Chennai: The development of Scramjet (Supersonic Combustion Ramjet) engine will not happen in the near future and it will take more than a decade, according to K.Sivan, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre.
Speaking to reporters in Chennai after the successful flight test of the Scramjet engine on Sunday, he said, “It is a first baby step towards achieving future rocket technology. This technology is very important for the future as it will give major advancements in the space transportation system.”
He said the success of the Scramjet engine is an important milestone in the space technology for the country. Terming the new technology as a ‘holy grail’ for space-faring nations he said, “This is an emerging technology and very few countries alone have demonstrated it.”
“We have tested it at Mach 6 speed. We have to test this engine at various speeds including from Mach 2 to 12. We also need to develop new materials for the engine as it has to withstand the oscillation of rockets,” he said.
Normally in rocket propulsion, fuel and oxidiser will be carried for the combustion process. In this Scramjet engine, oxygen from the atmosphere will be used for the combustion process.
“In a 400-tonne GSLV vehicle, 85% is rocket propellants. 70% of the propellants are oxidisers. Most of these oxidisers will be consumed within the 50 km height. Just imagine how much load we can reduce with the new technology,” Sivan said.
Explaining the complicated technology in the engine he said, “The rocket will be at the supersonic speed when the oxygen enters the combustion chamber.
We have to ignite the engine when the rocket is at the supersonic speed and the flame has to be sustained.”