Testing of rocket engines by ISRO begins at new facility in Tamil Nadu’s Mahendragiri

Source – India Today

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has begun testing semi-cryogenic engines at the newly commissioned Semicryogenic Integrated Engine & Stage Test facility in Tamil Nadu’s Mahendragiri.

The test facility has been developed at the ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC).

The facility comprises all the engine systems except the thrust chamber, Isro said adding that the test is the first of a series of tests planned to validate the design of the propellant feed system, including the low-pressure and high-pressure turbo-pumps, the gas generator, and control components.

The semi-cryogenic engine with a power of 2000 kN thrust, which will power the first-stage boosters of future launch vehicles, has been designed and developed by Isro’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC). It works on Liquid Oxygen (LOX)-Kerosene propellant combination.

The test conducted on Tuesday marks a major milestone before the complete engine and its qualification is integrated. During the test, engineers conducted chill-down operations spanning about 15 hours and tested all the required conditions for engine start. Following the chill-down, the Liquid Oxygen (LOX)-Kerosene propellant was filled and LOX was admitted into the gas generator by opening the injection valve.

The newly established test facility at IPRC, Mahendragiri, with a state-of-art PLC-based control system and data acquisition system, is capable of testing semi-cryogenic engines up to 2600 kN thrust and will support the subsequent testing and qualification of the fully integrated semi-cryogenic engine and stage,” Isro said in a statement.

The Indian space agency further added that the test has demonstrated the successful performance of the test facility and power head test article in the first attempt itself.

The new space policy recently cleared by the center has said the Indian Space Research Organisation shall transition out from manufacturing operational space systems and focus its energies on research and development in advanced technologies. It states that Isro, as the national space agency, will focus primarily on the research and development of new space technologies and applications and on expanding the human understanding of outer space.

Isro is in the final phases of preparation to launch two big missions in the coming months, the Aditya L-1 mission to study Sun and the Chandrayaan-3 mission, which is designed to land on the Moon.


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