UPSC Exam   »   Launch Vehicles in India Part 2   »   Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet Technology

Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet Technology

SFDR UPSC: Relevance

  • GS 3: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

 

Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet Technology: Context

  • Recently, DRDO has successfully flight-tested Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) booster, a missile system, at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur off the Odisha coast.

सॉलिड फ्यूल डक्टेड रैमजेट टेक्नोलॉजी

SFDR DRDO: Key points

  • The test demonstrated reliable functioning of all critical components involved in the complex missile system and met all the mission objectives.
  • Defence Minister termed it as an important milestone towards development of critical missile technologies in the country.

 

What is Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet?

  • SFDR is a missile propulsion system developed jointly by India and Russia.
  • SFDR is based on the principle of Ramjet principle.
  • SFDR enables missile to intercept aerial threats at very long range at supersonic speeds.
  • DRDO began developing SFDR in 2017 and has conducted its successful trial in 2018 and 2019.

 

Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet Technology_40.1

 

What is Ramjet engine?

  • A ramjet is a form of air-breathing jet engine that uses the vehicle’s forward motion to compress incoming air for combustion without a rotating compressor.
  • A ramjet-powered vehicle requires an assisted take-off like a rocket assist to accelerate it to a speed where it begins to produce thrust.
  • Ramjets work most efficiently at supersonic speeds around Mach 3 (three times the speed of sound) and can operate up to speeds of Mach 6.
  • However, the ramjet efficiency starts to drop when the vehicle reaches hypersonic speeds.

 

Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet Technology_50.1

 

What is Scramjet engine?

  • The Scramjet engine designed by ISRO uses hydrogen as fuel and the oxygen from the atmospheric air as the oxidiser.
  • A scramjet engine is an improvement over the ramjet engine as it efficiently operates at hypersonic speeds and allows supersonic combustion.
  • Thus, it is known as Supersonic Combustion Ramjet, or Scramjet.
  • The first experimental mission of ISRO’s Scramjet Engine towards the realisation of an Air Breathing Propulsion System was successfully conducted in 2016 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
  • With this flight, critical technologies such as ignition of air breathing engines at supersonic speed, holding the flame at supersonic speed, air intake mechanism and fuel injection systems have been successfully demonstrated.

 

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