DEVELOPMENT OF LOX-HYDROGEN ENGINES FORTHE SATURN APOLLO
'Burks, Assistant ManagerEngine Program OfficeNational Aeronautics
Space AdministrationMarshall Space Flight Center, Alabama35812AbstractDuring the development of the
engines, many problems were encountered. Sol-utions to the significant problems are contained.
description of these LOX-Hydrogen engines.outlining the unique features of each
be given.Performance parameters for both engine systemsare tabulated.Specific applications to variousstages are shown.Start and restart conditions ataltitude are a very important adjunct to the enginedevelopment and are presented in the paper.Test-ing an enqine designed to operate at altitude atambient sea level conditions presented some inter-esting problems and required peculiar test equip-ment. The solution tothe.se problems and a des-cription of the test equipment will be covered.Flight data revealed some anomalies that werelater verified at the altitude test facility at ArnoldEngineering Development Center, Tullahoma,Tennessee.
description of the anomalies andverification testing will be made.IntroductionThe nature of propulsion system development
such that it becomes the pacing item in a newvehicle program.This has been true in aircraftas well as missile programs.The extensive test-ing, design, redesign, and retest have shourn thatpropulsion systems generally must lead by severalyears in the development cycle.This necessitatesthe initiation of an engine development programprior to the detail design of the vehicle. This pre-
sents the obvious problems of interface, powerrequirement definition, control system relation-ships, etc.
which must be again evaluated as thevehicl_e design is finalized.Engine redesign orcompromises usually result from these iterations.Once the technical need has been establishedfor the developinent of a new propulsion systemand the economics
the system have been evalu-
ated, then tge design trade-offs begin.Vehicle
rcquirelllents wl~ichnclude such basic factors asstaging, payload u~eight,mission flexibility? and
reliability must be fed Sack into the basic engine
the system evolves.Wherever possible,engines are designed to be utilized in more thanone stage. Following this philosophy the RL-10engine found use on two different vehicles andthe
engine is utilized on three stages of twovehicles.
This :'common engine" approach allows thecontractor to concentrate on one design, 'resultsin higher reliability due to repetitive testing of
single configuration, and reduces production costssince the engines can be bought in larger quanti-ties.
common engine configuration also simpli-fies the spare parts and field support requirements.and permits interchangeability of basic components.Thus new engine development programs areoptimized by a meld of the practical use of the besttechnology available within the cohstraints involvedand a vigorous trade-off of the performance param-eters. The choice of expansion ratio, for example,was one not only of performance, but of the eco-nomics involved in building the test facilities re-quired for engine development.The RL-10, beinga smaller engine,. could use a higher expansionratio (and thus take advantage of the higher specificimpulse) because it was practical to build steamejectors and diffusers for engines
this size range.Such a choice for the J-2 engine would have beenprohibitive from the stancipoint of cost due to thesize of the facilities involved. Hence, one of thereasons
expansion ratio, was chosen for the
5-2 engine was to accommodate testing at sea levelconditions.The guiding philosophy of the NASA-MarshallSpace Flight Center in developing engines is toschedule a detailed component testfol-lo-ved by an in-depth engine test program to ferretout as many latent hardware defects as possiblebefore flight testing.
vigorous production sup-port program is maintained concurrent with thedevelopment phase and He improvenlents areincorporated into the embryonic design as soon aspractioal. This plan has worked successfully bc-cause it continues to challenge the best technicalminds to reach out "over the horizon" for betterideas which have resulted in continual payloadincreases for NASA's launch vehicles.This pro-duction support effort has been the backbone forresolving the problems resulting from engine- stageintegration and testing. This process continuesas long as vehicles using the engines are flying.The feedback of production and flight problems intothe engine programs is an essential element in
deriving a reliable system, and also serves the co-function of allowing the engine design, testing, andmanufacturing procedures to catch up with the stateof the art.