Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) Monday said it will manufacture cryogenic engine to launch heavy rockets by the Indian space agency for carrying heaver satellites into the geo-synchronous orbit, about 36,000 km above earth.
The integrated cryogenic engine manufacturing facility will be located in HAL’s aerospace complex in the city, with the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) investing Rs.139 crore in the plant.
“Our plan is to commission the facility in the next two years to manufacture cryogenic engines for our space missions in future,” HAL chairman R.K. Tyagi said at an event where ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan laid the foundation stone for the plant.
A cryogenic engine or upper stage of a rocket known as geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) uses oxidizer, a mixture of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, as a fuel at super cooled temperatures below 100 degrees Celsius to enable the rocket deploy a spacecraft (satellite) at an intended slot in the geosynchronous orbit.
Though the space agency earlier used Russian-made cryogenic engines for seven of its heavy rocket launches since 2001, including three development flights, it successfully launched a heavy rocket with a homegrown cryo engine Jan 5 to put a heavy communication satellite into the geostationary transfer orbit after its maiden flight attempt failed April 10, 2013.
The cryogenic facility will have rotary vacuum brazing unit, machineries for sheet metal forming and five-axis CNC machines for complex geometry machining, tungsten inert gas/metal inert gas welding, heat treatment facilities for special materials and testing facilities.
“We have been partners in progress with HAL and will continue to be so in future too”,” Radhakrishnan said and recalled the role of HAL in the success of the Mars Orbiter Mission Sept 24 after a nine-month voyage through inter-planetary space from earth.
Assuring the space agency of its support in all its missions, Tyagi said HAL was transforming into a technology-driven organisation from being a manufacturing firm.
“We have identified 111 technologies to master in next few years and have registered about 500 patents this year,” he added.
“The new facility is projected to have a turnover of Rs.9 crore per year,” the company said in a statement later.
The city-based HAL has partnered with ISRO since the 1970s to provide hardware for its various satellites and rockets, including the latest GSLV Mark-III.