Bangalore: Very soon Indian missiles will fly lighter and longer thanks to an innovative technology developed by the prestigious Indian Institute of Science (IISc) here. Scientists have confirmed that a layer of chromium coating, applied to the nose of a missile, has the potential of increasing its range by atleast a third.
According to reports, scientists at the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry of the IISc have successfully demonstrated the potential of the coating to increase the range of a missile by atleast 30 per cent without adding fuel.
According to the project's lead scientist, Professor KPJ Reddy, Department of Aerospace Engineering, the chromium coating reduces the aerodynamic drag encountered by a missile or a space vehicle by up to 47 per cent.
''As the chromium coating evaporates with the enormous frictional heat generated during hypersonic flight, it reacts with the oxygen atoms present in the atmosphere and produces chromium oxide,''Reddy said. ''This reaction is exothermic, that is producing more heat, thereby decreasing the density of the air around the nose of the missile. As the pressure reduces, so does the drag force, which in turn enables the missile to increase its range.''
The nose of a missile, conventionally blunted in order to reduce heating, increases the drag. This considerably reduces the range. ''Large amounts of fuel are needed to compensate for the drag and to give the vehicle thrust,'' said Reddy. ''With this technology, we increase the range without using additional fuel.''
The scientist confirmed that the technology would be used not only for application on missiles, but also on space vehicles. He said that a patent application for the technology, which was invented six months ago, had already been accepted.