Indian Hypersonic Propulsion Developments

Relevant post:

Talk by Manoj R of DRDLon "Testing of Hydro Carbon Fuelled SCRAMJET Combustor" during Aero India Seminar 2017 on 14 Feb 17 at Hall A of Royal Orchid Convention Centre, Bangalore.

  • Will test 20 sec HSTD SCRAMJET this year.
  • Aim of this project to demonstrate autonomous flight of scramjet vehicle.
  • Altitude - 13 km
Yes yes yes !! Been waiting for this for so long.


@Ashwin any pics yet ?
News link
HSTDV successfully test-fired off Odisha coast

Odisha Sun Times BureauJune 12, 2019

Bhadrak: India successfully test-fired the Hypersonic Technology Defence Vehicle (HSTDV) off Odisha coast today.

The HSTDV was test-fired from launch pad number 4 of at 11.22 am at Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha’s Bhadrak district.

The HSTDV by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) can move upto an altitude of 32.5 km (20 miles) in 20 seconds.

Taking to microblogging site Twitter, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik congratulated the DRDO on successful test-fire of the vehicle.
Hypersonic vehicle programme to be back on track soon

DRDO programme was reviewed by Union minister Rajnath Singh last week as part of a larger audit of the research body.
By Manu Pubby, ET Bureau | Jun 18, 2019, 09.21 AM IST

NEW DELHI: Hypersonic technology demonstrator vehicle (HSTDV) programme is being put back on track after the first developmental trial failed to meet test parameters. Scientists are expecting success within four months.

Hypersonic vehicle programme to be back on track soon
In 2016 ISRO flight tested a scramjet engine. It was described to be a success.

ISRO’s Scramjet Engine Technology Demonstrator Successfully Flight Tested - ISRO






ISRO said :

"ATV is a two stage spin stabilised launcher with identical solid motors (based on Rohini RH560 sounding rocket) as the first as well as the second stage (booster and sustainer). The twin Scramjet engines were mounted on the back of the second stage. Once the second stage reached the desired conditions for engine “Start-up”, necessary actions were initiated to ignite the Scramjet engines and they functioned for about 5 seconds. ATV flight operations were based on a pre-programmed sequence."

I seems another scramjet engine test has been sanctioned by the name Scramjet Experimental Vehicle(SEV). This time they aim to change the intake design of the scramjet engine and increase the duration of operation of the scramjet engine. The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) has been chosen as the nodal centre leading this mission. Unfortunately details are hard to come by and there is no mention of when the test will take place.
Screenshot (385).png

continued ..............
  • Like
Reactions: Proud_Indian
EXCLUSIVE: ISRO Reveals Details Of New Dual-Mode Ramjet Demonstrator

By Sriram Thiagarajan - September 5, 2019

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has revealed that it has been working on a new test vehicle with an integrated dual mode ramjet (DMRJ) engine. Speaking at the 21st Annual CFD Symposium at CSIR-NAL organised by the Aeronautical Society of India held in August 2019, Dr Dipankar Das (ACMD, VSSC, ISRO) stated that the design of a new vehicle with an integrated DMRJ engine, to build on the success of the first test conducted in 2016 is underway and is expected to be finalized soon. Before we turn to some exclusive details of the demonstrator configuration under consideration, let us take a brief look at the evolution of ISRO’s air-breathing engine efforts.

Background on ISRO scramjet technology

Contemporary satellite launch vehicles (SLVs) which are basically multi-stage rockets incur a payload penalty by having to carry an oxidizer along with fuel. As such, countries around the world have been investigating air breathing engines to lift payloads into space more efficiently and India is no exception to this trend. Indeed, ISRO successfully flight tested a DMRJ engine design back in August 28, 2016 itself in furtherance of this goal.

A dual mode ramjet (DMRJ) is a type of jet engine where a ramjet transforms into a scramjet over the Mach 4-8 range, which means it can efficiently operate both in subsonic and supersonic combustor modes. During the August 2016 test, the two DMRJ modules carried on board a sounding rocket reached a flight speed of greater than Mach 5.5 at altitudes of 35 km and 38 km with a dwell time of 5 seconds. After a total flight time of about 300 seconds, the carrier vehicle itself touched down in the Bay of Bengal, approximately 320 km from Sriharikota. Scramjet combustion during this test was achieved while the carrier rocket had essentially begun coasting with its own solid motor having burnt out. Interestingly, most scramjet tests by other nations have been conducted at lower altitudes. As such, ISRO’s DMRJs produced 2287-4629 N of thrust each during the 2016 test and this was in line with what modelling had predicted. In fact, these DMRJs continued providing thrust for a further 14 seconds in blow-down mode during the test. Importantly, pressure distribution along the engine floor was found to match predicted values.

Auto-ignition at supersonic speed, stable flame-holding the flame at supersonic speed, pyro-actuated air intake cowl opening mechanism and fuel injection systems were some of the critical technologies that were successfully demonstrated in the 2016 test. Developing computational tools to simulate flow and combustion at hypersonic speeds, materials capable of withstanding intense thermo-mechanical loads and setting up testing facilities such as hypersonic wind tunnels were some of the challenges that had to be overcome before the test was successfully carried out.

The experiment was conducted in what ISRO calls an ‘air breathing flight corridor’ (ABFC), which is a sort of ‘optimal’ altitude band for testing air-breathing concepts. It is ‘optimal’ because above the ABFC one would find ‘too little’ air to achieve combustion while below it there would be ‘too much’ in the sense that the engine would be subject to extreme thermal-structural loads. During the flight test, upon reaching test conditions, the intake cowl was pyrotechnically opened followed by feeding of pressurized hydrogen fuel. Inlet start occurred followed by flow shocks establishment. Air flow stabilization after intake cowl opening was observed faster than predicted. Fuel injection and subsequent auto-ignition were observed from on-board pressure measurements and instrumentation. To ascertain if auto-ignition occurred during flight testing the igniter was initiated with a 2.2 second delay. The oxy-acetylene based igniter was added as a backup in case auto-ignition did not occur during the flight test. Near simultaneous auto-ignition was observed in both engines with instruments registering a spike in acceleration immediately thereafter.


Fig 1: RLV-TD Flight profile. Source: ISRO Link

The Future

ISRO wishes to employ DMRJs on future Single Stage To Orbit (SSTO) and Two Stage To Orbit (TSTO) missions. These missions would in the future employ rocket or turbine based combined cycle engines. As mentioned above, ISRO is now working towards a bigger DMRJ demonstrator in the near future. The outline of the test vehicle is given in Fig 2, right below:



Fig 2: Barebone Schematics of ISRO’s new proposed DMRJ test vehicle, based on an ISRO presentation made during the 21st Annual CSIR-NAL CFD Symposium.

Overall, ISRO says that it has studied more than a 100 different configurations to arrive at this particular outline. This new demonstrator is expected to be a 3.23 ton vehicle which will cruise at speeds of Mach 6 to Mach 7 and at altitudes between 24 km and 26 km. The DMRJ that will power the flight vehicle is an evolution of the design tested in 2016 and will operate for 200-250 seconds while providing much greater thrust. Although, the first test in 2016 was conducted with Hydrogen as fuel, Kerosene will be employed going forward. Though Hydrogen is a cleaner burning fuel resulting in only hydroxides and water emissions, Kerosene is being preferred since it is denser and does not pose handling difficulties unlike liquid Hydrogen. It also has a lower auto-ignition temperature of 220 °C as compared to 500 °C for Hydrogen. It is noteworthy, that extensive studies were conducted on Kerosene combustion in collaboration NIICHIMASH, Russia. The new vehicle is expected to be statically and dynamically stable.

© Delhi Defence Review. Reproducing this content in full without permission is prohibited.

EXCLUSIVE: ISRO Reveals Details Of New Dual-Mode Ramjet Demonstrator | Delhi Defence Review
DRDO starts work on hypersonic weapon

Sudhi Ranjan Sen
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Updated: Oct 21, 2019 05:47 IST

The Defence Research and Development (DRDO) has started work to produce a hypersonic weapon – missiles that travel at five times speed of sound, or a little over a mile every second. A wind tunnel to test and fine tune the technology will be operational soon, senior government officials who did not want to be named said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is expected to inaugurate the facility soon, they added.

“A hypersonic weapon system is one of the many niche technologies we are exploring seriously,” one of the officials said, asking not to be named.

Billed as a “next-gen” weapon system, the race to acquire hypersonic weapons technology is heating up. China, Russia, and the United States are testing hypersonic weapons of various types to enhance strategic nuclear deterrence and strengthen front-line combat units.

Existing intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) re-entry vehicles also travel at those superfast speeds, but the hypersonic glide vehicles now in development are far more manoeuvrable, making their tracking and interception nearly impossible.

Hypersonic weapons are specifically designed for increased survivability against modern ballistic missile defence systems. These missiles are capable of delivering conventional or nuclear payloads at speeds not imagined hitertoo over long ranges.

In a bid to boost defence manufacturing in India, the DRDO is also offering 1,500 of its patents, including critical missile technology, life sciences, and naval technology, for use by Indian Industry, DRDO chairman G Satish Reddy said.

The patents can be accessed by free of cost even by start-ups and medium and small manufacturing enterprises.

Some of the patents offered for free include technologies to manufacture “man-mounted air-conditioning system”, aircraft arrester barrier system, a sliding mechanism for missile containers, lightweight high strength broadband microwave absorbing rubber, silicon-based lubricants for wide temperature range applications, low-density carbon foam, and anti-corrosive paint for application under immersed conditions, among others.

“DRDO is determined to encourage industry to develop advanced defence equipment thereby making the Make-In-India programme a success. We have today an 1,800-industry base, we are determined to enlarge this base and take the technological capability to a higher level,” Reddy said, explaining the reason behind offering patents at no cost.

Indian industry will not have pay “license fee or royalty” for any of the patented technologies, said a second senior DRDO official who did not want to be named. “DRDO won’t be just offering the technology but will also be handholding the industry and help them produce the product,” he said.

In a related development, DRDO has also tweaked its policy for “Transfer of Technology” (ToT) to the industry. No, ToT fee will be charged from the industry, DRDO Development Partners developing systems or sub-systems for military applications. And, for other industries, the ToT fee is reduced to 5% against an earlier rate of 20%. Also, no royalty is charged for supply to Indian Armed forces and other Govt departments. A nominal royalty of 2% will be charged for supply in the commercial market and for exports.

“Hypersonic weapons will become very critical in the near future. China has demonstrated that it has the technology. Others like US and Russia may already possess such weapons. It’s time that India also starts looking at these technologies,” Lieutenant General(retd) Vinod Bhatia, former Director General of Military Operations said.

DRDO starts work on ‘next-gen’ hypersonic weapon