Bangalore: India successfully conducted the flight test of its new generation high-performance sounding rocket from the spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, the space agency said Thursday.
"The test was successfully conducted Wednesday at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, about 80 km north-east of Chennai," the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement here.
Weighing three tonnes at lift-off, the advanced sounding rocket is the heaviest developed by the Indian space agency, carrying a scramjet engine combustor module to demonstrate air-breathing propulsion technology.
"During the flight, the rocket remained for seven seconds in the desired conditions of Mach number (6+0.5) and dynamic pressure (80+35 kPa). These conditions are required for a stable ignition of active scramjet engine combustor module planned in the next advanced technology vehicle flight," the statement noted.
A sounding rocket carries an instrument to take measurements and performs scientific experiments during its sub-orbital flight. It is used to take readings in space at a distance of 50-1,500 km above the surface of the earth where weather balloons float and satellites orbit.
A scramjet (supersonic combustion ramjet) consists of a constricted tube through which inlet air is compressed by the high speed of the vehicle, a combustion chamber where fuel is combusted, and a nozzle through which the exhaust jet leaves at higher speed than the inlet air.
Jet engines use a compressor to squeeze air into the engine, then spray fuel into the compressed air and ignite it to produce thrust by funnelling it through the back.