The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT-K) has recently developed and tested India’s first Hypervelocity Expansion Tunnel Test Facility.

About India’s First Hypervelocity Test Facility:

  • The facility, named S2 or ‘Jigarthanda’, is a 24-meter-long facility located at IIT Kanpur’s Hypersonic Experimental Aerodynamics Laboratory (HEAL) within the Department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT-Kanpur.
  • It is an expansion tunnel in an aerodynamic testing facility that is capable of generating high-energy test conditions with negligible or no ionization for achieving the goal of high speeds for an aircraft.

Design and Development:

  • Indigenous Development: Designed and developed over three years by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and IIT Kanpur.
  • Funding: Supported by the Fund for Improvement in S&T Infrastructure (FIST) and the Aeronautical Research and Development Board (ARDB) of DST.

Speed Range and Capabilities:

  • Capable of generating flight speeds between 3-10 km/s.
  • Simulates hypersonic conditions during atmospheric and asteroid entry, scramjet flights, and ballistic missiles.


  • For ISRO and DRDO: Critical asset for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • Testing Ground: Facilitates testing for ongoing missions like Gaganyaan, Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLV), and hypersonic cruise missiles.
  • Global Standing: Places India among a select few countries with advanced hypersonic testing capabilities.
  • Capacity Boost: Major enhancement for India’s space and defense sectors, fostering the development of advanced hypersonic technologies.

Implications for India:

  • Technological Advancement: Enables the development of more advanced and reliable aerospace technologies.
  • National Security: Strengthens India’s defense capabilities and readiness.
  • Scientific Achievement: Marks a significant milestone in India’s scientific and technological capabilities.

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