Air Force interest in military spaceplanes stretches back nearly 40 years. This has taken the form of science and technology development, design and mission studies, and engineering development programs. Examples of these activities include: the first Aerospaceplane program and Dyna-Soar/X-20 program (late 1950s-early 1960s); X-15 hypersonic and X-24 lifting body flight test programs (late 1950s through early 1970s); Advanced Military Space Flight Capability (AMSC), Transatmospheric Vehicle (TAV), and Military Aerospace Vehicle (MAV) concept and mission studies (early 1980s); the Copper Canyon airbreathing single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) feasibility assessment and the National Aerospace Plane (NASP) program (1984-1992); SCIENCE DAWN, SCIENCE REALM, and HAVE REGION rocket-powered SSTO feasibility assessments and technology demonstration programs (late 1980s); and, most recently, the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization's Single-Stage Rocket Technology program that built the Delta Clipper-Experimental (DC-X) experimental reusable spaceplane.
Industry sources are being sought to develop critical technologies for future military spaceplanes using ground based advanced technology demonstrations. The first step is envisioned to include a streamlined acquisition that develops, integrates and tests these technologies in an Integrated Technology Testbed (ITT). Due to constrained budgets, the Air Force is seeking innovative, "out of the box", industry feedback and guidance to: 1) develop and demonstrate key military spaceplane technologies, 2) ensure competitive industry military spaceplane concepts are supported via critical technology demonstrations, and 3) ensure a viable, competitive military spaceplane industrial base is retained now and in the future.
The primary objective of the ITT is to develop the MSP Mark I concept design and hardware with direct scaleability: directly scaleable weights, margins, loads, design, fabrication methods and testing approaches; and traceability: technology and general design similarity, to a full-scale Mark II-IV system. The ITT is intended to demonstrate the technologies necessary to achieve systems integration within the mass fraction constraints of Single Stage to Orbit (SSTO) vehicles. In addition, the ITT will meet the military operational requirements outlined in the MSP SRD. The ITT is an unmanned ground demonstration. The Mark I demonstrator is also envisioned to be unmanned.
The Military Spaceplane (MSP) ITT ground demonstration consists of an effort to develop a computer testbed model. It may also include options for multiple technology, component and subsystem hardware demonstrations to support and enable the acquisition and deployment of MSP systems early in the next century. Although the ITT is not a flight demonstrator, it is anticipated that critical ground Advanced Technology Demonstrator (ATD) components and subsystems shall be designed, fabricated and tested with a total systems and flight focus to demonstrate the potential for military "aircraft like" operations and support functions. The latter point refers to eventual systems that 1) can be recovered and turned around for another mission in several hours or less on a routine basis, 2) require minimal ground and flight crew to conduct routine operations and maintenance , 3) are durable enough to sustain a mission design life of hundreds of missions, 4) are designed for ease of maintenance and repair based on military aircraft reliability, maintainability, supportability and availability (RMS&A) standards including the use of line replaceable units to the maximum extent possible, and 5) can be operated and maintained by military personnel receiving normal levels of technical training. The ITT effort is envisioned to culminate with a vigorous integrated test program that demonstrates how specific components and subsystems are directly traceable and scaleable to MSP system requirements and meet or exceed these operational standards.
The testbed itself shall be a computer sizing model of the Military Spaceplane. Input parameters include mission requirements and all of the critical component, subsystem and system technical criteria. Output are the critical design features, size, physical layout, and performance of the resulting vehicle. The computer model shall be capable of modeling the technology componenta, subsystems and systems demonstrated characteristics and the resulting effect(s) on the Military Spaceplane vehicle concept design. Although the ITT is required to show analytical component and subsystem scaleability to SSTO, the contractor may also show scaleability and traceability to alternative MSP configurations. Those alternatives may include two stage to orbit (TSTO) configurations. The ITT is using SSTO as a technology stretch goal in the initial ground demonstrations. However, a future Military Spaceplane can use either single or multiple stages.
The contract structure for ITT is anticipated to be Cost Reimbursement type contracts with possible multiple options and a total funding of approximately $125-150M. Due to initial funding limitations, the minimum effort for the contract is anticipated to consist of a broad conceptual military spaceplane design supported by a computer testbed model. However, should funding become available, additional effort may be initiated prior to the conclusion of the testbed model design. Offerors will be requested to submit a series of alternatives for delivery of major technology components and subsystems as well as an alternative for subsystem/system integration and test.
Upon direction of the Government through exercise of the option(s) the contractor shall design, fabricate, analyze, and test Ground Test Articles (GTAs), and provide a risk reduction program for all critical technology components, subsystems and subsystems assembly. The contractor will prepare options for an ITT GTA designs which satisfy the technical objectives of this SOO, including both scaleability and traceability to the Mark I and Mark II-IV vehicles. These design shall be presented to the Government at a System Requirements Review (SRR). The contractor shall use available technologies and innovative concepts in the designs, manufacturing processes, assembly and integration process, and ground test. Designs shall focus on operational simplicity and minimizing vehicle processing requirements. The contractor shall provide the detailed layout and systems engineering analysis required to demonstrate the feasibility and performance of the Mark I vehicle as well as scaleability and traceability to the Mark II-IV vehicles. The low cost reusable upper stage (i.e., mini-spaceplane) is envisioned to be an integral part of an overall operational MSP system.
The contractor shall use the ITT to implement the initial risk reduction program that mitigates risks critical to developing both the Mark I and Mark II-IV MSP configurations. The ITT shall mitigate risks critical to engineering, operability, technology, reliability, safety, or schedule and any subsequent risk reduction program deemed necessary. The program may include early component fabrication, detailed vehicle integration planning or prudent factory and ground/flight testing to reduce risks. The Technology levels will be frozen at three points in the Military Spaceplane Program (MSP): At the ITT contract award for the Ground Demonstrator, at contract award for any future Flight Demonstrator, and at contract award for an orbital system EMD.
Since the ITT is not a propulsion demonstration/integration effort there are two parallel propulsion efforts. One in NASA for the X-33 aerospike, and one in the AF for the Integrated Powerhead Demonstration ( IPD). It is anticipated that the Mark I demonstrator would use an existing engine. Propulsion modifications and integration will be addressed in the offerors concept design but limited funding probably precludes any new engine development. The contractor should evaluate the use of the Integrated Powerhead Demonstration (IPD) XLR-13X engine as a risk reduction step being done in parallel and as a baseline engine for MSP. LOX/LH2 offers an excellent propellant combination for future Military Spaceplanes. Nearer term demonstrators, however, may be asked to use alternative propellants with superior operability characteristics.
Maximum Performance Missions Sets are system defining and encompass the four missions and the Design Reference Missions. Instead of giving a threshold and objective for each mission requirement, missions sets are defined. Each mission set will define a point solution and provide visibility into the sensitivities of the requirements from the thresholds (Mark I) to the objective (Mark IV). If takeoff and landing bases are constrained to the U.S. (including Alaska and Hawaii), this will reduce stated pop-up payloads by at least half.
Mark I (Demonstrator or ACTD non-orbital vehicle that can only pop up)
Mark II (Orbit capable vehicle)
REFERENCE MISSIONS TO MISSION SETS MATRIX
Ref Mission Mark I Mark II Mark III Mark IV Payload Bay Data 10' x 5' x 25' x 12' x 25' x 12' x 45' x 15' x 5' 12' 12' 15' 10 klbs 20 klbs 40 klbs 60 klbs DRM 1 (Pop up and 1-3 klb 7 to 9 klb 14 to 18 klb 20 to 30 klb deliver mission assets) DRM 2 (Pop up and 3-5 klb 15 klb 25 klb 45 klb deliver orbit assets due east 100 x 100 NM) DRM 3 (Co-Orbit) N/A 4 klb due 6 klb due east 20 klb due east 100 x 100 x 100 NM east 100 x 100 100 NM NM DRM 4 (Recover) N/A TBD TBD TBD DRM 5 (Polar Once N/A N/A 1 klb 5 klb Around)
Mission asset weight is a core weight and does not include a boost stage, aeroshell, guidance or propellant.
Orbital asset weight does not include an upperstage.
Requirements Matrix for Mark II, III and IV (Desired for Mark I) Requirement Threshold Objective Sortie Utilization Rates Peacetime sustained 0.10 sortie/day 0.20 sortie/day War/exercise sustained (30 days) 0.33 sortie/day 0.50 sortie/day War/exercise surge (7 days) 0.50 sortie/day 1.00 sortie/day Turn Times Emergency war or peace 8 hours 2 hours MOB peacetime sustained 2 days 1 day MOB war/exercise sustained (30 days) 18 hours 12 hours MOB war/exercise surge (7 days) 12 hours 8 hours DOL peacetime sustained 3 days 1 day DOL war/exercise sustained (30 days) 24 hours 12 hours DOL war/exercise surge (7 days) 18 hours 8 hours System Availability Mission capable rate 80 percent 95 percent Flight and Ground Environments Visibility 0 ft 0 ft Ceiling 0 ft 0 ft Crosswind component 25 knots 35 knots Total wind 40 knots 50 knots Icing light rime icing moderate rime icing Absolute humidity 30 gms/m3 45 gms/m3 Upper level winds 95th percentile all shear conditions shear Outside temperature -20 to 100F -45 to 120F Precipitation light moderate Space Environment Radiation level TBD TBD Flight Safety Risk to friendly population < 1 x 10-6 < 1 x 10-7 Flight Segment loss < 1 loss /2000 < 1 loss/5000 sorties sorties Reliability 0.9995 0.9998 Cross Range Unrestricted pop-up cross range 600 NM 1200 NM CONUS pop-up cross range 400 NM 600 NM Orbital cross range 1200 NM 2400 NM "Pop-up" Range CONUS pop-up range 1600 NM 1200 NM Ferry range minimum 2000 NM worldwide On-orbit Maneuver Excess V (at expense of payload) 300 fps 600 fps Pointing accuracy 15 milliradians 10 milliradians Mission Duration On-orbit time 24 hours 72 hours Emergency extension on-orbit 12 hours 24 hours Orbital Impact Survival impact object size 0.1-cm diameter 1-cm diameter Survival impact object mass TBD TBD Survival impact velocity TBD TBD Alert Hold Hold Mission Capable 15 days 30 days Mission Capable to Alert 2-hour 4 hours 2 hours Status Hold Alert 2-hour Status 3 days 7 days Alert 2-hour to Alert 15-minute 1 hour 45 minutes 30 minutes Status Hold Alert 15-minute Status 12 hours 24 hours Alert 15 Minute to Launch 15 minutes 5 minutes Design Life Primary Structure 250 sorties 500 sorties Time between major overhauls 100 sorties 250 sorties Engine life 100 sorties 250 sorties Time between engine overhauls 50 sorties 100 sorties Subsystem life 100 sorties 250 sorties Take-off and Landing Runway size 10,000 ft x 150 ft 8000 ft x 150 ft Runway load bearing S65 S45 Vertical landing accuracy 50 ft 25 ft Payload Container Container change-out 1 hour 30 minutes Crew Station Environment (if rqd) Life support duration 24 hours 72 hours Emergency extension on-orbit 12 hours 24 hours Crew Escape (if rqd) Escape capability subsonic full envelope Maintenance and Support Maintenance work hours/sortie 100 hours 50 hours R&R engine 8 hours 4 hours
Some other novel launchers