Sunday, July 17, 2016

ISRO's Forthcoming ATV-D02 Scramjet Test Details

The photo above of the ATV-D01 mission shows two scramjets strapped to the second stage of a Rohini-560

ISRO is poised to fly the maiden test of its scramjet engine developed under the Air Breathing Propulsion Project (ABPP) in the next few days .

A component of ISRO's Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) project, the ABPP aims to reduce the size of launch vehicles and increase their payload capacity, facilitating cheaper access to outer space.

ISRO refers to the scramjet test mission as ATV-D02 or Advanced Technology Vehicle Development Flight 2. (In March, 2010 ISRO conducted an unpowered flight test of the Scramjet engine using the ATV-D01 mission.)

The ATV-D02 mission will use a Rohini-560, a two stage sounding rocket, to test the scramjet. The rocket will feature two active scramjet engine modules and the associated fuel feed system. The scramjet engines would be symmetrically strapped to the second stage of the rocket for the experimental flight. (Rohini-560 is ISRO's largest sounding rocket. The 560 designation comes from the 560mm diameter of the rocket.)

ATV-D02 will use scaled down ramjets, each half-meter long and weighing 45-m long.

Apart from demonstrating hypersonic ignition at Mach 6, ISRO hopes to sustain combustion for 5 seconds.

The Rohini second stage will achieve a height of 70 km and sustain Mach 6 +.05 and dynamic pressure (80 + 35 kPa) for seven seconds. These conditions are required for a stable ignition of active scramjet engine combustor. Once lit, the scramjet will sustain hypersonic flight for five seconds.

At Mach 6, the drag on a air vehicle is considerable. A challenge with scramjet propulsion is to develop more thrust than drag. ISRO hopes to demonstrate good thrust value with its scramjet engine.

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