ISRO conducts cryogenic engine test

Sunday, 29 October 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) here has successfully tested an indigenously developed cryogenic engine to be used in a geo-stationary satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) in future.

The engine's upper stage was hot-tested late Saturday for about 50 seconds at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) near Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu, an ISRO official told IANS.

"The test, performed for the first time in the country, was as predicted on various parameters. The cryogenic stage with regenerative cooled engine produces a thrust of 69.5 kN in vacuum.

"The engine will replace the Russian version currently being used in the launch of the GSLV flights. Till date, the engine has been tested at different stages for a cumulative duration of 100 minutes," the official said.

The upper stage uses the cryogenic propellants - liquid hydrogen at 250ºC and liquid oxygen at -196 degree Celsius. The turbo pumps, used for drawing the propellant from the tanks, operated at a high speed of 42,000 rpm.

"The materials used to operate at cryogenic temperatures, chilling processes, interplay of critical engine parameters and other technicalities make the development of cryogenic stage a challenging task," the official noted.

The space agency's LPSC undertakes the development of the indigenous cryogenic stage at its test facilities with the support of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram and the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

"The private industry has contributed substantially in the development of the cryogenic stage. The hot test has demonstrated the design adequacy and performance of the integrated flight system," the official added.

ISRO plans to conduct more tests for the flight unit to validate robustness of the design. After completing the qualification tests, the cryogenic stage will be flight tested in GSLV-D3 mission next year.
Source: IANS
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