The Indian space agency has conducted the first integrated test of an intermediate configuration of its semicryogenic engine at a new test facility.
According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the test was carried out on the 2,000 kilo Newton semicryogenic engine at the newly commissioned test facility at the ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC), Mahendragiri.
The intermediate configuration, designated as Power Head Test Article (PHTA), comprises all the engine systems except the thrust chamber, ISRO said.
The test is the first of a series of tests planned to validate the design of the propellant feed system, including the low-pressure and high-pressure turbo-pumps, the gas generator, and control components.
The Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) of ISRO has undertaken the design and development of a semicryogenic engine with 2000 kN thrust with Indian industry participation, and will power the booster stages of future launch vehicles and works on Liquid Oxygen (LOX)-kerosene propellant combination.
ISRO said the test that was done on May 10, 2023, is a major milestone before integrating the complete engine and its qualification.
This test demonstrated the complex chill-down operations spanning about 15 hours duration that was conducted successfully, meeting all the required conditions for engine start.
After the chill down of the LOX circuit, the feed circuit of kerosene was filled, and LOX was admitted into the gas generator by opening the injection valve. Successful performance of the test article helps derive the sequence of operations for further tests.
The new test facility at IPRC, Mahendragiri, is capable of testing semicryogenic engines up to 2,600 kN thrust and will support the subsequent testing and qualification of the fully integrated semi cryogenic engine and stage.
This test has demonstrated the successful performance of the test facility and power head test article in the first attempt itself.