ISRO tests hybrid propulsion system

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre performs tests at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC), Mahendragiri.

September 21, 2022 12:43 pm | Updated 01:35 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

30 kN hybrid motor in test bed.

30 kN hybrid motor in test bed. | Photo Credit: ISRO

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, that it has successfully demonstrated a hybrid propulsion system that uses a solid fuel and liquid oxidiser.

The hybrid motor was tested at the ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC), Mahendragiri, on Tuesday evening. The hybrid system is more efficient, ''greener'' and safer to handle and paves the way for new propulsion technologies for future missions, the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) which tested it with support from the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), said.

In the ground-based test, the flight equivalent 30 kN hybrid motor used Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB)-based aluminised solid fuel and liquid oxygen (LOX) as the oxidiser. The test was performed for 15 seconds on a 300-mm sounding rocket motor.

Conventional HTPB-based solid propellant motors used in rockets use ammonium perchlorate as oxidiser. In rocket engines, oxidisers supply the oxygen needed for combustion.

While both HTPB and LOX are green, the cryogenic LOX is safer to handle. And unlike conventional solid motors, the hybrid technology permits restarting and throttling capabilities on the motor. The use of liquids facilitates throttling and control over the flow rate of LOX, the VSSC said.

The technology demonstration paves the way for hybrid propulsion-based sounding rockets and an exciting platform for vertical landing experiments for spent-stage recovery, the VSSC said.

As part of perfecting the technology, ISRO will try it out on a sounding rocket launch in future.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.