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  • Writer's picturebidyut gogoi

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre gets a new trisonic wind tunnel

The first blow-down test for the new trisonic wind tunnel at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) was successfully completed on Thursday.

The enormous structure gives the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) a powerful internal support system for space missions and the ability to conduct experiments in three speed regimes. According to the VSSC, it is a significant step toward national aeronautical self-sufficiency.

In this example, scale models of ISRO rockets and spacecraft were studied using wind tunnels, which are instruments designed to research the effects of air flows on solid things. At its widest point, the trisonic wind tunnel at VSSC is 5.4 metres tall and 160 metres long.

S. Somanath, the chairman of ISRO, turned on the blowdown.

A "blow down test" simulates flight circumstances by releasing stored gases and blowing them through the test portion of the tunnel. According to the space agency, the tunnel can replicate flight circumstances at speeds ranging from 0.8 times the speed of sound (68 metres per second) to 4 times the speed of sound (1,360 metres per second).

The phrase "trisonic" describes the tunnel's capacity to conduct tests at three different speeds: subsonic, transonic, and supersonic (supersonic). Its components include air storage tanks, an airflow'smoothening' chamber, and nozzles for releasing air into the test portion.

The test was seen by senior ISRO officials including VSSC director S. Unnikrshanan Nair, LPSC director V. Narayanan, and ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU) director Sam Dayala Dev.

With the help of industries, M/s Tata Projects India Ltd. implemented the trisonic wind tunnel.

The trisonic wind tunnel at the National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL), Bengaluru, had long been a source of reliance for ISRO. The VSSC already has a hypersonic wind tunnel for testing re-entry mission parameters. This tunnel, which was put into service in 2017, can mimic flow rates of up to Mach 12.

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