ISRO successfully carried out the landing experiment of the Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstration (RLV-TD) programme at the Aeronautical Test Range in Chitradurga, Karnataka.
About Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstration (RLV-TD):
The configuration of RLV-TD is similar to that of an aircraft and combines the complexity of both launch vehicles and aircraft.
The winged RLV-TD has been configured to act as a flying test bed to evaluate various technologies, namely, hypersonic flight, autonomous landing and powered cruise flight.
In future, this vehicle will be scaled up to become the first stage of India’s reusable two stage orbital launch vehicle.
RLV-TD consists of a fuselage (body), a nose cap, double delta wings and twin vertical tails.
It also features symmetrically placed active control surfaces called Elevons and Rudder.
This technology demonstrator was boosted to Mach no: 5 by a conventional solid booster (HS9) designed for low burn rate.
Objectives of RLV-TD:
Hypersonic aero thermodynamic characterisation of wing body
Evaluation of autonomous Navigation, Guidance and Control (NGC) schemes
Integrated flight management
Thermal Protection System Evaluation
In a first in the world, a winged body has been carried to an altitude of 4.5 km by helicopter and released for carrying an autonomous landing on a runway.
Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) Facility:
Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) is an out-door testing and evaluation facility set up by DRDO exclusively for unmanned and manned aircraft.
The ATR is under the command of the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE).
ATR is located at Varavoo Kaval in Challakere Taluk of Chitradurga district
ATR, Chitradurga has a Range Control Centre (RCC) with air traffic display system. It is equipped with a mission video distributionand display system. It has a Radar Centre which houses primary and secondary surveillance radars.