Air-Breathing Propulsion System Will be Tested by ISRO [ Current Affairs ]


An Air-breathing Propulsion System will be tested by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) after successful test of Reusable launch Vehicle- Technology Demonstration (RLV-TD).

  • The main object behind testing of air-breathing propulsion system is to capitalize on the oxygen in the atmosphere in its place of liquefied oxygen while in flight.
  • ISRO is developing and testing various technologies to lower the cost of launch vehicles and the air-breathing impulsion system is part of its new space endeavor.

Key facts:

  • Conventional launch vehicles used to launch satellites, uses liquefied oxygen for combustion of propellants with oxidizer and fuel.
  • Air-breathing Propulsion System is carried in to rockets with the fuel for increase in lift-off mass.
  • UP to 50 km atmosphere from the earth’s surface its uses natural oxygen present to burn the fuel stored in the rocket.
  • Benefits:
  • This system would help to reduce the lift-off mass of the vehicle as there is no requirement of carrying liquefied oxygen on board the vehicle.
  • It will increase the energy efficiency of the rocket and also make it cost-effective.
  • Way forward:
  • A reusable launch vehicle the objective of ISRO will get compliment by the propulsion system that would have longer flight duration.
  • This system contain the newly tested scramjet engine, would turn out to be crucial while distributing up the spacecraft.

About RLV-TD:

  • RLV-TD is flying body atmosphere vehicle that functioned in hypersonic flight regime.
  • It is capable of launching satellites into orbit all over the earth and then re-enter the atmosphere.
  • It has been organized to act as a flying tested to assess various technologies, counting hypersonic flight, autonomous landing, powered cruise flight.
  • Nine-ton solid rocket motor (SRM) is used to launch it which is designed to scald gradually to put up the vertical lifting of winged body.
  • The RLV-TD was 6.5 meter long and has aeroplane like structure.
  • It has around 1.75 tonnes weighs and is very similar to the elderly US space shuttle.

- Published on: May 26, 2016