New propulsion system for rockets tested
GS Paper - 3 (Space Technology)
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that it has successfully demonstrated a hybrid propulsion system that uses a solid fuel and liquid oxidiser. The hybrid motor was tested at the ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC), Mahendragiri.
More about the propulsion system
- The hybrid system is more efficient, ''greener'' and safer to handle and paves the way for new propulsion technologies for future missions, the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) which tested it with support from the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), said.
- In the ground-based test, the flight equivalent 30 kN hybrid motor used Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB)-based aluminised solid fuel and liquid oxygen (LOX) as the oxidiser. The test was performed for 15 seconds on a 300-mm sounding rocket motor.
- Conventional HTPB-based solid propellant motors used in rockets use ammonium perchlorate as oxidiser. In rocket engines, oxidisers supply the oxygen needed for combustion.
- While both HTPB and LOX are green, the cryogenic LOX is safer to handle. And unlike conventional solid motors, the hybrid technology permits restarting and throttling capabilities on the motor. The use of liquids facilitates throttling and control over the flow rate of LOX.
- The technology demonstration paves the way for hybrid propulsion-based sounding rockets and an exciting platform for vertical landing experiments for spent-stage recovery.
- As part of perfecting the technology, ISRO will try it out on a sounding rocket launch in future.