You can certainly run a standby database without standby logs. There is no change to the transmission of redo by the primary: this is done by LGWR LNS processes as usual. On the standby, the RFS process writes the redo to an archive logfile if no suitable standby logfile is available. The only problem is that real time apply cannot be used in this circumstance. You must wait for the archive logfile to be complete (ie, a log switch on the primary) before the MRP can apply the redo.
There are many possibilities with Data Guard, I went through some of them in this recording:
In case you do not have Standby Redo Logs, an Archived Redo Log is created
by the RFS process and when it has completed, this Archived Redo Log is applied
to the Standby Database by the MRP (Managed Recovery Process) or the Logical
Apply in Oracle 10g when using Logical Standby. An open (not fully written)
ArchiveLog file cannot be applied on the Standby Database and will not be used
in a Failover situation. This causes a certain data loss.
If you have Standby Redo Logs, the RFS process will write into the Standby Redo
Log as mentioned above and when a log switch occurs, the Archiver Process of the
Standby Database will archive this Standby Redo Log to an Archived Redo Log,
while the MRP process applies the information to the Standby Database. In a
Failover situation, you will also have access to the information already
written in the Standby Redo Logs, so the information will not be lost.