Hyderabad-based Skyroot has designed the Kalam-5 engine using a carbon composite case, which is five times lesser than steel and has zero moving parts. A scaled-up version will be built and tested at Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) facilities before powering its Vikram rocket by December 2021.
“This is a subscale version of our third stage KALAM 100 motor. This demonstrates our solid propulsion tech and the same tech will be used in the three solid stages of Vikram 1 launch vehicle which will test fired next year in ISRO facilities,” said Naga Bharath Daka, cofounder and COO.
Skyroot, founded by former Isro scientists is among several startups in India who are building smaller rockets that could help launch small satellites into space. Skyroot, Agnikul Cosmos and Bellatrix Aerospace, the Bengaluru-based are looking at the growing global opportunity for small satellite launches.
The Kalam solid propulsion engine was tested at a private test facility on December 22 in Nagpur owned by Solar Industries, a major explosives manufacturer and a leading Space and Defence contractor and also a partner and investor in Skyroot.
This is Skyroot’s first of five Kalam series of solid rocket motors. The remaining four motors are in various stages of manufacturing and are expected to be tested in 2021. In August, Skyroot tested its liquid propulsion engine named after Nobel Laureate C V Raman.
“Kalam-5 uses 15 different advanced materials, nine different manufacturing processes, and has zero moving parts,” Pawan Kumar Chandana, cofounder and CEO of Skyroot, said.