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Hypervelocity expansion tunnel test facility

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: Hindustan Times

Context: The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) has developed and successfully tested India’s first hypervelocity expansion tunnel test facility, making the country one of the few nations with this advanced hypersonic testing capability.

  • The facility, named S2 or “Jigarthanda,” is located within IIT Kanpur’s hypersonic experimental aerodynamics laboratory (HEAL) and is capable of simulating hypersonic conditions with flight speeds ranging from 3 to 10 km/s.

The facility aims to inspire aerospace enthusiasts, foster innovation, and strengthen India’s space and defence sectors by providing sophisticated hypervelocity testing capabilities domestically.

Hypersonic means moving at a speed that is five times or more the speed of sound. Hypersonic speeds are often stated to start at Mach 5 and above. Typical speeds for hypersonic aircraft are greater than 3000 mph and Mach number M greater than five.