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Cryogenic Engine of ISRO

The Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, a division of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is the company that created the CE-20 cryogenic rocket engine. It has been created to run the LVM-3’s higher stage. The gas-generator cycle is a first for an Indian cryogenic engine. The most potent upper stage cryogenic engine now in use throughout the globe is the high thrust cryogenic engine.

Semi-Cryogenic Engine from ISRO

The SCE-200, also known as the Semi-Cryogenic Engine-200, is a liquid rocket engine with a 2 MN thrust class that is being developed for use in India’s upcoming heavy-lift and super-heavy-lift launch vehicles. It is being developed by ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, and its first flight is anticipated in a few years.

The engine, which will replace the present L110 stage powered by two Vikas engines and increase the payload capacity of India’s LVM-3, burns liquid oxygen (LOX) and RP-1 kerosene in an oxidizer-rich staged combustion cycle. Additionally, it is anticipated to power ISRO’s future reusable rockets based on RLV technology demonstration as well as its impending New Generation Launch Vehicle (NGLV) rockets (formerly planned as ULV).

How Do Semi-Cryogenic Engines Work?

The study of how materials are created and behave at very low or extremely low temperatures is known as cryogenics.

Liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen are the propellants used in the cryogenic engine.
The usage of liquid hydrogen at extremely low temperatures is particularly difficult to store because it is the lightest element, which is one of the drawbacks of cryogenic engines.
The price of producing and utilising liquid hydrogen is very high.

Refined kerosene is used in semi-cryogenic engines as opposed to liquid hydrogen.
As an oxidizer, it makes use of liquid oxygen.
Additionally, compressed natural gas (CNG) is a fuel option.
In addition to routine ‘application’ flights, the Gaganyaan Human Spaceflight programme will also utilise the Semi-Cryogenic engine.
Russia, India’s strategic partner, is providing this mission with essential components as well as semi-cryogenic technology.

Semi-Cryogenic Engine Benefits

Kerosene can be kept at normal temperatures and is much lighter than liquid fuel.
The liquid oxygen plus kerosene gives the rocket extra thrust.
Additionally, because it takes up less room, the fuel compartment or tank may hold more propellant.
In comparison to a cryogenic engine, the semi-cryogenic engine is more powerful, economical, and environmentally benign.
Large weights can be transported by it to higher altitudes.
Due to the 500kg reduction in fuel weight, the payload can be increased.

The 2000 kN Semi Cryogenic Engine underwent its maiden integrated test on May 10, 2023, at the Semi Cryogenic Integrated Engine & Stage Test facility in IPRC, Mahendragiri. Complex chill-down procedures were carried out throughout the 15-hour test to provide the conditions required for engine start.

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