The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO ) has scaled new heights following its successfully test of its scramjet engine on Sunday in Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Andhra Pradesh.
The scramjet engine, also known as the air-breathing engine due to the technology it uses, was tested with the launch of a big sounding rocket.
With this launch India becomes the fourth country to demonstrate the flight testing of Scramjet Engine. The successful technology demonstration of air-breathing Scramjet engines in flight by ISRO is a modest yet important milestone in its endeavour to design and develop advanced air breathing engines including engines for ISRO’s future space transportation system said ISRO official.
President Pranab Mukherjee congratulated ISRO for the successful test launch. “Hearty congratulations ISRO on successful test of futuristic scramjet rocket engine, India is proud of you,” Mukherjee said in a tweet.
The Scramjet engine designed by ISRO uses Hydrogen as fuel and the Oxygen from the atmospheric air as the oxidiser. Today’s test was the maiden short duration experimental test of ISRO’s Scramjet engine with a hypersonic flight at Mach 6.
ISRO’s Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV), which is an advanced sounding rocket, was the solid rocket booster used for test of Scramjet engines at supersonic conditions. ATV carrying Scramjet engines weighed 3277 kg at lift-off.
With this flight, critical technologies such as ignition of air breathing engines at supersonic speed, holding the flame at supersonic speed, air intake mechanism and fuel injection systems have been successfully demonstrated.
The scramjet engine, used only during the atmospheric phase of the rocket’s flight, would help in bringing down the launch cost by reducing the amount of oxidiser to be carried along with the fuel.
The scientists said that all the important flight events such as the burn out of booster rocket stage and functioning of scramjet engines for 5 seconds followed by burn out of the second stage took place exactly as planned.