Rocket navigation systems designed by the Indian Space Research Organisation
(ISRO) will be used in the geosynchronous launch vehicle (GSLV) flight slated
for sometime in March-April 2008.
new navigation system''s functionality and efficiency on an actual flight were
tested on board of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C8 (PSLV-C8) that flew this
April. The rocket had a second equipment bay to test the mission computers, navigation
and telemetry systems.
test results met the expectations of the ISRO scientists and that of the existing
flight navigation systems.
ISRO-designed new avionics weighing around 185kg is lighter than the navigation
systems that guides the PSLV and GSLV now," says Dr. B N Suresh, director,
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, ISRO.
to him every one kg reduction in the weight of the launch vehicle translates into
a one kg increase in the payload, other things remaining the same.
new navigation system is powered by Vikram, the microprocessor chip designed by
ISRO. Presently ISRO uses Motorola''s processor. The designing of the chip is of
strategic interest to the country. According to ISRO scientists the Vikram chip
is far faster than what is used now.
flight path of the forthcoming GSLV will be guided by the existing navigation
to Dr Suresh, ISRO will be testing its air-breathing engine on its sounding rockets
this October. Air breathing engines 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 contract to the convention chemical rocket systems, which
carry both oxygen and fuel on-board.
a result, the air breathing systems become much lighter and more efficient, leading
to reduced overall costs. 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