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India’s 1st indigenously designed and developed High Thrust cryogenic rocket engine tested

Jul 21, 2015 09:12 IST

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 16 July 2015 successfully tested India’s first indigenously designed and developed High Thrust cryogenic rocket engine generating a nominal thrust of 19 tonnes at ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri.

The rocket was hot tested for duration of 800 seconds, which is approximately 25% more than the engine burn duration in flight.

The engine will be used for powering the Cryogenic stage (C25), the upper stage of the next generation GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle of ISRO, capable of launching four tonne class satellites.

This cryogenic engine of C25 Stage operates on Gas Generator Cycle using extremely low temperature propellants – Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) at 20 Kelvin (-253 deg C) and Liquid Oxygen (LOX) at 80K (-193 deg C).

The various subsystems of the engine are – regeneratively cooled Thrust Chamber, Gas Generator, LOX and LH2 high speed turbopump systems, flow control components, close loop mixture ratio control system, Pyrogen igniters, fluid systems, etc. The turbopump system rotates at a speed of 36000 rpm with a power level of 2 MW.

This high performance cryogenic engine was conceived, configured and realised by Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), the lead centre of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) responsible for developing liquid propulsion systems for Indian Space Programme.

The Engine design was totally in-house effort with experts from different fields like fluid dynamics, combustion, thermal, structural, metallurgy, fabrication, rotor dynamics, control components, etc., working together. The fabrication of major subsystems of the engine was carried out through Indian Industries. Assembly and Integration of the engine and Testing were carried out in ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC), a unit of ISRO.

The recent successful endurance hot test of the first high thrust cryogenic engine is the tenth test in a series of tests planned and executed as part of the development of the engine employing complex cryogenic technology. The performance of the engine closely matches with the pre-test prediction made using the in-house developed cryogenic engine mathematical modelling and simulation software.

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