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Wipro 3D and ISRO 3D print PS4 rocket engine

Consolidating the multiple and diversified components into a single unified production unit

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Wipro 3D, an AM solutions provider, in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has successfully 3D printed the PS4 rocket engine powering the 4th stage of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). Dr. V Narayanan, Distinguished Scientist and Director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), ISRO lauded the accomplishment during his recent visit to the Wipro 3D facility.

The PSLV is an expendable launch system designed to place Earth observation and scientific satellites into precise orbits – enabling multiple applications like remote sensing, oceanography, cartography, mineral mapping, disaster warning, etc. To ensure accurate orbital placement, the PS4 stage is equipped with advanced navigation, guidance, and control systems. Its adaptability for different kinds of spacecraft missions is enhanced by its ability to support multiple restart capability and payload adapters.

This milestone provides the space industry with a transformative leap forward in space manufacturing – utilizing AM to redefine traditional production processes. The PS4 rocket engine, traditionally manufactured through conventional machining and welding, underwent a revolutionary redesign using AM technology. Through the adoption of Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) and Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) technology, Wipro 3D and ISRO collaborated to consolidate the multiple and diversified PS4 engine components into a single unified production unit – enhancing production efficiency and structural integrity.

Wipro 3D’s expertise in additive manufacturing has been instrumental in realizing our vision for sustainable space exploration. The successful integration of the 3D printed PS4 engine into our mission marks a significant milestone for ISRO and sets new standards of advanced manufacturing in the space industry,” said Dr. V Narayanan, Director of LPSC at ISRO.

“We’re honored to collaborate with ISRO on this pioneering project, highlighting the potential of advanced manufacturing in space. This partnership not only advances ISRO’s ‘Make in India’ initiative but also promotes domestic innovation and manufacturing. It is an honor and a privilege to manufacture the PS4 engine for the PSLV vehicle. We are eagerly awaiting the successful second round of testing to fly high alongside ISRO,” said Yathiraj Kasal, General Manager and Business Head at Wipro 3D. “With ISRO’s backing, this project embodies their commitment to sustainable and cost-effective space missions, facilitating rapid design iterations and enhancing launch efficiency. We extend our sincere gratitude to Dr. V Narayanan and the exceptional ISRO team for their trust in us. As we enter into the project’s next phase, we are totally dedicated to providing unwavering support to ensure its success.”

The 3D printed PS4 engine, featuring integral complex cooling channels, prioritizes sustainability and efficiency in its design, with minimal material wastage and post-print machining operations. Rigorous testing of the hardware at the state-of-the-art facilities at ISRO Propulsion Complex in Mahendragiri confirmed the engine’s performance under real-world conditions – meeting the design safety and efficiency standards.

The key performance metrics of the ISRO 3D printed rocket engine extended duration test included optimal chamber pressure, fuel management, combustion efficiency, and specific impulse (Isp). ISRO’s adoption of AM offers superior precision, minimal resource utilization, and significant reductions in material wastage and production time.

Research
Composites AM 2024

746 composites AM companies individually surveyed and studied. Core composites AM market generated over $785 million in 2023. Market expected to grow to $7.8 billion by 2033 at 25.8% CAGR. This new...

Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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