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ISRO is developing a 2000 kN thrust semi-cryogenic engine working on an LOX Kerosene propellant combination for enhancing the payload capability of LVM3 and for future launch vehicles. Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) is the lead centre for the development of semi-cryogenic propulsion systems with the support of other launch vehicle centres of ISRO. The assembly and testing of the propulsion modules were done at the ISRO propulsion complex (IPRC), Mahendragiri.

As part of the engine development, a pre-burner ignition test article, which is a full complement of the engine power head system excluding the turbopumps is realized. The first ignition trial was conducted successfully on May 2, 2024, at semi cryo integrated engine test facility (SIET) at IPRC, Mahendragiri, which was dedicated to the nation recently by the honorable Prime Minister of India. Smooth and sustained ignition of the preburner is demonstrated which is vital for the starting of the semi-cryogenic engine.

Semi-cryogenic engine ignition is achieved using a start fuel ampule which uses a combination of Triethyle Alumnide and Triethyle Boron developed by VSSC and used for the first time in ISRO in the 2000 kN semi-cryogenic engine. Many injector elemental level ignition tests were conducted at the Propulsion Research Laboratory Division (PRLD) facility of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) for characterization. The ignition process is one of the most critical parts in the development of liquid rocket engine systems. With the successful ignition of the semi-cryo pre burner, a major milestone in the semi-cryo engine development has been achieved. This will be followed by development tests on the engine powerhead test article and fully integrated engine. The development of a semi-cryo stage with 120 tons of propellant loading is also under progress.

The successful ignition of a semi-cryo preburner is a major accomplishment of ISRO in the development of semi-cryogenic propulsion systems.