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DESIRE AND DENIAL: The Nullification of Cryogenic Rocket Motor Technologies

This is a discussion on DESIRE AND DENIAL: The Nullification of Cryogenic Rocket Motor Technologies within the Space & Defense Technology forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Intresting..a must read! DESIRE AND DENIAL: The Nullification of Cryogenic Rocket Motor Technologies to India http://www.eisenhowerinstitute.org/program...arunarticle.htm . The denial of ...


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Old July 11th, 2004   #1
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DESIRE AND DENIAL: The Nullification of Cryogenic Rocket Motor Technologies

Intresting..a must read!

DESIRE AND DENIAL: The Nullification of Cryogenic Rocket Motor Technologies to India
http://www.eisenhowerinstitute.org/program...arunarticle.htm
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. The denial of technology would only delay the subsequent launches. In the 1990s, INSAT had become the workhorse of Indian broadcasting and communications systems, especially for remote locations, and ISRO didn't want to disrupt this relationship. There was also an underlying confidence that in a few years, Indian engineers would take up the challenge and develop an indigenous cryogenic motor.
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Collaboration with France proved to be precious. Indian engineers, for instance, contributed more than 100 man-years of work to the building of the Viking liquid propulsion engine for the Ariane rocket in France and also supplied a large number of pressure transducers. In return, the French exposure provided them with valuable design experience in building a large liquid propulsion motor named VIKAS that powers both the first (as strap-ons to the solid booster)stage, and the second stage of India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and also the second stage of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The thrust of this motor exceeds 700 kN.
GSLV AND CRYOGENIC ENGINES
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India didn't seriously embark on the development of either cryogenic or semi-cryogenic engines, though it came very close to sustaining such programs in the early 1970s. For their initial experiments, ISRO scientists worked to build an engine using liquid oxygen (LOX) and kerosene. Such systems continue to be the workhorse of Russian rockets. There were also a few laboratory scale experiments using liquid oxygen and hydrogen gas as propellants. Because of the commitment of ISRO engineers to the development of the VIKAS engine, there wasn't enough enthusiasm then for developing yet another liquid propulsion engine containing liquids at very low temperatures. Liquid hydrogen was not available in quantities then in India and engineers appeared overwhelmed with cryogenic technologies needed for handling liquids that boil at very low temperatures (the boiling point of liquid hydrogen is -253 degrees C and liquid oxygen -183 degrees C) and in the design of pumps that feed propellants to the combustion chamber. When India was collaborating closely with SAP in France in the development of a liquid propulsion engine, France appeared to have offered to share its knowledge of HM7 cryogenic engine for a very nominal amount. Again, because of its perceived and overwhelming commitment to the development of VIKAS engine, India appeared to have allowed that offer to lapse [9].
Meanwhile, detailed Indian studies showed the criticality of cryogenic engines for the space program and suggested that the country should develop a 10 tonne class cryogenic engine with a stretch potential for higher thrusts [10]. Indian engineers argued that it would take at least 10 years to develop the engine, and a lack of this critical stage during this period would delay the indigenous development and launching of GSLV. It was then India considered importing the cryogenic motor technology for its geostationary satellite launch program.

Indian requests for this technology were rebuffed by both the US and Japan. India, in fact, wanted to acquire RL-10 cryogenic engine from Pratt & Whitney [11]. France which earlier offered to share the technology for a modest cost, now escalated the price higher than India could accept [12]. Many Indians felt at that time that France was concerned about a possible and growing competition from India for commercial launches. India then decided to explore the other remaining option viz., requesting the Soviet Union for the technology. India has had excellent political, economic and trade relationship with the Soviet Union almost since India's Independence
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Indian design studies suggested a cryogenic engine carrying 14 tonnes of propellants developing a thrust of about 12 tonnes. When integrated with the first two stages of the Indian design, this would form the third stage and be able to place a satellite about 2,000 kg into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). The soviets offered a cryogenic engine with a thrust of 7.5 tonnes and the design studies showed this would be adequate to launch satellites weighing between 1500-2000 kg. The contract was signed in January 1991, with the Soviet offering two flight-ready cryogenic stages containing the cryogenic motor and vernier engines for control. In addition, the Soviets would transfer the needed technologies for manufacturing these stages in India. The technology transfer would take place over a period of six years and the contract was valued at Rs. 2350 million [12]. In 1991 exchange rates, the contract was valued around US $130 million.
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India, or for that matter the Soviet Union did not view this sale or the technology transfer as acts of proliferation
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. India was also rightfully proud of the complete separation of ISRO's projects from the country's military programs. The separation was so strictly enforced that many technical facilities, in spite of those becoming uneconomical and redundant, were built separately for the two agencies
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For GSLV however, stage-separation of spent rockets and their ejection becomes a critical issue. The first stage and VIKAS strap-ons of GSLV could be ejected in about 160 seconds over the Bay of Bengal itself. Dumping the spent second stage is the problem. If the second stage were designed to provide the required velocity before igniting the cryogenic stage, then the ejection would have to take place over the South-East Asian land mass or Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of those nations. By choosing to eject over the Bay of Bengal itself, the vehicle would need a third stage with sustained power for over 720 seconds and a better specific impulse. Only a cryogenic motor would be able to meet these stringent specifications and place the satellite in appropriate Geosynchronous Transfer Orbits (GTO), if we have to save on the fuel reserved for satellite propulsion that effects minor corrections to its orbit
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However, the US and the MTCR Guidelines came in the way of the USSR or its successor Russia, honoring its contract with India. The guidelines as defined by the seven nations in 1987 and elaborated in great detail in a 1993 document actively discourage exports of rocket and missile hardware and technologies.
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In the case of cryogenic rocket motors to India, it appeared that the US, for reasons known only to its government, was attempting to do precisely the opposite by impeding a national program that had nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction.
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The US wasn't persuaded by the Russian explanation of a close international supervision of the sale that would guarantee that the engine was used only for the purpose specified, of the help that this transaction (now transferred to payment in hard currency instead of Indian rupees) would provide for the collapsing Russian economy and of the job stability such contracts would provide for the Russian scientists and engineers
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The US therefore imposed sanctions for 2 years on ISRO and Glavkosmos, denying them the right to import from or export to the US. Boucher justified the sanction by stating "that is the way international understandings work and that is the way our law works in terms of applying sanctions." He added that the sanctions would be waived if the transaction was terminated. While Indians were accustomed to the US going back on its contractual obligations (Tarapur is a case in point [23]), for the many Russian space agencies who were longing to collaborate with the US in building the space station, the sanction came as a rude shock.
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If Indians were feeling the pressure exerted on Russia, they chose to ignore it at least in their public statements. Prof .U.R. Rao, then Chairman of ISRO, spoke confidently about Russians honoring the contract after his meetings with the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Shoklin and Foreign Economic relations Minister Glazyev in the first week of July
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Meanwhile, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs handed a non-paper to the Indian ambassador in Moscow about Glavkosmos invoking force majeure for its inability to honor the contract regarding technology transfer and production equipment for cryogenic rocket motor systems
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It was agreed that within the original cost, Russians would supply in addition to the contracted two stages, two more flight-worthy stages and two ground models. India, in addition, exercised its option for three more stages at a cost of $ 9 million. As we mentioned earlier, the contract terms were also converted to hard currency.
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There was also an underlying confidence that in a few years, Indian engineers would take up the challenge and develop an indigenous cryogenic motor. It was also suggested that the central government didn't want to strain its relationship with Russia because of its dependence on spare part imports for defense from that country.
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Indians had experienced such cancellations before. After the Pokhan nuclear device tests in 1974, the US cancelled the supply of fuel elements to the Tarapur Nuclear Power Station. Only with great difficulty was India able to get the fuel from the French-of course after Americans approved that sale. This reactor still runs on imported fuel as Americans would not allow the Indian mixed oxide elements to fuel that reactor
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This reactor still runs on imported fuel as Americans would not allow the Indian mixed oxide elements to fuel that reactor

can any one provide detail???

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Canada abruptly cancelled all its nuclear agreements with India after the Pokhran nuclear test leaving Indians to complete the half-built Rajasthan reactors. The French promised to fuel India's fast breeder test reactor, but when the time came, quoted such an unreasonable price that Indians decided to fuel the reactor with their own composition. The US canceled the export of tracking radars for the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization at the last minute, after India obtained the necessary export clearances. Even after all such cancellations that appeared crippling and insurmountable at first sight, India has managed to complete the projects and has grown technologically stronger.
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The Mantra of self-reliance and self-sufficiency runs deeply into the Indian soul, more specially since the days of Freedom struggle. Any new sanction or an embargo is seen as yet another challenge that one must overcome to reach the cherished goal of self-sufficiency. This may perhaps explain why in spite of technology denials and sanctions, Indians hold no ill-will towards the West. Indians view such denials as remnants of the earlier colonial rule where the Western masters alone determined the rewards and retributions for the colonies
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For, India has recently tested its own indigenous cryogenic engine in March 2002, and the results are reported to be satisfactory [34].
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India launched its maiden GSLV development flight on April 18, 2001. This was the first flight that had the imported Russian engine as its third stage. The flight was successful and a satellite was injected in a geosynchronous orbit. The cryogenic motor added 5.2 km/s velocity in taking the spacecraft to GTO. Because of a shortfall in mission velocity, the satellite propulsion had to operate to place the satellite in the appropriate orbit [35].
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The indigenous development of the cryogenic engine appears to be proceeding satisfactorily. On March 30th, India successfully tested its cryogenic engine for 12 minutes at its Mahendragiri test center. This was the fifth test, the second within the last two months and was reported to have developed thrust in the range of 7 tonnes. The Chairman of ISRO said that this engine would be used in later flights of GSLV.
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Considering the number of good English writers that India has produced, it is surprising that we don't have many writing on topics in science and technology of interest to India. For a source book on Indian nuclear program we may have to depend on George Perkovich's definitive tale ("India's Nuclear Bomb"), and about the Indian mathematical prodigy Ramanujan, please refer to Robert Kanigel's book on "The Man Who Knew Infinity". Fortunately, there is an excellent book on Indian space program ("Reach for The Stars: The evolution of India's Rocket Programme", Viking , Penguin Books of India Ltd. New Delhi) Written by Gopal Raj, a science correspondent of The Hindu, India's prestigious English daily, it traces the evolution of India's program from its beginnings and discusses its successes and shortcomings in great detail. There is also an excellent chapter devoted to the cryogenic engine ("The Saga of The Cryogenic Engine")
Some extracts from book:-
[1] Nuclear Supplier group (NSG), an informal and voluntary group of 34 nations established in 1978 to control the supply of materials and technologies that could lead to the manufacture of nuclear weapons. The Australia group was created in 1985 to prevent the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons. This group is purely a voluntary one and has no enforcing authority. It merely monitors the flow of precursors for making chemical weapons and also equipment used for the manufacture of chemical and biological weapons (CBW). Missile technology Control Regime (MTCR) is the only group that uses the term regime that is commonly used to describe a system of rule or authority. Contrary to its name, MTCR is also a voluntary body and carries only shared objectives.

Quote:
2] "Vikram Sarabhai: The Man and the Vision" Ed. Pranab Joshi, Mapin Publishing Pvt. Ltd., Ahmedabad ; also see the Biographical Sketches of Fellows of Indian National Science Academy (INSA).
3] Shri. APJ Abdul Kalam, President of the Republic of India was one of the engineers sent on deputation to the USA. In his conversations with the author he spoke very highly of American's work ethic and their enthusiasm for and pursuance of advanced technologies.

[4] "Satellite Instructional television experiment"; Technical Report; ISRO-SAC-TR-06-77. Indian space Research Organisation, Bangalore (1977)

[5] "India's First satellite Launch Vehicle SLV-3", VSSC, Trivandrum; also see "Wings of Fire" An autobiography of Abdul Kalam with Arun Tiwari

[6] "Space-An Innovative Route to Development"; 4th JRD Tata Memorial Lecture; Dr.K. Kasturirangan, Chairman ISRO, (2001)

[7] USA refused the export license for a number of hardware items including Hot Isostatic Press, Vibration Platforms and technologies for making carbon-carbon composites

[8] Cryogenic engines are not a must for launching geosynchronous satellites. Many initial versions of Thar, Delta, Titan, and proton rockets from USSR didn't use cryogenic engine. Recently Indian PSLV launched a meteorological satellite to geosynchronous orbit without using cryogenic motors. But the payload was small. The specific impulse of cryogenic engine is far superior to the other proven rocket motors (4514, as against 2750 Ns/kg)

[9] In the 1960's and 70's, it was difficult to build large groups of qualified engineers in India in a short time. Indian Atomic Energy overcame this problem in an innovative way by establishing a training school where bright graduates in science and engineering were trained in nuclear technology. ISRO doesn't run a similar program. Cryogenics is also a field that has been neglected for many years by Indian universities and research laboratories. Liquid helium, for instance, was, and is continuing to be a rare commodity in Indian laboratories.

[10] "Cryogenic System Studies, An ISRO Report to Chairman ISRO (December 1983) cited in "Reach for the Stars"

[11] RL 10 engine was the first cryogenic engine to fly in space. It has powered Titan, Centaur and Atlas II rockets. With a thrust around 24,750 pounds and multiple restart options, it has become a workhorse. A mock-up of RL 10 is in the aerospace museum of Smithsonian Institution.
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Old July 13th, 2004   #2
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Intresting read!!
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Old July 14th, 2004   #3
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Re: DESIRE AND DENIAL: The Nullification of Cryogenic Rocket Motor Technologies

yes indeed..i took me half an hour to read and digest whole the article.
The same trend was continued when Super computer was denied to TATA lab..Their denial resulted in our desire of own supercomp!
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Old September 22nd, 2004   #4
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the interesting point is that india already had ICBM capability when we launched PSLV.in my view the MTCR regulations and US arm twisting was just meant to keep india out of the competition in the satellite launching market.reportedly india and china can put a communication satellite in orbit with 1/4th the price that US charges.now that we have made our own cryogenic engine our carriers will have to compete with ESA's ariane-V rocket.
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Old September 22nd, 2004   #5
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SO PeaceDove what is your point in posting an article, I can not find any thing that can be regarded as your opinion, this is against forum rules .

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Before you start criticising other posters you better start looking at the history of your own responses

BTW, you aren't an Admin, so leave your helpful comments on Admin issues for other Forums - NOT this one



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