Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) :
HSTDV is an unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft for achieving hypersonic flight which will fly at Mach 6.5 or more. Defence Research and Development Organisation ( DRDO ) of India is running this mission and project.
Flying at 6.5 is extremely fast. It can reach Delhi to Mumbai in less than 15 minutes.
India’s hypersonic missile dreams are slowly and steadily taking shape at the DRDO facility in Hyderabad, with the advancements of HSTDV project. Scientists are hesitant about letting out too many details ,the project is definitely heading in the right direction with the boost it might have received after the missile brain in Dr Saraswat took over the reins of DRDO.
The scientists have already conceptualized a Hypersonic Test Demonstration Vehicle (HSTDV)for an autonomous flight of a scramjet-integrated (combustion inside the engine occurs at 1.2 km/sec) hypersonic air-breathing vehicle for a short duration of about 20 seconds.
The scramjet-integrated vehicle is mounted on top of an already proven Agni missile booster motor and protected by aerodynamic fairings. The solid booster injects the hypersonic vehicle at the desired altitude of 32 km and Mach number of 6.5. The aerodynamic fairings are separated and the hypersonic vehicle is also separated from the booster.
After separation, the scramjet engine is ignited and the vehicle cruises for a short duration of 20 seconds.
High temperature materials are used for the engine and airframe construction.
The scramjet integrated vehicle has been designed considering the aero-propulsion interactions. The performance analysis indicates the capability of the vehicle to generate adequate positive thrust margin ensuring cruise condition. The materials have been identified, thermo-structural design completed and the airframe also fabricated. A scramjet combustor also has been designed and tested in connect pipe mode test facility at DRDO and the performance has been satisfactory, so far. A flight-worthy engine using high temperature resistant materials is under fabrication,” sources said.
The first aerodynamic wind-tunnel test was held in Israel(2007) and later in Russia (2009)as India doesn’t have a hypersonic facility to test larger cross-section of platforms.
HSTDV: How do you learn to fly at 13,000 miles per hours speed? It would take less than 12 minutes to get from New York to Los Angeles? Or, how do you know whether a vehicle can maintain a long-duration flight while experiencing temperatures in excess of 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit. It will be hotter than a blast furnace that can melt steel? And if you can fly, and withstand the extreme heat, how do you know if the vehicle can be controlled as it rips apart the air? How? You try it.
THE HSTDV project of DRDO will India way too ahead of other major super power of World.