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ISRO on Monday commissioned two major facilities– a Hypersonic Wind Tunnel and Shock Tunnel– at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre at Thiruvananthapuram as part of its continuous and concerted efforts to minimise cost of access to space. ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar said commissioning of such facilities would provide adequate data for design and development of current and future space transportation systems in the country.
He said commissioning of the facility symbolises the country’s capability in establishing such world class facilities wherein technology from outside is restricted or not available.
The one meter Hypersonic Wind Tunnel and one meter Shock Tunnel have been established with a wide spectrum of simulation capabilities in terms of Mach number, Reynolds number and re-entry velocities, an official release said
These facilities, indigenously designed, developed and ‘Made in India’ with the support of Indian industries, are the third largest in terms of size and simulation capability in the world, it said.
A few critical technologies, which are under embargo, have been jointly developed by ISRO and industries for realisation of these facilities.
VSSC Director Sivan in his presidential address said though excellent modeling capabilities exists with the advent of powerful computers, there was no other replacement for wind tunnel testing for aerodynamic characterisation.
The new facility would help aerodynamic characterisation of advanced space transportation systems, he said.
The facilities were dedicated in the memory of Satish Dhawan, a pioneer in the field and named as the Satish Dhawan Wind tunnel Complex.
ISRO is planning future missions such as Reusable Launch Vehicles, Two Stage to Orbit, Air Breathing propulsion systems and Human Space Flight Programme, the release added.