In a recent development, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, has introduced a cutting-edge testing platform for aerodynamic studies of space capsules and cruise missiles navigating Earth's atmosphere at hypersonic speeds of up to 10 km per second.
As reported by Deccan Herald, existing facilities in Bengaluru and Thiruvananthapuram are limited to testing speeds up to 4 km per second.
IIT Kanpur's three-year-long endeavour has resulted in India's first hyper-velocity expansion tunnel test facility.
The facility is capable of generating flight speeds between 3-10 km/s, simulating the hypersonic conditions encountered during atmospheric entry.
In a statement on social media platform X, IIT Kanpur said that it has achieved "a major milestone with India's First #Hypervelocity Expansion Tunnel Test Facility, a major achievement that puts India amongst only a handful of countries with this advanced hypersonic testing capability."
Funded by the Department of Science and Technology and Aeronautical Research and Development Board under the Defence Research and Development Organisation, this facility, nicknamed 'Jigarthanda', aims to fill a crucial void in India's testing capabilities.
"The S2 facility, nicknamed 'Jigarthanda', is a 24-meter-long facility indigenously designed and developed over a period of three years with funding and support from the Aeronautical Research and Development Board.", the statement further read.
Mohammed Ibrahim Sugarno, associate professor at the Department of Aerospace Engineering and team leader also emphasized the significance of the facility in gathering aerodynamic data for hypersonic velocities, reducing dependence on external agencies.
"The successful establishment of India's first hypervelocity expansion tunnel test facility, marks a historic milestone for IIT Kanpur and for India's scientific capabilities. It will empower India's space and defence organisations with domestic hypersonic testing capabilities for critical projects and missions," said S Ganesh, director of IIT Kanpur.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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