ISRO’s CE-20 cryogenic engine

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Source-This post on ISRO’s CE-20 engine has been created based on the article “Ahead of Gaganyaan, ISRO’s CE-20 engine already has a notable legacy” published in “The Hindu” on 25 February 2024.

Why in the news?

ISRO has recently accomplished the human rating of its cryogenic engine (CE20), which powers the cryogenic stage of the human-rated LVM3 launcher for India’s first human space flight mission Gaganyaan.

About CE-20 cryogenic engine

CE-20 cryogenic engine
Source-The Hindu

Description– It is an indigenous cryogenic engine developed by ISRO that powers the cryogenic stage of the human-rated LVM3 launch vehicle for Gaganyaan mission.

Features-
1) It is the first cryogenic engine to use the gas-generator cycle. This discards the exhaust from the pre-burner instead of sending it to the combustion chamber.  It reduces fuel efficiency. However, it makes the CE-20 engine easier to build and test.

2) It is a vital component, serving as the powerhouse of the Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS) responsible for propelling the upper stage (C25) of the LVM3 vehicle.

3) It achieves a higher maximum thrust (~200 kilonewton v. 73.5 kilonewton) with a shorter burn duration.

4) It has demonstrated its capability by successfully operating at a thrust level of 19 tonnes in six successive LVM3 missions, including the Chandrayaan-2, Chandrayaan-3, and two commercial OneWeb missions.

What does human rating of CE20 engine mean?

Rockets that carry humans to space require ‘human-rating’. This entails testing particular components repeatedly to ensure failures happen at less than a particular rate.

What are the highlights of ground qualification tests for the human rating of the CE20?

1) Comprehensive evaluation– It includes life demonstration tests, endurance tests, and performance assessment under nominal operating conditions as well as off-nominal conditions relative to thrust, mixture ratio, and propellant tank pressure.
2) Hot firing test– Four CE-20 engines had been hot-fire tested for a cumulative 8,810 seconds against the minimum human rating qualification standard requirement of 6,350 seconds.

Read more about-Gaganyaan Mission

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