Air Breathing Engines
Why in News?
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has recently successfully conducted the hot test of Scramjet Engine, a type of Air Breathing Engine.
- An air-breathing engine is an engine that takes in air from its surroundings in order to burn fuel.
- All practical air breathing engines are internal combustion engines that directly heat the air by burning fuel, with the resultant hot gases used for propulsion via a propulsive nozzle.
- A continuous stream of air flows through the air-breathing engine. The air is compressed, mixed with fuel, ignited and expelled as the exhaust gas.
- Thrust produced by a typical air-breathing engine is about eight times greater than its weight.
- The thrust results from the expulsion of the working gases from the exhaust nozzle.
- India is the fourth country to demonstrate the flight testing of a Scramjet Engine.
- Air Breathing Engine provides a technological key for low-cost space transportation system.
- The technology is an important step towards developing reusable launch vehicles.
- Basically, of the total launch vehicle mass, 86% is propellant mass in the launch vehicle. Out of that propellant, 70% is oxidiser.
- These engines can reduce nearly 70% of the propellent carried in the vehicles as these systems use atmospheric oxygen, which is available up to a height of 50km from the earth’s surface.