ISRO conducts successful hot testing of liquid rocket engine

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Sumana | Date 10-05-2024


New Delhi

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has achieved a major milestone by successfully conducting hot testing of a liquid rocket engine manufactured using Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology at ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri.

This achievement marks a remarkable advancement in propulsion technology for space missions.

"ISRO achieved a major milestone with the successful hot testing of liquid rocket engine manufactured through Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology for a duration of 665 s on May 9, 2024. The engine used is the PS4 engine of PSLV upper stage," said the agency.

"The PS4 engine manufactured in the conventional machining and welding route has been in use for the fourth stage of PSLV which has a thrust of 7.33 kN in vacuum condition. The same engine is also used in the Reaction Control System (RCS) of the first stage (PS1) of PSLV" it further added.

The engine uses the earth-storable bipropellant combinations of Nitrogen Tetroxide as oxidizer and Mono Methyl Hydrazine as fuel in pressure-fed mode and was developed by the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) of ISRO.

By employing the Laser Powder Bed Fusion technique, the number of parts was reduced from 14 to a single-piece, eliminating 19 weld joints. This streamlined manufacturing process resulted in substantial savings in raw material usage and a 60 per cent reduction in overall production time.

Before the testing detailed flow and thermal modelling, structural simulation, and cold flow characterisation were conducted to ensure the engine's performance parameters.

ISRO conducted four successful developmental hot tests of the integrated engine, followed by a full qualification duration test of 665 seconds, during which all performance parameters were observed to be as expected.

ISRO plans to integrate this AM PS4 engine into its regular PSLV program, signifying a significant leap in space propulsion technology.