In a historic stride, the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) has propelled India into an elite league by successfully establishing and testing the country’s inaugural Hypervelocity Expansion Tunnel Test Facility. Named ‘Vaigai,’ this state-of-the-art facility places India among a select few nations equipped with advanced hypersonic testing capabilities.
VAIGAI: A MULTIFACETED MARVEL
IITK’s ‘Vaigai’ is the first in a series of Shock tunnel test facilities, boasting versatility as a shock tube, Ludwieg tube, or shock tunnel. Spanning 10 meters, with a 2-meter driver, 6-meter driven, and a 2-meter dump tank assembly, ‘Vaigai’ showcases dimensions of innovation with a test section measuring 300x300x450 mm.
MACH 4 AND MACH 6: UNLEASHING HYPERSONIC FORCES
Operating in both reflected and straight-through modes, ‘Vaigai’ generates Mach 4 and Mach 6 flows, covering an enthalpy range of 0.3 – 1.8 MJ/kg and a Reynolds number range of 0.5 – 20 million/m. This dynamic capability is contingent on the mode of operation and fills condition, demonstrating the facility’s adaptability to diverse testing requirements.
JIGARTHANDA: IITK’S SECOND LEAP IN HYPERVELOCITY TESTING
Following the triumph of ‘Vaigai, the institute introduces ‘JigarThanda,’ the second in the series of Shock tunnel test facilities. Operating as a Free Piston driven type, ‘JigarThanda’ stands out as it can function as both a reflected shock tunnel and an expansion tunnel.
FLIGHT SIMULATION EXCELLENCE: JIGARTHANDA’S REMARKABLE CAPABILITIES
Designed to emulate flight velocities ranging from 2.5 to 12 km/s, ‘JigarThanda’ can generate flow enthalpies from 3 to 40 MJ/kg. This cutting-edge technology opens up possibilities for simulating critical flight conditions, paving the way for groundbreaking advancements in aerospace research.
IIT KANPUR’S DIRECTOR COMMENDS HISTORIC MILESTONE
Prof S Ganesh, Director of IIT Kanpur, expressed his jubilation at the establishment of ‘S2,’ India’s first hypervelocity expansion tunnel test facility. He commended Prof Mohammed Ibrahim Sugarno and his team for their exemplary work, stating that ‘S2’ marks a historic milestone for both IIT Kanpur and India’s scientific capabilities.
PRECISION ENGINEERING TRIUMPH: OVERCOMING CHALLENGES IN S2’S CREATION
Prof Mohammed Ibrahim Sugarno, the driving force behind ‘S2,’ acknowledged the extreme challenges faced during the facility’s construction. The precision required for perfecting the ‘free piston driver’ system, involving firing a piston at high pressure down a 6.5 m compression tube, was a formidable task. Overcoming these challenges showcases the team’s expertise and dedication to pioneering hypersonic research infrastructure.
SETTING NEW BENCHMARKS: IIT KANPUR’S VISION FOR HYPERVELOCITY RESEARCH
Prof G M Kamath, Head of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at IIT Kanpur, emphasized that ‘S2’ propels the institute’s research horizons, inspiring a new generation of aerospace enthusiasts and fostering innovation in this exciting field. Being the first in India to develop such a facility sets a new benchmark for hypervelocity research, not only in India but on a global scale.
INDIA’S FUTURE IN HYPERSONIC TECHNOLOGIES
S2 represents a monumental achievement for IIT Kanpur, providing a significant boost to India’s space and defence sectors. With cutting-edge hypervelocity testing capabilities now available domestically, India is poised to lead in the development of advanced hypersonic technologies and systems. ‘JigarThanda’ and ‘Vaigai’ stand as beacons of India’s prowess in the global hypersonic research community, opening doors to unprecedented possibilities in aerospace exploration.