What is cryogenic engine? Explain its importance to our country. (200 words)

Cryogenics is the study of very low temperatures or the production of the same. Liquefied gases like liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen are used in many cryogenic applications.

Cryogenics in India

Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) is the lead centre for the development of Cryogenic Upper Stage with the involvement of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and other ISRO centres as well as several industries, both in public and private sector.

ISRO has achieved a significant milestone through the successful test of indigenously developed Cryogenic Stage (on November 15 2007), to be employed as the upper stage of country’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

Applications

  • For making highly sensitive sensors for detecting even the weakest signals reaching us from the stars. Most of these sensors must be cooled well below the room temperature to have the necessary sensitivity, for example, infrared sensors, x-ray spectrometers etc.
  • ISRO and Tata Motors are working together to bring out environment-friendly, hydrogen-driven automobiles using the newly tested cryogenic engine technology.

Cryogenic engines have become the backbone for boosters, used for placing heavy payloads in space, such as those used for the main engine for the space shuttle.

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