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DRDO's Green Propulsion System Achieves Milestone in In-Orbit Demonstration

DRDO’s Green Propulsion System Achieves Milestone in In-Orbit Demonstration

New Delhi:  In a significant breakthrough for space propulsion technology, a Green Propulsion System, developed under the Technology Development Fund (TDF) scheme of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has successfully demonstrated in-orbit functionality during the PSLV C-58 mission. The pioneering project, named “1N Class Green Monopropellant thruster for altitude control and orbit keeping of microsatellite,” was entrusted to Bengaluru-based start-up Bellatrix Aerospace Pvt Ltd, serving as the Development Agency.

The telemetry data from the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM) at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru has been meticulously validated with ground-level solutions. The Green Propulsion System showcased exceptional performance, surpassing all predetermined parameters.

This groundbreaking technology introduces a non-toxic and environmentally friendly propulsion system designed for low Earth orbit space applications. The system comprises an array of indigenously developed components, including Propellant, Fill and Drain Valves, Latch Valve, Solenoid Valve, Catalyst Bed, Drive Electronics, and more. It is particularly well-suited for space missions with high thrust requirements.

The entire project was executed by the Development Agency under the guidance of the Project Monitoring & Mentoring Group of DRDO. The successful demonstration included pulsed mode and steady-state firing in a vacuum, passivation of residual propellant in outer space, propellant realization, and the establishment of filling procedures under the TDF.

The Technology Development Fund (TDF) is a flagship initiative of the Ministry of Defence, executed by DRDO as part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The program focuses on funding innovation in the defence and aerospace sectors, with a special emphasis on supporting start-ups and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The success of the Green Propulsion System marks a significant leap in advancing propulsion technology for space exploration. With its environmentally conscious design and exceptional performance, this system is poised to contribute to the evolution of sustainable and efficient space missions, reinforcing India’s capabilities in the global space arena.

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