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Gaganyaan: ISRO successfully completes human-rated engine test campaign

BENGALURU (PTI): ISRO on Thursday said it had completed the final long-duration hot test of human-rated L110-G Vikas engine for the planned qualification duration of 240 seconds, marking a major milestone in the journey towards the launch of the Gaganyaan human spaceflight programme.

The test was carried out at the ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC), Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu.

"With this test, all the planned qualification tests of the engine are completed successfully," the Indian Space Research Organisation, the Bengaluru-headquartered national space agency, said in a statement.

The air-lit liquid core stage of the human-rated launch vehicle (LVM3-G) uses two L110-G Vikas engines in clustered configuration.

The design and realisation of L110 stage for Gaganyaan was carried out at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), and assembly and integration and testing were done at IPRC. The Engine Gimbal Control system was developed by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).

The Vikas engine uses storable propellants in a pump-fed gas generator cycle.

The human-rated Vikas engine has higher structural margins for sub-systems, improved assembly process and additional measurements for health monitoring. The development hot tests it was subjected to were conducted in a step-by-step manner at the Principal Test Stand, IPRC, the release said.

Nine engines had undergone 14 hot tests with a cumulative duration of 1,215 seconds, including four long-duration tests of 240 seconds each.

Drawn from the extensive legacy and experience of liquid rocket engine development, the test campaign envelopes extreme operating durations, off-nominal mixture ratios and thrust level conditions as compared to flight operating conditions, ISRO said.

Four sets of hardware used for this test programme were fabricated at various Indian industries.

Electro-mechanical Gimbal actuators and Command System module for engine pilot pressure control, with multiple redundancies were also qualified in the test. ISRO could complete the human-rated L110-G Vikas engine qualification within a short span of three years, it added.

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