Gaganyaan: ISRO Completes Major Tests Involving The Vikas Engine And Crew Module Propulsion System

Swarajya Staff

Apr 07, 2023, 12:03 PM | Updated 12:03 PM IST

ISRO System Demonstration Model (SDM) for Gangayaan's Crew Module
ISRO System Demonstration Model (SDM) for Gangayaan's Crew Module

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully completed the System Demonstration Model (SDM) tests for Crew Module Propulsion System for the India's maiden human spaceflight programme 'Gaganyaan'.

Further, the Indian space agency has also completed the the final long duration hot test of human-rated L110-G Vikas Engine.

"The crew module of Gaganyaan has got a bipropellant-based propulsion system for providing 3-axis control (Pitch, Yaw and Roll) to Crew Module following Service Module separation during re-entry i.e from an altitude of 170 km to 7 km till the deployment of the parachute-based deceleration system," ISRO said in a statement on Friday (7 April).

It also provides attitude control in the ascent phase abort, if any, from 3 km to 70 km, the space agency added.

The crew module propulsion system hardware consists of twelve 100 N thrusters and associated flow control components.

"On April 5, 2023, the hot test of the Crew Module Propulsion System for demonstrating the nominal re-entry for the duration of 650 s (seconds) was successfully conducted at ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri," ISRO said.

Prior to this, a series of tests were carried out with six thrusters, it added.

This system was designed, developed, and realised by Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, Valiamala.

ISRO said that completing this test is a major step in qualifying the Crew Module Propulsion System for the Gaganyaan Programme.

Further, the space agency on Thursday (6 April) successfully accomplished the final long duration hot test of human rated L110-G Vikas Engine.

"The final long duration hot test of human rated L110-G Vikas Engine is successfully accomplished for the planned qualification duration of 240 s on April 6, 2023 at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC), Mahendragiri," ISRO said.

According to the ISRO, the successful completion of this test marks a major milestone in the Gaganyaan programme.

"The air-lit liquid core stage of human-rated launch vehicle (LVM3-G) uses two L110-G Vikas engines in clustered configuration. With this test all the planned qualification tests of the engine are completed successfully," it said.

Design and realisation of L110 stage for Gaganyaan is carried out at Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), assembly and integration and testing is carried out at IPRC.

Engine Gimbal Control system was developed by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).

The Vikas engine uses storable propellants in a pump-fed gas generator cycle.

"Human rated Vikas engine has higher structural margins for sub-systems, improved assembly process and additional measurements for health monitoring," ISRO said.

The space agency said that the hot tests of human rated Vikas Engine were conducted in a step-by-step manner at Principal Test Stand, IPRC.

"Nine engines had undergone 14 hot tests with a cumulative duration of 1215 s, including four long duration tests of 240 s each," the space agency said.

Drawn from the extensive legacy and experience of liquid rocket engine development, the test campaign envelopes extreme operating durations, off-nominal mixture ratios and thrust level conditionsas compared to flight operating conditions.

"Four sets of hardware used for this test programme were fabricated at various Indian industries," ISRO said.

Electro-mechanical Gimbal actuators and Command System module for engine pilot pressure control, with multiple redundancies were also qualified in the test, it added.

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