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India’s First Hypervelocity Test Facility

Why is it in the news?

  • The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT-K) has recently achieved the successful establishment and testing of India’s first Hypervelocity Expansion Tunnel Test Facility, known as S2 or ‘Jigarthanda.’

 More about the news

  • The hypervelocity test facility, is situated at the Hypersonic Experimental Aerodynamics Laboratory (HEAL) within the Department of Aerospace Engineering at IIT Kanpur.
  • This facility was designed and developed indigenously over a period of three years by the collaborative efforts of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and IIT Kanpur.
  • The development of this facility received financial support from the Fund for Improvement in S&T Infrastructure (FIST) of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), with an allocation of Rs 4.5 Crores in 2018.
  • Capable of generating flight speeds ranging between 3-10 km/s, the facility can simulate hypersonic conditions encountered during various scenarios such as atmospheric entry of vehicles, asteroid entry, scramjet flights, and ballistic missiles.

Significance of India’s First Hypervelocity Test Facility 

  • The facility serves as a vital asset for organizations like the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), providing them with a platform to test and validate advanced aerospace technologies.
  • It acts as a testing ground for ongoing missions such as Gaganyaan (India’s human spaceflight program), Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLV), and hypersonic cruise missiles, enabling the development of more advanced and reliable aerospace technologies.
  • India’s possession of such advanced hypersonic testing capabilities places it among a select few countries globally, showcasing its prowess in aerospace technology and research.
  • The establishment of this facility signifies a significant capacity boost for India’s space and defence sectors, empowering them to develop cutting-edge hypersonic technologies and stay at the forefront of aerospace innovation.
Aeronautical Research and Development Board (ARDB)

·       The Aeronautical Research and Development Board (ARDB) was established by the Government of India in 1971, following the recommendation of the Subramanian Committee report.

·       ARDB serves as the national body responsible for coordinating and funding futuristic research and development programs in the field of Aeronautics. It plays a crucial role in driving innovation and advancements in aerospace technology in India.

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