IIT Kanpur breaks ground with India’s first hypervelocity expansion tunnel test facility - Hindustan Times
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IIT Kanpur breaks ground with India’s first hypervelocity expansion tunnel test facility

By, Kanpur
Feb 05, 2024 09:05 PM IST

The project, developed over three years, received support from the Aeronautical Research and Development Board, department of science and technology and IIT Kanpur

The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) has successfully built and tested India’s first hypervelocity expansion tunnel test facility putting the country among handful of nations with this advanced hypersonic testing capability, said the institute on Monday.

India’s first hypervelocity expansion test facility established at IIT Kanpur. (Sourced)
India’s first hypervelocity expansion test facility established at IIT Kanpur. (Sourced)

The facility is capable of generating flight speeds ranging from 3 to 10 km/s, simulating hypersonic conditions, which is crucial for various applications such as atmospheric entry of vehicles, asteroid entry, scramjet flights, and ballistic missiles.

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The project, developed over three years, received support from the Aeronautical Research and Development Board (ARDB), the department of science and technology (DST) and IIT Kanpur.

The facility called S2 nicknamed “Jigarthanda” is located at IIT Kanpur’s hypersonic experimental aerodynamics laboratory (HEAL) within the department of aerospace engineering.

Acting IIT Kanpur director Prof S Ganesh hailed the establishment of S2 as a historic milestone for India’s scientific capabilities. He said Prof Mohammed Ibrahim Sugarno and his team did an exemplary work in designing and fabricating the hypersonic research infrastructure.

Prof Sugarno brought up the challenges his team and he faced in construction of this tunnel-- particularly in perfecting the free piston driver system. This system involves firing a piston at high pressure down a compression tube at speeds of 150-200 m/s and bringing it to a complete stop at the end.

With the establishment of S2, IIT Kanpur aims to inspire a new generation of aerospace enthusiasts and foster innovation in the field. This achievement not only enhances India’s scientific capabilities but also strengthens its space and defence sectors by providing sophisticated hypervelocity testing capabilities domestically.

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