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ISRO successfully completes human-rated engine test campaign

The final long duration hot test of human rated L110-G Vikas Engine is successfully accomplished for the planned qualification duration of 240 s on April 6, 2023 at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC), Mahendragiri.

The successful completion of this test marks a major milestone in the human space flight programme, Gaganyaan, of ISRO. The air-lit liquid core stage of human-rated launch vehicle (LVM3-G) uses two L110-G Vikas engines in clustered configuration. With this test all the planned qualification tests of the engine are completed successfully.

Design and realization of L110 stage for Gaganyaan is carried out at Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), assembly and integration and testing is carried out at IPRC. Engine Gimbal Control system was developed by VSSC.

The Vikas engine uses storable propellants in a pump-fed gas generator cycle. Human rated Vikas engine has higher structural margins for sub-systems, improved assembly process and additional measurements for health monitoring. Human rated Vikas Engine development hot tests were conducted in a step-by-step manner at Principal Test Stand, IPRC. Nine engines had undergone 14 hot tests with a cumulative duration of 1215 s, including four long duration tests of 240 s 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 conditionsas compared to flight operating conditions. 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.

The test was witnessed by Shri S Somanath, Chairman ISRO/ Secretary DoS, Dr. V Narayanan, Director, LPSC, Dr. S Unnikrishnan Nair, Director, VSSC, Shri J Asir Packiaraj, Director, IPRC and other functionaries.

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