Recently, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully conducted a 25-second qualification test for its liquid propellant-based High Thrust Vikas engine to be used under the Gaganyaan mission.
About Vikas engine:
- The Vikas engine (a portmanteau from initials of VIKram Ambalal Sarabhai) is a family of liquid fuelled rocket engines conceptualized and designed by the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre in the 1970s.
- The design was based on the licensed version of the Viking engine with the chemical pressurization system.
- The early production Vikas engines used some imported French components which were later replaced by domestically produced equivalents.
- It is used in the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) series of expendable launch vehicles for space launch use.
- Vikas engine is used to power the second stage of PSLV, boosters and second stage of GSLV Mark I and II and also the core stage of GSLV Mark III.
- The propellant loading for Vikas engine in PSLV, GSLV Mark I and II is 40 tons, while in GSLV Mark III is 55 tons.
- Two new types of Vikas engines, HTVE (High Thrust VIKAS Engine) and HPVE (High Pressure or High Speed VIKAS Engine), are of particular interest.
- Its recent test was conducted at ISRO Propulsion Complex in Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu.
- It was done to see how the engine performed in conditions that were not optimal, such as change in the fuel-oxidiser ratio or pressure in the fuel chamber.
- With regard to the Vikas engine qualification for the Gaganyaan mission, two engines have already undergone tests under nominal operating conditions for a total duration of 480 seconds.
- The first stage of the launch vehicle, which used solid propellant, is already qualified for the mission.
- Three more tests are set to be conducted for a cumulative duration of 75 seconds under varying operating conditions as the agency prepares for the first Indian astronaut mission.
- Another high thrust Vikas engine will undergo a long-duration test for 240 seconds to complete the Vikas engine qualification for Gaganyaan mission.
- It envisages undertaking the demonstration of human spaceflight to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in the short-term and will lay the foundation for a sustained Indian human space exploration programme in the long run.
- Formal announcement of the Gaganyaan programme was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day address on August 15, 2018.
- The initial target was to launch human space flight before the 75th anniversary of India’s independence on August 15, 2022.
- This mission is delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and successive lockdowns, Gaganyaan, will be launched in 2023.
- As part of this programme, two unmanned missions and one manned mission are approved by Government of India (GoI).
- The test vehicle flight for the validation of Crew Escape System performance and the first uncrewed mission of Gaganyaan are scheduled at the beginning of the second half of 2022.
- ISRO’s heavy-lift launcher GSLV Mk III has been identified for the mission.
- Once launched, India will be the fourth nation in the world to launch a human spaceflight mission after the US, Russia and China.
About KAVERI ENGINE:
- The GTRE GTX-35VS Kaveri is an afterburning turbofan project developed by the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), a lab under the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in Bengaluru, India.
- An Indian design, the Kaveri was originally intended to power production models of the HAL Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) being built by the Aeronautical Development Agency.
- However, the Kaveri programme failed to satisfy the necessary technical requirements or keep up with its envisaged timelines and was officially delinked from the Tejas programme in September 2008.
- Snecma, on a tie up with DRDO, is slated to revive and certify the engine as part of the offsets deal for 36 Dassault Rafale jets purchased by India.
To read more click here….