Tuesday, 26 March 2013

RLV airframe under construction

A winged Re-usable Launch Vehicle Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) has been configured to act as a flying test bed to evaluate various technologies, namely, hypersonic flight, autonomous landing, powered cruise flight and hypersonic flight using air breathing propulsion towards realising a Two Stage to Orbit (TSTO) fully re-usable launch vehicle.

Major highlights of RLV-TD during the year include:

mission analysis based on static test propulsion performance, updating of autopilot design
in RLV-TD ascent phase and Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (TDV) descent phase, 6D simulations through COMETS & SITARA to validate Navigation and Guidance Control (NGC) design, liftoff studies and wind turbulence studies. Guidance and Autopilot designs were modified based on simulation results.

Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (TDV) structural model was realised. Fuselage and inter stage assemblies are realised for structural testing. Flush Air Data System (FADS) (FADS is also one of the critical technologies for AMCA) test article realised and integration procedure, FADS algorithm, avionics and leak tightness for pressure pick up assembly were validated through 1:1 FADS wind tunnel test at IIT, Kanpur.

Qualification model of Radar Altimeter was realised and balloon test conducted at TIFR, Hyderabad. Carbon-carbon (C/C) laminates for nose cap were realised through a new route. Functional qualification test of Launch Hold and Release System (LHRS) with dual pyro initiation carried out with simulated interfaces. 

The testing of HS9 booster stage separation system along with hydraulic line separation system was completed successfully. High altitude test of the 2 kN retro rocket developed for jettisoning spent HS9 motor was successfully conducted at SDSC SHAR.

The Integrated Technical Review (ITR) of RLV-TD by the National Review Committee in October 2012 has concluded that launch of RLV-TD HEX-01 mission in September 2013 is feasible

Human space program Updates:

As part of pre project activities, drop test of full scale Crew Module were conducted successfully to
understand the deceleration characteristics and validate the estimated values of ‘g’ level, touchdown
velocity and depth of penetration. Scale models of Crew Module have been realised for heat transfer
studies, plasma wind tunnel tests and aero-ballistic range tests were conducted. Mortar based parachute ejection and deployment tests carried out in single and clustered configuration. Environmental simulation chamber has been realised for testing of ECLSS functional modules and flight suit systems. Flight suit has been successfully tested in vacuum chamber for leak rate assessment and material compatibility under vacuum conditions.

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