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How does a cryogenic engine works?

First lets understand what Cryogenics means -

It is the study of the production of materials at extremely cold temperatures. The temperatures studied in cryogenics are those below -243.67 degrees Fahrenheit (120 Kelvin); such low temperatures do not occur in nature.
A cryogenic rocket engine is a rocket engine that uses a cryogenic fuel or oxidizer, that is, its fuel or oxidizer (or both) is gases liquefied and stored at very low temperatures.

Need for low temperatures:

Hypothetically, if propellants had been stored as pressurized gases, the size and mass of fuel tanks themselves would severely decrease rocket efficiency. Therefore, to get the required mass flow rate, the only option was to cool the propellants down to cryogenic temperatures (below ?150 °C, ?238 °F), converting them to liquid form. Hence, all cryogenic rocket engines are also, by definition, either liquid-propellant rocket engines or hybrid rocket engines
Basic structure of a rocket:The major components of a cryogenic rocket engine are: combustion chamber (thrust chamber), pyrotechnic igniter, fuel injector, fuel cryopumps, oxidizer cryopumps, gas turbine, cryo valves, regulators, the fuel tanks, and rocket engine nozzle.

The cryopumps are always turbopumps powered by a flow of fuel through gas turbines. In the main flow design, all the pumped fuel is fed through the gas turbines, and in the end injected to the combustion chamber. In the bypass configuration, the fuel flow is split; the main part goes directly to the combustion chamber to generate thrust, while only a small amount of the fuel goes to the turbine.
A Cryogenic rocket stage is more efficient and provides more thrust for every kilogram of propellant it burns compared to solid and earth-storable liquid propellant rocket stages. Specific impulse (a measure of the efficiency) achievable with cryogenic propellants (liquid Hydrogen and liquid Oxygen) is much higher compared to earth storable liquid and solid propellants, giving it a substantial payload advantage.
However, cryogenic stage is technically a very complex system compared to solid or earth-storable liquid propellant stages due to its use of propellants at extremely low temperatures and the associated thermal and structural problems. Oxygen liquifies at -183 deg C and Hydrogen at -253 deg C. The propellants, at these low temperatures are to be pumped using turbo pumps running at around 40,000 rpm. It also entails complex ground support systems like propellant storage and filling systems, cryo engine and stage test facilities, transportation and handling of cryo fluids and related safety aspects.

ISRO cryogenic engine:

ISRO's Cryogenic Upper Stage Project (CUSP) envisaged the design and development of the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage to replace the stage procured from Russia and used in GSLV flights. The main engine and two smaller steering engines of CUS together develop a nominal thrust of 73.55 kN in vacuum. During the flight, CUS fires for a nominal duration of 720 seconds.

Liquid Oxygen (LOX) and Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) from the respective tanks are fed by individual booster pumps to the main turbopump to ensure a high flow rate of propellants into the combustion chamber. Thrust control and mixture ratio control are achieved by two independent regulators. Two gimbaled steering engines provide for contol of the stage thrusting phase.


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