Author Topic: Re-Purposing missiles as satellite launchers  (Read 839 times)

Offline kengeorge

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Re-Purposing missiles as satellite launchers
« on: December 19, 2017, 09:09:18 AM »
If this is in the wrong place then can the moderators move this to somewhere more appropriate.

My question is this, is it feasable to re-purpose Large ex-SAM's like Bomarc or Bloodhound, or heavyweight ASM's like Blue Steel and Hound dog missiles into some sort of expendable small satellite launchers, as in thier appropriate timelines?

I ask this as there was a comment on what if in 'the Hot Research Topics »Aircraft, Armor, Weapons and Ships by Topic »Weapon Systems. Real and Imagined.Boeing F-99/IM-10 BOMARC ideas and inspiration.' which mentioned this idea, however I was wondering if it could be expanded to encompass more larger weapons.
My concept would be to modify a Bloodhound, or simular as an air-launched Satellite launcher. But what aircraft would be appropriate?
I wonder if anyone else has any comments, ideas, etc.

Ken
 

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Re: Re-Purposing missiles as satellite launchers
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2017, 01:31:18 AM »
Certainly should be possible, though limits will probably come from the satellite sizes.

Some of the Nike family were turned into sounding rockets.
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Offline tankmodeler

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Re: Re-Purposing missiles as satellite launchers
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2017, 04:36:44 AM »
is it feasable to re-purpose Large ex-SAM's like Bomarc or Bloodhound, or heavyweight ASM's like Blue Steel and Hound dog missiles into some sort of expendable small satellite launchers, as in thier appropriate timelines?
You'd think so, but generally not.

The combination of low fuel quantities and relatively massive satellites of the period means that it's pretty unlikely to find a SAM that has the power to propel even what is called a cubesat (10cmx10cmx10cm weighing 3-5 kg max) into actual orbit. As a sounding rocket, sure, but orbit, no. Orbital speed is roughly Mach 25 and drag increases exponentially with speed (and decreases with air density, so you do gain some back) and both gravity and drag losses would be too much for pretty much any known SAM to get to orbit, even if the payload was, essentially, zero.

Paul

Offline jcf

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Re: Re-Purposing missiles as satellite launchers
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2017, 06:27:21 AM »
Yep, Bomarc in particular wouldn't be a good choice as its rocket only fired long enough to reach
the speed required by the ramjets.
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: Re-Purposing missiles as satellite launchers
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2017, 10:19:51 AM »
Similarly, Hound Dogs are also air-breathers and didn't get beyond Mach 2.1 in performance.   I don't see it being able to loft something to orbit; a sub-orbital "punt", possibly, but not a loft to orbit.  You would need structural material changes and an improved engine (possibly a combined-cycle turbo-ramjet) to have a chance.  IMHO, you would be better off designing an air-droppable launcher from the beginning.

Offline perttime

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Re: Re-Purposing missiles as satellite launchers
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2017, 05:07:00 PM »
Certainly should be possible, though limits will probably come from the satellite sizes.

Some of the Nike family were turned into sounding rockets.
The later developments of Nike could get pretty high.
Does anyone have the math to calculate if the thrust could have been turned into enough speed for orbit? Maybe with less payload.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Nike#Missiles

Offline tankmodeler

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Re: Re-Purposing missiles as satellite launchers
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2018, 01:28:13 AM »
The later developments of Nike could get pretty high.
Does anyone have the math to calculate if the thrust could have been turned into enough speed for orbit? Maybe with less payload.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Nike#Missiles

Don't really need the full math for this. The Nike Hercules weighted in at about 10,500 lb. The warhead assembly was about 1100 lb, so take that off. Max altitude was 150,000 ft, max speed was Mach 3.65, max range was 90 miles. "Space" is above 60 miles but atmospheric drag is still pretty high there, so rational satellite orbits are in the 100 mile + range.

But lets stick purely to the minimum space definition.

You need to achieve 60 miles altitude at 17,500 MPH or about Mach 25.

If you went straight up, with no payload, you might get well above the 150,000 foot altitude (~30 miles) but you are not going to fight gravity to double that. And, should you actually get to 60 miles, you will be a zero tangential velocity at bingo fuel so, not matter what height you have achieved, you simply fall back to earth not having achieved orbital velocity.

No. A Nike Hercules could not achieve orbit for any portion of that missile, payload or not.

Offline perttime

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Re: Re-Purposing missiles as satellite launchers
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2018, 12:40:44 PM »
I see Nike Zeus B listed with 170 mile ceiling and Mach 4 for that. Spartan is in the same table on Wikipedia, showing 350 mile ceiling.

Offline tankmodeler

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Re: Re-Purposing missiles as satellite launchers
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2018, 04:59:29 AM »
I see Nike Zeus B listed with 170 mile ceiling and Mach 4 for that. Spartan is in the same table on Wikipedia, showing 350 mile ceiling.
Yep, but in both cases the top speed is in the Mach 4 -5 range. Faaar short of Mach 25 needed for even low orbit. The energy required increases with the square of the velocity needed, so with the difference between Mach 5 and Mach 25 being a factor of 5, the energy (fuel) needed to get there goes up approximately 25 times.

Still not going to get to orbit.

paul

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Re-Purposing missiles as satellite launchers
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2018, 02:02:52 PM »
For boosting small payloads to LEO, how about adding a zeroth stage to modified Pershing II missiles (assuming we have any left, of course).

Offline perttime

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Re: Re-Purposing missiles as satellite launchers
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2018, 03:59:03 PM »
How does it work out with lower ceiling than the 350 miles and/or smaller payload?

Offline aerospacer

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Re: Re-Purposing missiles as satellite launchers
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2018, 08:49:56 AM »
For boosting small payloads to LEO, how about adding a zeroth stage to modified Pershing II missiles (assuming we have any left, of course).


In the early sixties there were already proposals for the Pershing as a satellite booster, see http://pershingmissile.org/PershingDocuments/manuals/Interavia.pdf

Martin
« Last Edit: March 11, 2018, 08:51:47 AM by aerospacer »
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Re: Re-Purposing missiles as satellite launchers
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2018, 01:35:58 AM »
Speaking of Pershing/Pershing II, a 1/35 kit would be nice...
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Offline tankmodeler

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Re: Re-Purposing missiles as satellite launchers
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2018, 12:26:52 AM »
How does it work out with lower ceiling than the 350 miles and/or smaller payload?
I was assuming a lowest practical orbit of, like, 200 km. It doesn't make a lot of difference as the max speed of the Nike Hercules at altitude, with the least amount of aerodynamic drag doesn't get it much past Mach 4 apparently. So, you gain some top speed for the lower altitude, i.e. you've tipped over to apply more thrust to gain orbital speed as opposed to fighting gravity to gain altitude, but the amount of energy to hit Mach 25 from Mach 4 or 5 is simply too much for something like a Nike-Zeus combo to manage.

Paul

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Re-Purposing missiles as satellite launchers
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2018, 08:17:50 AM »
For boosting small payloads to LEO, how about adding a zeroth stage to modified Pershing II missiles (assuming we have any left, of course).


In the early sixties there were already proposals for the Pershing as a satellite booster, see http://pershingmissile.org/PershingDocuments/manuals/Interavia.pdf

The proposal I am thinking of would be adding a larger stage below the existing first stage to boost it higher rather than using solely the existing stages.