The Integrated Air Drop Test (IADT) of the Crew Module (CM) structure is a part of ISRO’s demonstration of its Technology Preparedness levels before carrying out the actual manned mission. While ISRO designed the IADT-CM structure, KCP-Heavy Engineering Unit fabricated and realised it at its in-house facility
The Chennai-based KCP – Heavy Engineering Unit handed over the first Integrated Air Drop Test – Crew Module structure (IADT-CM) to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) here today. Dr. V.L. Indira Dutt, Chairperson and Managing Director, The KCP Group handed over the structure to Mr. R. Hutton, Acting Director, Human Space Flight Center, ISRO, at a function held at KCP-Heavy Engineering Unit’s integrated facility in Thiruvotriyur.
ISRO had earlier placed an order with KCP for the fabrication of two IADT crew module structures, both meant for the demonstration of its Technology Preparedness levels before carrying out Gaganyaan spacecraft, India’s first human space flight programme. The first IADT-CM is fabricated at KCP’s integrated facility for heavy casting, machining, and fabrication in Thiruvotriyur. The second one will be supplied to ISRO by March 2024.
The first IADT-CM weighs 3,120 kg and measures 3.1 diameter and 2.6-meter height. It is made of light alloy (aluminum) and 15CDV6 steel. The structure comprises more than 100 components that were joined together with welding, riveting and threaded fastening techniques. It will accommodate major subsystems like parachute system, pyros, avionics, and buoyance augmentation system.
While ISRO designed the IADT-CM structure, KCP-Heavy Engineering Unit fabricated and realised it at its in-house facilities. The fabrication of the structure is a challenging job, involving critical forming, precision machining, and stringent assembly required of both aluminum and high strength steel. Thanks to KCP’s infrastructure and skilled workmanship the realisation of this critical hardware is made possible.
ISRO’s Gaganyaan Mission envisages launching a crew of two to three members to an orbit of 400 km for a 3-day mission and bringing them back safely to the earth by facilitating the landing in Indian sea waters. The spacecraft mainly consists of Crew Module and Service Module. The CM structure, fabricated at KCP, simulates the shape and size of the actual Gaganyaan crew module. The Integrated Air Drop Test will be performed using an Indian Air Force helicopter by taking the Crew Module structure to an altitude of 3.6 to 4 km to validate the deceleration system (parachute & pyro’s) performance.
About KCP – Heavy Engineering Unit :
KCP – Heavy Engineering Unit, Chennai, supplies equipment for the core engineering sector (such as cement, sugar, mineral, power & steel), oil & gas industries and Indian defence, space and nuclear establishments. It has an integrated facility for heavy casting, machining & fabrication under one proof.
KCP has been in association with ISRO for the past three decades and supplies flight hardware for rocket vehicles like motor cases, nozzle divergent and inter stage structures. KCP supplied heavier ground parts for propellant casting & vehicle launching facilities like Mobile Launch Pedestal and 7.0m Dia Vacuum Chamber. It shows KCP’s presence in every sphere of Space. The company is planning to expand its facilities to participate in a larger way in ISRO’s future programmes. Specifically, it is planning to set up a precision machining unit and looking at the bigger diameter rocket motor casing and also the inter-stage and tank structure fabrication for ISRO’s Next Generation Launch Vehicles.