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ISRO developing semi-cryogenic engine working on liquid oxygen kerosene

Preburner ignition test article and Hot test. Photo: ISRO

BENGALURU (PTI): ISRO has said it is developing a 2,000 kN (kilonewton) thrust semi-cryogenic engine working on a Liquid Oxygen (LOX) Kerosene propellant combination for enhancing the payload capability of Launch Vehicle Mark-3 (LVM3) and for future launch vehicles.

Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) is the lead centre for the development of semi-cryogenic propulsion systems with the support of other launch vehicle centres of ISRO.

The successful ignition of a semi-cryo pre-burner is a major accomplishment of ISRO in the development of semi-cryogenic propulsion systems, the space agency said on Monday.

The assembly and testing of the propulsion modules were done at the ISRO propulsion complex (IPRC), Mahendragiri.

As part of the engine development, a pre-burner ignition test article, which is a full complement of the engine power head system excluding the turbopumps, is realised, it said, adding, the first ignition trial was conducted successfully on May 2, at semi cryo integrated engine test facility (SIET) at IPRC, Mahendragiri.

Smooth and sustained ignition of the pre-burner is demonstrated, which is vital for the starting of the semi-cryogenic engine, it added.

According to ISRO, semi-cryogenic engine ignition is achieved using a start fuel ampule which uses a combination of Triethyle Alumnide and Triethyle Boron developed by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and used for the first time in ISRO in the 2000 kN semi-cryogenic engine.

Many injector elemental level ignition tests were conducted at the Propulsion Research Laboratory Division (PRLD) facility of VSSC for characterisation, it said, adding, the ignition process is one of the most critical parts in the development of liquid rocket engine systems.

With the successful ignition of the semi-cryo pre-burner, a major milestone in the semi-cryo engine development has been achieved, it said.

"This will be followed by development tests on the engine powerhead test article and fully integrated engine. The development of a semi-cryo stage with 120 tons of propellant loading is also under progress," it added.

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