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#1 India's cryogenic engine set for integration with rocket
The indigenous cryogenic engine that would make India totally self-reliant in all aspects of space launch vehicle technology is set to be integrated with the indigenous Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV).
"Now, it is getting ready for flight and I hope by the middle of the year, we should be able to make a launch", Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), G Madhavan Nair, told PTI.
Isro officials indicated that they are looking at a June-July date for the launch.
Indigenous development of cryogenic stage was taken up in 1996 for achieving self-reliance in cryogenic propulsion technology.
Technological challenges faced during the development stage include development of new materials, composite thermal insulation, new fabrication techniques, handling of cryogenic fluids at cryogenic temperatures, realisation of facilities for assembly, integration and testing, and associated safety systems.
GSLV flights launched so far by India used Russian cryogenic engine. Seven cryogenic stages were procured from Russia of which five stages have been utilised.
Forthcoming GSLV launch with indigenously developed cryogenic stage would launch GSAT-4 communication satellite.
"GSAT-4 communication satellite carries a lot of experiments. Our main interest will be to see how cryogenic engine performs. We have developed the engine using indigenous technology and indigenous fabrication capability", Isro Spokesperson S Satish said.
"We have completed all qualification tests. We are very confident. We have already conducted flight acceptance test and it has met all parameters", Satish said.
The indigenous cryogenic engine develops a thrust of 73 kilo Newtons (kN) in vacuum with a specific impulse of 454 seconds and provides a payload capability of 2200 Kg to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) for GSLV.
The engine works on 'Staged Combustion Cycle' with an integrated turbopump running at around 42,000 rotations per minute (rpm). It is also equipped with two steering engines developing a thrust of 2 kN each to enable three-axis control of the launch vehicle during the mission.
Another unique feature of this engine is the closed loop control of both thrust and mixture ratio, which ensures optimum propellant utilisation for the mission.
The cryogenic engine is now in the process of being integrated with propellant tanks, stage structures and associated feed lines.
The cryogenic stage is technically a very complex system compared to solid or earth-storable liquid propellant stages due to the use of propellants at extremely low temperatures and the associated thermal and structural problems.
Posted by john frum 2009-02-24 12:17||