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ISRO tested Reusable Launch Vehicle

  • Published
    3rd Apr, 2023

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.
  • Components:
  • 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 distribution and display system. It has a Radar Centre which houses primary and secondary surveillance radars.


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