- ISRO successfully tests semicryogenic engine at new facility in Mahendragiri.
Semi Cryogenic Engine
- It is an advancement in rocket technology that is superior to the current cryogenic engine which is currently under use by ISRO for GSLV (Geo-Synchronous Launch Vehicle).
What is Cryogenic Engine
- Cryogenics is the study of the production and behaviour of materials at very low or extremely low temperatures.
- The Cryogenic Engine uses liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen as propellants.
- There are some disadvantages posed by cryogenic engines: the use of liquid hydrogen at extremely low temperatures is very difficult to store, being the smallest gas.
- The cost of using liquid hydrogen is very expensive
What is Semi Cryogenic Engine
- A semi-cryogenic engine uses refined kerosene instead of liquid hydrogen.
- It uses liquid oxygen as an oxidiser.
- Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) can also be used as fuel.
- The Semi Cryogenic engine will also be used in the Gaganyaan Mission.
- India’s strategic partner Russia is offering its semi-cryogenic technology along with critical components for this mission.
Advantages of Semi Cryogenic Engine
- Kerosene is much lighter than liquid fuel and can be stored at a normal temperature.
- The Kerosene combined with liquid oxygen provides more thrust to the rocket.
- It also occupies less space which makes it possible to have more propellant in the fuel compartment or tank.
- The semi-cryogenic engine is more environment-friendly, cost-effective and more powerful compared to a cryogenic engine.
- It can carry a huge weight to a higher altitude.
- Moreover, the payload can be increased since the weight of the fuel will come down by 500kg.
SCE 200 Project
- India is currently working on the Semi-Cryogenic Engine (SCE-200) as India’s Space program needs to move to the next level.
- The SCE-200 project was approved in 2009 for 1798 Crores.
- It is being developed by the Liquid Propulsion Systems Center,one of the four main pillars of ISRO.
- The other three are the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC), ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU) and the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST).