Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Jan 12, 2006


Group Sites

Home Page - Research & Development
Industry & Economy - Science & Technology

Scramjet: ISRO makes major breakthrough

Our Bureau

Bangalore , Jan. 11

NATIONAL space agency ISRO said it has achieved an early step in the race for low-cost, reusable space vehicle technology with a brief demonstration of its scramjet (supersonic combustion ramjet).

"As such technologies are in a very nascent stage of development the world over, ISRO considers this achievement as a major technology breakthrough in air-breathing propulsion," an ISRO release said.

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSCC), Thiruvananthapuram, has designed, developed and tested the scramjet as part of the ongoing work on air-breathing propulsion. VSSC demonstrated the scramjet for seven seconds at Mach 6 (six times the speed of sound) through a series of ground tests.

The complex air-breathing rockets under development use atmospheric oxygen during flight, while today's rockets carry both the oxygen and the fuel. As such they will be lighter, more efficient and cost some 15 times less than the conventional ones.

The next step would be to test it on ground at Sriharikota, enhance to Mach 10 and then on a Rohini sounding rocket, "which would be a major achievement," a spokesman said. An actual rocket using this technology would be at least 10 years away.

According to the release, "Other than US, which has recently carried out in-flight demonstration of supersonic combustion for a short duration (at a record Mach 10), work related to supersonic combustor designs in Japan, China, Russia, Australia, Europe and others are either in their initial or ground testing phase."

Current launchers cannot be re-used. The cost per kg of payload of such systems is a high $12,000-15,000 per kg. To make space transport more affordable, this cost has to be cut to $500-1,000 per kg. It will need both, a reusable and recoverable system and a more efficient propulsion system like air-breathing rockets. This is what space-faring nations are working at.

More Stories on : Research & Development | Science & Technology

Article E-Mail :: Comment :: Syndication :: Printer Friendly Page

Stories in this Section
Scramjet: ISRO makes major breakthrough

Fresh system to lift mercury in North
Sahara, Jet in talks for `strategic alliance'
Auto show set for big launch today — Rs 440-cr business deals likely to be accomplished
Bids for MUL stake: Banks, FIs take cautious approach
Chidambaram promises to simplify fringe benefit tax — `Non-navratna disinvestment on track'
Power problem: Wipro thinks `captive'
Infosys to review hedging policy — `Rupee volatility very high this quarter, we have to be slightly more active'
Infosys Q3 net up 31 pc — Volatile rupee hits profitability
Infosys headcount to hit 50,000 soon
Electricity Tribunal allows PowerGrid to execute M.P. project at higher cost — Sets aside CERC order on `cost ceiling'

The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2006, The Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu Business Line