by the RL-10 engine instead of the J-2X."The J-2X for certain [design reference missions] is somewhat overpowered," said Todd May, NASA's SLS program manager.An upgrade of the Saturn V upper-stage engine, the all-cryogenic J-2X generates 294,000 lb. of thrust with its gas-generator cycle. While it almost certainly will be needed to send men and women to Mars, the equally venerable RL-10 is beginning to look like a better power plant for the SLS upper stages that will be needed before that far-off mission.Congress ordered an SLS able to lift 130 metric tons to low Earth orbit (LEO), which is a generally accepted requirement for launching a Mars mission. But for missions to the Moon, where a lot of Mars-precursor missions are being planned, a 105-ton SLS is probably sufficient, according to Steve Creech, May's deputy, who is responsible for finding other applications for the SLS.One way to get to that capability would be with a "dual-use upper stage" carrying three or four RL-10s. All of them would ignite to get the payload -- an Orion crew capsule, in-space habitat or lunar lander -- into LEO, and then some subset of that number would fire for the trans-lunar injection to send the payload toward the Moon.NASA hasn't ruled out using the J-2X for that portion of the trip, but it could be faster to develop the dual-use stage than the originally planned SLS upper stage powered by the J-2X, and a cryogenic propulsion stage (CPS) for getting into lunar orbit."What we've looked at to try to save costs and accelerate mission capability [is] combining the functions of our upper stage and the CPS so that we just have to have one stage," Creech says.Development of the J-2X started under the Bush administration's Constellation program, which envisioned a human-rated launcher called the Ares I that used a shuttle-derived solid-fuel first stage, and an upper stage powered by the Saturn-heritage J-2X. At the beginning of the Constellation effort, the J-2X was considered the most time-consuming element of the Ares I, even though its Saturn heritage was chosen to minimize development complexity.Now the engine has been built, using drawings and some hardware retained by NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne, and is in development testing at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Those tests are scheduled to end next year, and after that work on the J-2X will halt "until we're ready" to integrate the engine with an SLS upper stage, probably for the Mars mission, May says."Under constrained funding the number of simultaneous developments is limited, and that's why we've essentially ended up with the architecture we did, because we only have the core to develop," he says, referring to the SLS first stage. "And if you can do a dual-use upper stage you can actually get to a very capable rocket with only one more major development -- not an upper stage and then a CPS."
ЦитатаAerojet Rocketdyne Could Lay Off 225 Due to MergerBy Dan Leone | Feb. 7, 2014WASHINGTON -- Aerojet Rocketdyne, the company created in June by the $550 million merger of the top two U.S. suppliers of liquid-fueled rocket engines, could lay off as many as 225 employees by March as it streamlines operations, parent company GenCorp said.Notices to employees who could be affected went out Jan. 30, Sacramento, Calif,-based GenCorp said in a Feb. 7 press release announcing earnings for the fiscal quarter and year ended Nov. 30. The company would incur a one-time cost of $15.7 million related to the downsizing, GenCorp said.
ЦитатаU.S. RD-180 Coproduction Would Cost $1 BillionBy Amy ButlerSource: Aviation Week & Space TechnologyMarch 24, 2014 Recent tensions over Russia's move to annex Crimea have prompted some to question the reliability of U.S. access to the Russian-made RD-180 engine, which is used to power one of two rockets that loft national security payloads into orbit. Russia is a source for these engines as well as other aerospace materials, such as titanium. The U.S. government has placed targeted sanctions on 11 Russian and Ukranian officials--the most comprehensive of such measures since the end of the Cold War--as a response to Russia's bold move into Crimea. But the dispute has thus far not affected the supply chain for the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. "We hold a license to manufacture and deliver RD-180 engines," says Matthew Bates, a spokesman for Pratt & Whitney, which formed a joint venture with Russian engine manufacturer NPO Energomash in 1997 called RD Amross. The sole purpose of RD Amross is to provide the engines to the U.S. "A deviation from the contracted, agreed-upon delivery amount would represent a contractual breech," says Maureen Schumann, a Pentagon spokeswoman. If Russia were to hold the RD-180 hostage, the Defense Department estimates it would need $1 billion over five years to establish production on U.S. soil. The RD-180 sourcing plan was established over years of regulatory review once Lockheed Martin, which developed the Atlas V in the late 1990s, sel ected the engine as its propulsion system. To mitigate concerns about supply, the U.S. Air Force maintains a stockpile of roughly two years' worth of engines, ULA CEO Mike Gass told lawmakers this month. The stockpile was approved as a change to the U.S. policy with regard to foreign sourcing in 2000. The policy today is three-pronged. In addition to the stockpile, the Pentagon also has a plan to "gracefully" transition to U.S. production if needed. And, finally, should the supply be interrupted, Pentagon officials can prioritize what missions would use Atlas V while a production facility is being established stateside. The coproduction requirement for the RD-180 that was set early in the program was eventually lifted by the Pentagon in part because missions could be offloaded to the Delta IV family, Schumann says. The Pentagon has long held to a strategy of "assured access" to space by operating two distinct rocket systems. The Delta IV was originally developed by Boeing as a competitor to the Atlas V, but both rockets were subsumed into ULA in 2006 when the government approved a monopoly for such missions in the U.S. However, the Delta IV is a less attractive option for some payloads because its RS-68 propulsion system is less effective. "For some missions [such as lofting Lockheed Martin Advanced Extremely High Frequency and Mobile User Objective System satellites on the A2100 bus] this would be more expensive than using an Atlas V because it would require a multi-core heavy launch vehicle instead of a single-core vehicle," Schumann says.Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he would review the Pentagon's policy on the Russian sourcing in response to queries fr om Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) during a House Appropriations Defense subcommittee hearing March 17. The Air Force regularly reviews supply for both the Atlas V and Delta IV Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles (EELV), Schumann says.The diplomatic volley with Russia has piqued scrutiny of the supply strategy.Not one to miss such an opportunity, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) CEO Elon Musk has suggested that the Pentagon eliminate its dependence on the Russian engine by using the SpaceX Falcon 9v1.1 in place of the Atlas V. The SpaceX rocket is still in the process of being certified by the Air Force to compete to launch national security payloads.Although raising the issue amid political tensions over Crimea may grab headlines, it remains to be seen whether this new backdrop will fracture the Pentagon's stalwart support for maintaining the Atlas V and Delta IV.It has become an almost annual drill for budgeteers to suggest cancelling the Atlas V and relying on a single supplier for financial reasons, but the Atlas V remains intact.Musk's argument for replacing the Atlas V is hardly new; Boeing used it when competing against Lockheed Martin for work during the first round of EELV competitions.But this dynamic could be changed if SpaceX can make good on its proposition of supplying launches to the Pentagon at a lower cost despite the rigorous oversight required for mission assurance.
ЦитатаAviation Week & Space Technology пишет:If Russia were to hold the RD-180 hostage, the Defense Department estimates it would need $1 billion over five years to establish production on U.S. soil.
ЦитатаAviation Week & Space Technology пишет:But this dynamic could be changed if SpaceX can make good on its proposition of supplying launches to the Pentagon at a lower cost despite the rigorous oversight required for mission assurance.
ЦитатаULA's common upper stage engine to fly this yearBY STEPHEN CLARKSPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: June 4, 2014United Launch Alliance plans to debut a new version of the venerable RL10 upper stage engine on an Atlas 5 rocket flight in December in a step toward the development of a common upper stage across the company's Atlas and Delta launcher fleets, a move officials say will reduce costs and increase performance.A view of an RL10 engine being prepared for launch on a Delta 4 rocket. Credit: NASA/KSC Скрытый текст: But further upgrades to ULA's rocket upper stages, including concepts to build long-duration deep space tugs and propellant depots, may take a back seat as focus grows on developing a powerful U.S.-built booster engine to end reliance on Russian propulsion.The first flight of the RL10C upper stage engine is scheduled for an Atlas 5 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., in December. The flight will place a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office into orbit in a mission designated NROL-35 by the U.S. government's spy satellite agency.Developed with U.S. Air Force funding and private investment, the Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10C engine will accelerate satellites into orbit after boosts from first stage engines on the Atlas 5 and Delta 4 rocket.Designed to burn a mix of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants, the engine passed final flight qualification in June 2013, and the RL10C's first flight is set for December, said Bernard Kutter, a manager in ULA's advanced programs division."The RL10C engine is fully qualified and can be used on either Atlas or Delta," said George Sowers, ULA's vice president of strategic architecture.Sowers said the RL10C will become the standard upper stage engine for all of the company's Atlas 5 and Delta 4 launches. An exception will be for the two-engine version of the Atlas 5's Centaur upper stage, which will continue flying with the RL10A-4-2 version of the engine.The shape of the RL10C's bell-shaped nozzle prevents two of the engines from being placed side-by-side in a dual-engine configuration, Sowers said.The Delta 4 rocket's upper stage is powered by an RL10B-2 engine, which features a carbon-carbon nozzle extension and other upgrades to raise thrust and specific impulse, the measure of a rocket engine's efficiency.ULA is developing the dual-engine Centaur stage to launch crews and cargo on commercial missions to the International Space Station. Sowers said the dual-engine Centaur will also fly with U.S. military, NASA and commercial payloads on launches into low Earth orbit.Sowers said ULA is developing the dual-engine Centaur with internal research and development money.The RL10 engine has flown hundreds of times since the 1960s, helping launch U.S. military payloads, NASA science missions and interplanetary probes, and commercial communications satellites.File photo of an RL10 engine on a Centaur upper stage being stacked to assemble an Atlas 5 rocket. Credit: NASA/KSC According to Sowers, the switch to the RL10C engine will not raise the risk of groundings of both of ULA's rocket families in the event of a problem with the upper stage engine."We have that problem today because an RL10A and an RL10B have an awful lot of commonality," Sowers said. "Having more commonality could, in some ways, actually enhance how we can rapidly resolve anomalies because you don't have to figure out the differences. Are the differences relevant? So we don't really see any drawbacks."When a fuel leak in an RL10B engine on a Delta 4 rocket threatened to prevent the launcher from placing its GPS navigation payload in the correct orbit, ULA delayed several downstream Delta 4 missions during an investigation into the anomaly. Atlas 5 rockets fitted with the RL10A engine were cleared to continue flying.The Delta 4 rocket stricken with the fuel leak ended up deploying the GPS satellite in the targeted orbit despite the problem.The benefits of the switch to RL10C engines include cost reductions and better management of ULA's engine inventory."There are cetainly cost benefits to having commonality," Sowers said. "Another real benefit is being able to use the inventory of RL10B engines inherited from Boeing on both vehicles."Boeing developed the Delta 4 rocket before merging with Lockheed Martin's Atlas program to form United Launch Alliance in 2006. Boeing had a stockpile of RL10B engines left over from canceled launches during the contraction of the commercial satellite industry in the early 2000s, plus lost contracts and delays in the readiness of military payloads.Sowers said Aerojet Rocketdyne is converting their inventory of RL10B engines to the RL10C version to allow them to fly on either the Atlas 5 or Delta 4 rocket. The conversion permits the companies to reduce the build rate of the RL10A engine for only designated missions, such as dual-engine Centaur flights with space station crews or cargo.The modifications include installing avionics for active propellant mixture control, a capability currently on the Atlas 5's RL10A engines but not on the Delta 4's RL10B version. The change will allow the Delta 4 to carry up to 200 pounds of additional payload on certain missions, according to a user's guide posted on ULA's website.Sowers said the RL10C engine gives the Atlas 5's Centaur upper stage additional thrust, allowing some payloads heading for geostationary transfer orbit or interplanetary trajectories to "downgrade" from an Atlas 5 with solid rocket boosters to the launcher's basic configuration without any strap-on motors, a cheaper option for customers.The RL10C also introduces a redundant dual direct spark ignition system -- a standard on the Atlas 5's RL10A engine -- to the Delta 4 rocket family.File photo of an RL10 engine on a Delta 4 rocket's second stage. Credit: NASA/KSC Delta 4 missions will fly with an RL10C engine with the full-length extendible nozzle similar to the RL10B engines flying today. The Atlas 5's RL10C engine will fly with a truncated nozzle."The original plan was to go to all RL10Cs, but when the commercial crew program came along, it had some unique requirements that drove the need to retain the RL10A capability," Sowers said.ULA also has plans to develop a larger 5-meter (16.4-foot) diameter upper stage with two RL10C engines. Called the Advanced Common Evolved Stage, or ACES, the upper stage would have a longer lifetime in space, capable of serving as an Earth departure stage for deep space missions or as a propellant depot.But Sowers said the ACES development could be put on hold as Congress and the Air Force focus on building a new U.S. rocket engine to replace the Russian RD-180 engine used on the first stage of ULA's Atlas 5 rocket."The common upper stage is something we've been studying for years and years," Sowers said. "It's still definitely in our planning. If you asked me six months ago, I would have said the next thing we want to do in terms of upgrading our vehicles is the upper stage. Now I might say the booster engine is the next thing we need to work on."One design feature of the upgraded ACES system is a variable-thrust hydrogen-fueled aluminum thruster. It is set for a demonstration launch in 2016. The thruster will be fed by waste gases from the upper stage's propellant tanks, which would otherwise be discarded.Sowers said the thruster will allow the upper stage to de-orbit without devoting precious propellant reserves to do the job, removing a performance penalty."All the boil-off we normally have, we can run through that for a safe disposal," Sowers said. "Disposing of upper stages is becoming more and more important because of the debris and junk up there. This is a capability we're really looking forward to having on-board."Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.
ЦитатаFallout Fr om AJ-26 Test Failure Remains Unclear Aviation Week.com 05/27/2014 Author: Frank Morring, Jr. Engineers probing the May 22 failure of an Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ-26 engine during an acceptance test for a future Orbital Sciences Antares mission to the International Space Station (ISS) have yet to determine whether the mishap will delay the next Antares launch.Preparations for that mission, set to launch fr om Wallops Flight Facility, Va., on June 10, continue as planned, according to Orbital spokesman Barry Beneski."The team will continue to progress toward the June 10 launch until they are told not to," he said May 27.The refurbished Soviet-era engine suffered "significant damage" in the failure at NASA's Stennis Space Center, wh ere the reworked engines are hot-fire tested before shipment to Wallops for integration into an Antares.The engine failed about midway through the test, Beneski said, a little less than a minute after ignition. Aerojet Rocketdyne has taken the lead on the failure analysis, which was "gathering all the data" on the mishap before drawing conclusions, he said.The engine that failed wasn't scheduled for flight until next year. The June 10 Antares already has its engines, and engines are on hand for another cargo mission to the ISS in October, according to the Orbital spokesman."Farther out, in 2015, we'll figure out which engines go on which rocket," Beneski said.The May 22 engine failure was the second in the Antares program. A kerosene-fuel leak from a manifold in one of the 40-year-old engines caused a test-stand fire in June 2011. Orbital rejected a third engine and sent it back to Aerojet for repairs, according to Beneski."Every AJ-26 that ... flies on Antares goes through a hot-fire acceptance test first," Beneski said. "Fourteen of them have done fine."Orbital integrates the Soviet-era engines, originally designated the NK-33, in pairs into a first stage built by PA Yushmash, a state-owned company in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine. Although the company is located in the eastern part of the country, wh ere pro-Russian sentiment runs strong in the ongoing Crimean crisis, Beneski said so far the political unrest has not disrupted production.Dulles, Va.-based Orbital has three of the Ukrainian-built stages on hand for the two launches this year and one early in 2015, and expects to receive two more by ship in the second half of this year."We take a daily check of how it's going over there," Beneski said, noting that aside from humanitarian concerns over the escalating violence, "from a business standpoint we watch for quality and schedule, and we haven't detected any changes." http://ula.lonebuffalo.com/story.cfm?story_id=7361389