It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
India has unveiled a model of its highly ambitious hypersonic technology demonstrator vehicle. The country's Defense Research and Development Laboratory is carrying out study work into a hypersonic air vehicle possibly using a dual-mode ramjet/scramjet engine. The vehicle fore-body and intake ramp configuration are clearly visible, and reflect airframe-engine design combinations intended for flight in the Mach 5-7 regime. One option would be to launch on a ballistic missile with the test vehicle being deployed at around 20 km. (12.5 miles).
India-made & faster than Concorde
At first glance, this hypersonic jet would pass off as a blend of an aircraft and a missile. “We are working on the design with a seed money of Rs 15 crore. This is one of the biggest challenges ever in aeronautics. We have identified the team and are networking to build a database on hypersonic systems,” said Prahlada, the director of DRDO’s Defence Research and Development Laboratory, Hyderabad.
The scientists are looking at early 2007 for the first major milestone: the flight of a technology demonstrator for 20 seconds. A successful flight would prompt requests for more money: at least Rs 200 crore to enhance the design and development facilities and Rs 500 crore for a prototype.
“We plan to hoist this 7-metre vehicle into the skies with the help of a rocket and turn on its engine for hypersonic flight. The engine will scoop in air (oxygen) to burn the fuel during the flight and so we have advantages in terms of weight of the vehicle (because of reduced fuel) and intake of oxygen from the atmosphere. The challenge is to generate the thrust at very high speeds,” Prahlada said.
As chairman of the Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle, Prahlada is keen to expand his team. “We have 100 scientists, but we need at least 500 of them. In principle, we at DRDO, Isro and some academic institutions have agreed to set up a hypersonic technology centre. We will put together about Rs 50 crore for this facility where experts will pool in all data on complex technologies involved,” he said.
Aerospace experts from DRDL, Isro, the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and a couple of IITs form the core group for the craft. “The momentum is picking up. My colleagues in Isro are keen to reduce the cost of launching satellites and have given us inputs on the design. We are trying to draw Indian engineers working abroad into the team,” Prahlada said.
So far, only two groups worldwide have reported success with such high-speed vehicles. Nasa’s X-43 unmanned aircraft hit a record 6,600 mph on November 16, 2004, during its 10-second flight. Carried by a modified B-52 bomber, the 12-ft-long wedge-shaped craft was released off the California coast and then propelled to an altitude of 110,000 ft by a Pegasus space booster. The X-43 fired its experimental engine for about 10 seconds, travelling at speeds approaching 10 times the speed of sound.
The Defence Research and Development Laboratory here has begun work on a next-generation aircraft that would fly at hypersonic speeds, that is, seven to ten times faster than the speed of present aircraft.
“This month, we have established a sophisticated engine test complex to test the engine on the ground,” DRDL director Mr Prahalad told The Statesman. This computerised system would test 10 engines in the next one and a half years.
.... fly at least at 7,000 km per hour at an altitude of 30 km,” Mr Prahalad said.
Towards this end, Mr Prahalad has constituted a specialist core team comprising 35 of the DRDL’s best scientists. One fifty more are directly associated with the project. This team is already in the process of working out the aerodynamics, structures, engines, materials, needed for this aircraft to take off.
These elements are absolutely critical as hypersonic speeds cause rapid increase in temperatures because of the air flowing to the aircraft’s surface at several times the speed of sound.
“We are developing the technology needed to create a situation where hypersonic speeds are a reality. For this, both the science and the technology have to work. We are focussing on aerodynamics and system engineering,” Mr Prahalad explained.
Only three other countries — USA, China and Russia — are actively pursuing this concept.
New Delhi, Feb 22 (PTI) The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully demonstrated the supersonic combustion ramjet (SCRAMJET) technology, Lok Sabha was informed today.
The next step in development of this engine is a flight test of an integrated SCRAMJET propulsion module, comprising air-intake, combustor and nozzle, in a two-stage RH-560 sounding rocket, Minister of State in PMO Prithviraj Chauhan said during Question Hour.
Regarding the demonstration of the technology, he said a series of ground tests had been completed successfully on a supersonic combustion ramjet engine. During these tests, a stable combustion was achieved for nearly seven seconds at supersonic speeds corresponding to an inlet Mach number of six, that is six times the speed of sound.
Originally posted by WestPoint23
Yeah right India and china developing hyper plane they cant even produce a fighter jet of their own so if I make a model out of plastic of a aircraft and do wind tunnel tests I am at the same stage as India and china are sorry but that doesn't qualify as having or producing a hyeprplane aircraft.
Originally posted by waynos
But you could say the same about any country. 'Money would be better spent on health, public transport and fighting crime in the UK','money would be better spent giving Americans a national health service' etc etc. Your argument should be 'Aerospace money would be better spent on the less well off citizens of the world' for it to be valid in any way. Singling out India, or any one country, is just rubbish.
already been done X 31 and X 37
Originally posted by Stealth Spy
Another article dated August 8, 2002 that i found :
Indian rocket scientists claim to have designed a reusable space plane, dubbed Avatar, which they plan to use for launching satellites at very extremely low cost and taking tourists on rides into space The Times of India has reported.
According to the report, work on Avatar, has been conducted under tight security due to its military potential. In early July, the project was publicily announced in the United States by retired Air Cmdr Raghavan Gopalaswami, a former chairman of India's Bharat Dynamics Limited and the central figure behind the project which is being financed by India's Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO).
The project team includes scientists from DRDO - which has designed various missiles for India's defence forces including the Agni and Prithvi missiles. In addition, another Hyderabad-based company CIM Technologies is participating in the project.
The Times of India report says that the Avatar uses a unique design that enables the spaceplane tp produces its own fuel in flight and has been patented in India. Applications for registration of the design have also been filed with patent offices in the United States, Germany, China and Russia.
Weighing only 25 tonnes - 60 per cent of which is liquid hydrogen fuel - Avatar is said to be capable of enterinng into a 100-km orbit in a single stage and launching satellites weighing up to one tonne.
Taking off horizontally like a conventional airliner, Avatar will use a combination of turbofan, ramjet and scramjet engines to reach a cruising altitude of 10 kilometres before a cryogenic rocket engine takes over for the final push into space.
The mission over, it de-orbits, re-enters the atmosphere and lands on own power like an airplane. A single Avatar can perform 100 such missions in its life, which means 100 tonnes of payload in space.
According to the report, the critical feature of Avatar is that it does not carry any liquid oxygen at take off. Instead, the entire 21 tonnes of liquid oxygen required for the rocket flight will be produced during an initial hour long cruise through the atmosphere - where at eight times the speed of sound, Avatar will suck in air before separating the oxygen and liquifying it for storage.
Mr Gopalaswami told The Times of India that rather lifting satellites, the spaceplane can be fitted out to carry passengers, and that no special training would be needed, as "it would be like going in a Boeing 747."
Moreover, a trip into space on an Avatar would cost only a fraction of the $20 million that Dennis Tito paid Russia earlier this year for his trip on a Soyuz to the International Space Station.
Although all concepts used in Avatar have been mathematically proven and an engineering design has emerged, Gopalaswami told The Times of India that India would not be able to buuld Avatar alone and that international cooperation for both financing and technology would be essential if Avatar was to become a reality.
Meanwhile, the Avatar team in India will go ahead with a scaled down version called "mini-Avatar" and weighing just three tonnes at take off. To be built by CIM technologies in about five years, mini-Avatar will not go into space but will demonstrate all technologies used in Avatar including oxygen collection.
"It will use technologies available within the country," Gopalaswami said including the core engine Kabini developed for a light combat aircraft.
Gopalaswami said the idea for Avatar originated from the work published by the Rand Corporation of the United States in 1987. "They threw the report into archives. It came to me as anunclassified document and formed the basis for our approach," he told The Times of India.