Journal of Astronautics ›› 2022, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (2): 241-250.doi: 10.3873/j.issn.1000-1328.2022.02.013

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Study on Large Cryogenic Launch Vehicle Unmanned Fueling and Launching

ZHONG Wen an, YE Xin, ZHU Xiao le, YAN Zheng, ZHANG Jun xin   

  1. Xichang Satellite Launch Center, Haikou 571126, China
  • Received:2020-12-18 Revised:2021-05-24 Online:2022-02-15 Published:2022-02-15

Abstract: The concept of cryogenic launch vehicle unmanned fueling and launching (CLVUFL) has been defined with regards to the safety of space launching. The complicated interfaces between rocket and ground support, long time for fueling and launching, low reliability of critical equipment, and poor levels of intelligence and automation, are found to be the main problems by comparing the domestic and international representative CLVUFL technologies. Taking the fueling and launching process of a large cryogenic launch vehicle as the research object, three constraints, including unknown potential modes of critical equipment in launch vehicle (LV), low reliability of key devices in fueling system, and no remote or automatic control functions of facilities in launching site, are revealed based on the feature analysis of existing manual operations. An innovated technical solution is proposed by combining situation awareness, remote/automatic control, reliability growth and cryogenic fueling innovation. Furthermore, the prototypes of large caliber lateral zero second separating connector, infrared imaging detect cryogenic propellant leak and spatial awareness of launching tower have been developed and tested. The work above provides a technical support to the certain rocket CLVUFL and launching site engineering transformation.

Key words: Large cryogenic launch vehicle, Unmanned, Fueling and launching

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