Science behind air-breathing scramjet engine - The Hindu -13-09-2020
The DRDO conducted a flight test of the hypersonic technology demonstrator vehicle (HSTDV) off Odisha’s coast.
This HSTDV was able to fly at a hypersonic speed of Mach six for about 20 seconds.
India mastering the scramjet engine technology will help pave the way for developing many more critical technologies like scramjet technology and high-performance materials. This could find application in other fields (spinoff technologies).
Mastering the air-breathing scramjet technology holds immense significance in the following ways.
Air-breathing scramjet technology will lead to the development of hypersonic missiles. Hypersonic missiles are extremely difficult to track and destroy with the existing missile defence systems. This would give India a strong defence deterrent against its rivals. So far, only US, Russia and China have the hypersonic missile technology.
Air-breathing scramjet technology could also help make civilian air transportation faster.
Given that air-breathing scramjet technology is based on taking the oxidizing element (Oxygen) from the surrounding atmosphere, this technology could help satellite launch vehicles avoid the need to carry oxidizers along with the fuel.
This could help drastically reduce the launch load of the launch vehicles and will thus help decrease the launch costs of satellites.