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10th December 2022 (8 Topics)

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre gets a new trisonic wind tunnel

Context

  • A new trisonic wind tunnel was inaugurated by successfully conducting the first blow-down test at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).

About

What is a Trisonic Wind Tunnel?

  • The trisonic wind tunnel is used to study the aerodynamic behaviour of flying objects, such as aeroplanes, artillery projectiles or missiles in all three-speed regimes:
    • Subsonic
    • Transonic
    • Supersonic
  • This is how it got its name, Trisonic Wind Tunnel.
  • This system aids the aerodynamic design of rockets and re-entry spacecraft by characterizing a scaled model by evaluating forces, moments, load distribution, unsteady pressures, acoustic levels etc.

Specifications of the Trisonic Wind Tunnel:

  • Maximum Length: 160 m
  • Maximum cross section: 4 m

Uses:

  • The tunnel can be used for testing various space vehicles in three flight regimes:
    • below the speed of sound(Subsonic)
    • at the speed of sound (Transonic)
    • above the speed of sound (Supersonic)
  • The tunnel can simulate flight conditions from 0.2 times the speed of sound (68 m/s) to 4 times the speed of sound (1360 m/s).

Significance:

  • The trisonic wind tunnel was implemented through M/s Tata Projects India Ltd with the assistance of industries across the country.
    • The trisonic wind tunnel is a major step towards India’s increasing self-reliance in the Aerospace sector.
  • For years, ISRO had depended on the trisonic wind tunnel at the National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL), now it has its own.

National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL):

  • National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) in Bengaluru is the only industrial wind tunnel providing high-speed aerodynamic data for national aerospace programmes for:
    • civil sectors
    • military sectors
  • The 1.2m trisonic wind tunnel was built by the CSIR between 1963 and 1967.
  • It has recently commemorated its 55 years.
  • The highest speed of this tunnel is Mach 4.0 which is four times the speed of sound.
  • DRDO’s missiles such as Agni, Akaash, Prithvi, Pralay, SRSAM, LRSAM, ASTRA, NAG, LRAShM, BrahMos, Nirbhay, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, etc. were characterized in this facility.
  • Aerodynamic characterisation of the ISRO’s launch vehicles such as ASLV, PSLV, SLV, SSLV, GSLV, RLV and GAGANYAAN programmes was carried out extensively.

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