Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully flight-tested a Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV), which is an unmanned scramjet vehicle with the ability to travel at six times the speed of sound. The test was conducted from Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Launch Complex at Wheeler Island, off the coast of Odisha. Now, India has joined the elite club of the United States, Russia and China to develop and successfully test Hypersonic Technology.
- The HSTDV tests the indigenously developed hypersonic air-breathing scramjet technology. The scramjets are a variant of air-breathing jet engines and have the ability to handle airflows of speeds much higher than the speed of sound.
- The hypersonic cruise vehicle was launched using a proven solid rocket motor, which took it to an altitude of 30 kilometres, where the aerodynamic heat shields were separated. The cruise vehicle separated from the launch vehicle and the air intake opened as planned.
- The hypersonic combustion sustained and the cruise vehicle continued on its desired flight path at a velocity of six times the speed of sound, which is nearly two kilometres per second, for more than 20 seconds.
- The critical events, like fuel injection and auto-ignition of the scramjet, demonstrated technological maturity.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- DRDO Chairman: Dr G. Satheesh Reddy.
- DRDO Headquarters: New Delhi.