Studies in Advanced Space Vehicle Containers 660460
Studies concerning advanced container design are necessary for two reasons: Prolonged storage time of cryogenic liquids, and the need for improved container configurations. Anticipated storage times range from a few weeks to many months. Both the effect of low temperatures as well as stringent insulation requirements influence the design of the tank and its support structure. Necessary protection against micrometeoroids and reusability requirements add complications which are in need of solutions. Improvement of container configurations is necessary, essentially, for economical reasons. Shorter tanks, e.g., mean shorter vehicles, reduced bending moments, higher vehicle frequencies--advantages which go far beyond the tanks themselves. Even if no length or weight reductions are achieved, reduced manufacturing costs are certainly also a desirable result. Other containers, such as crew compartments, can be designed to offer more volume without increased stage length. All that means is that new container configurations are not developed for far-out future vehicles, nor with the intent to replace existing stages. They have near-future applications and it is imperative that we are prepared for such cases.
Work done so far in both areas resulted in several schemes and definition of their principles and design criteria. Results of tests and analyses permit valuable conclusions for their improvement. Studies are being continued to find additional schemes which may be useful.