Chennai: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) designed new rocket navigation systems have performed flawlessly. Installed on board of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C8 (PSLV-C8) to test its functionality and efficiency on an actual flight, the performance of avionics was excellent say ISRO scientists.
Says director P S Veeraraghavan, ISRO Inertial Systems Unit, "The test results are identical to our expectations and that of the existing flight navigation systems."
"ISRO's two launch vehicles PSLV and Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV) will soon be fitted with indigenously designed navigation systems", adds director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, ISRO, Dr.B N Suresh.
Named as Vikram the microprocessor that powered the navigation computers was designed by ISRO. Presently ISRO uses Motorola's 68,000 processor.
With the perpetual threat of technological transfer ban by the western countries hanging over ISRO, Veeraraghavan says designing our own microprocessor is of strategic interest. "The Vikram processor is ten times powerful than the existing one."
ISRO started the work on developing the processor couple of years ago. The systems were tested on the ground using flight simulation.
Meanwhile ISRO is planning to test its air-breathing engine first on its sounding rockets. According to Dr. Suresh, the space organisation has plans to do that in September this year.
Air breathing rocket systems are the ones which use the atmospheric oxygen from their surroundings and burn it with the stored on- board fuel for producing the forward thrust in contrast to the conventional chemical rocket systems, which carry both the oxygen and fuel on-board.
As a result, the air breathing systems become much lighter and more efficient, leading to reduced overall costs. As the air breathing systems have the capability to operate only during the atmospheric phase of flight, they always have to be adopted along with the conventional chemical rockets, for meeting the final orbital velocity requirements