Features Sunday, March 29, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | March 29, 2015 | 7:50 am IST The Indian space agency is looking at the possibility of having ion propulsion system to power its future satellites, said a senior space scientist on Saturday. Speaking to reporters, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre director K.Sivan said: "In order to reduce the satellite mass, we are looking at ion propulsion system." The centre is part of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Presenly the satellite fuel occupy space and make it heavy. According to Sivan, the proposed technology would be tested in a communication satellite. In an ion engine, Electric power is used to create charged particles of the fuel, usually the gas xenon, and accelerate them to extremely high velocities. The exhaust velocity of conventional rockets is limited by the chemical energy stored in the fuel’s molecular bonds, which limits the thrust to about 5km/s.  Ion engines are in principle limited only by the electrical power available on the spacecraft, but typically the exhaust speed of the charged particles range from 15km/s to 35km/s. US space agency NASA used the ion engine in its Dawn spacecraft. To read more about the engine and the journey of the spacecraft, follow the link to an earlier story below. Read - Dawn of a new era: the revolutionary ion engine that took spacecraft to Ceres The other technology that the centre is working on is semi-cryogenic engine. He said the centre has tested the ISRO developed cryogenic engine for 20 seconds, and the duration of the tests will be increased in the future. India's heavy rocket - Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-MkIII - will be powered by the cryogenic engine. Inputs from IANS Tweet Follow @thenewsminute
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