What is Scramjet Engine ?
Science behind air-breathing scramjet engine
WHY IN NEWS:
Launch of HSTDV.
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Space : Science and Technology
For PRELIMS go through priniciple carefully and note down the technologies used in these types of engines.
For MAINS what are the significances if hypersonic ramjet engines ? Can you name a few ?
AIR BREATHING ENGINES
- This indigenous engine is the centrepiece of the cruise vehicle flown by DRDO
- The DRDO called the cruise vehicle Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV).
- The centrepiece of the HSTDV was the indigenously developed air-breathing scramjet engine, which formed the HSTDV’s propulsion system.
- If the mission’s aim was to prove this scramjet engine in flight, it was achieved.
CRITICAL TECHNOLOGIES IN HSTDV MISSION
- The scramjet engine and its ignition
- Generation of maximum energy from the engine
- Development of materials to take care of the high temperatures that occurred due to air friction on the leading edges of the cruiser’s wings,
- Tail surface and nose tip, and controlling the HSTDV with minimum drag and maximum thrust.
THREE TYPES OF AIR-BREATHING ENGINES
- Dual Mode Ramjet (DMRJ)
These are the three concepts of air-breathing engines which are being developed by various space agencies.
- A ramjet is a form of air-breathing jet engine that uses the vehicle’s forward motion to compress incoming air for combustion without a rotating compressor.
- A ramjet-powered vehicle requires an assisted take-off like a rocket assist to accelerate it to a speed where it begins to produce thrust.
- Ramjets work most efficiently at supersonic speeds around Mach 3 (three times the speed of sound) and can operate up to speeds of Mach 6.
- However, the ramjet efficiency starts to drop when the vehicle reaches hypersonic speeds.
- A scramjet engine is an improvement over the ramjet engine .
- Thus it is known as Supersonic Combustion Ramjet, or Scramjet.
DUAL MODE RAMJET
- A dual mode ramjet (DMRJ) is a type of jet engine where a ramjet transforms into scramjet over Mach 4-8 range.
- Which means it can efficiently operate both in subsonic and supersonic combustor modes.
- India is the fourth country to demonstrate the flight testing of a Scramjet Engine.
- Also , faster civilian air transportation and facilities for putting satellites into orbit at a low cost.
SOURCES:THE HINDU | What is Scramjet Engine ?