Aerospace startup incubated at IIT-Madras’ incubation cell, Agnikul Cosmos, has raised Rs 3 crore in seed funding from seed-stage investment firm Speciale Incept Advisors.The startup, which is working on manufacturing orbital launch vehicles for smaller payloads, aims to use the funds to accelerate prototype development by strengthening infrastructure and increasing team size. Working out of the National Centre for Combustion R&D at IIT-Madras, Agnikul was co-founded in by engineers and space enthusiasts Srinath Ravichandran (CEO) and Moin SPM (COO). They design and build launch vehicles capable of carrying around 100 kilograms of weight to lower earth orbits, thereby offering smaller satellites and other operators a more viable option. The startup uses additive manufacturing techniques including 3D printing tech for its engines.“Speciale [the investor] brings a lot of industry connections and are also experienced deep tech-focused investors who can guide us as we scale up,” Ravichandran told TOI, noting that the funds would help the startup integrate its efforts and take them closer to prototype testing.Vishesh Rajaram, managing partner, Speciale Incept Advisors, said Agnikul’s propulsion tech and its ability to leverage additive manufacturing impressed the firm, which has a fund of $20 million currently.The company said configuration of its launch vehicle is in place, and it expects to put the first flight into orbit within the next two years, with test procedures being ongoing throughout 2019.
Test-firing of the Agnilet engine, which is a 3d-printed semi-cryogenic engine intended for use in the upper stage of their 2-stage orbital launcher, Agnibaan
Indian startup Agnikul Cosmos signed a framework memorandum of understanding (MOU) with India’s Department of Space on Friday for access to ISRO facilities and expertise for the development of its two-stage small-satellite Agnibaan launch vehicle.“The Framework MoU…will enable the company for undertaking multiple tests and access facilities at various ISRO centers for testing and qualification of their single piece 3D printed Semi Cryo engine and other systems. The MoU also enable Agnikul to avail technical expertise of ISRO for testing and qualifying their space launch vehicle systems and subsystems,” ISRO said in a press release.<snip>The company’s two-stage Agnibaan rocket is designed to launch payloads weighing as much as 100 kg (220 lb) into 700-km (435-mile) high orbits. Depending upon the mission, the first stage can be configured to include 4-7 printed Agnite electric-pump fed engines powered by liquid oxygen and kerosene.The second stage will have a single vacuum optimized Agnite engine. Agnite engines will be 3D printed using additive manufacturing. A third stage could be added for selected missions.“Agnikul successfully test fired the world’s first 3D printed rocket engine – Agnilet. This higher stage semi cryogenic rocket engine is unique because it is completely 3D printed in one run, as a single component. Agnikul is the only company in the world that has designed a semi cryo rocket which can be fully built using 3D printing technology in one shot,” the company said in a press release.<snip>Agnikul aims to complete its first launch in 2022. The company has signed an agreement with the Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC) to launch from the Pacific Spaceport Complex — Alaska on Kodiak Island.Agnikul and Alaska Aerospace Corporation are working together to obtain regulatory and export control approvals from the Indian and American governments for an initial test launch sometime next year.
We are humbled to announce that we have partnered with EOS (a global leader in 3d printing) for making our rocket engines — Agnite & Agnilet — fully in-house.
So far, the team has test-fired its second [stage] engine-Agnilet(1.2kN thrust), while the first stage engine-Agnite (25kN thrust) is expected to be test-fired later this year.
STAGE 2Our second stage is powered by the Agnite vacuum optimized engine. Sea Level Thrust - 25 kN. Agnite is the same engine that powers our first stage as well. It can deliver upto 355 seconds of Isp in vacuum. Running an electric pump fed engine offers greater & finer propellant utilization techniques to enhance payload capacity.STAGE 1Agnibaan’s first stage is powered by 7 Agnite engines each delivering 25 kN of thrust at sea level. All of these engines are electric pump fed engines allowing for simplified engine design and highly configurable engine clustering architectures.Capable of operating with a sea level Isp of 285 seconds, the entire combustion section here is a single piece assembly and 100% 3D printed.
Agnilet - A single piece, 3D printed, semi cryogenic engine.Our Agnilet engine is unique. It is entirely 3D printed and in one piece. 1000’s of parts have been carefully designed to be captured in this one piece of hardware. It is capable of about 3kN of thrust at sea level and drives our Agnibaan’s higher stage. 3d printing is magic! If you want to learn more about this, please check out our blog
The wait for a new Agnite engine to be integrated starts now
Agnikul Cosmos, the space tech startup incubated at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, will apply for a patent for its full-scale, second-stage engine Agnilet, which it claims is the world’s first single-piece 3D-printed rocket engine. This means it’s been made in one shot without the thousands of parts that are typically assembled in a conventional rocket engine.
Agnikul Cosmos said that the Chennai facility will use additive manufacturing technology to build 3D printed rocket engines, and will be used to produce engines for its own in-house rockets.
Srinath Ravichandran, chief executive of Agnikul Cosmos, said that the facility presently has the capacity to build two rocket engines from scratch, every week. This will allow the factory to produce eight engines every month, and build the number of engines required to launch Agnibaan – its two-stage launch vehicle, expected to launch by the end of the year.
The company said that it already has partners who are preparing small-sized satellites to be launched on the Agnibaan rockets, and the factory will address this demand. Agnibaan is an ultra-light launch vehicle that is lighter than the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s upcoming small, light commercial rocket – the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV). While the SSLV can carry payloads of around 300kg, Agnibaan will be able to carry payloads of up to 100kg to low Earth orbits (LEOs) of up to 700km above Earth.
The 10,000-square-foot facility is located at IIT-Madras Research Park. It will have a 400mm x 400mm x 400mm metal 3D-printer from EOS that will enable end-to-end manufacturing of a rocket engine under one roof
ISRO delivered Flight Termination System (FTS) packages to @AgnikulCosmoswith the support of @INSPACeIND to be used on Agnikul’s launch vehicle Agnibaan The first time an ISRO vehicle's system supports a private launch vehicle built in India. isro.gov.in/flight_termina…
ISRO delivered Flight Termination System (FTS) packages to Agnikul Home/Flight Termination System (FTS) packages to AgnikulNov 11, 2022Agnikul Cosmos, a space technology startup based in Chennai, received its first flight termination system (FTS) on 7 November 2022, from ISRO, with the support of IN-SPACe.The official handing over event happened marking the culmination of multiple rounds of interactions about interfacing, handling and using these systems on Agnikul’s launch vehicle "Agnibaan", in the presence of Director, VSSC and IN-SPACe teams.This also marks the first time that a system that has been used for ISRO’s vehicles is being supplied for supporting a private launch vehicle built in India. The package will be used for their fully controlled sub-orbital launcher, scheduled to launch from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota.
Agnikul co-founder Srinath Ravichandran told TOI: “We are targetting the sub-orbital flight before 2022 end and we will soon make an announcement. The FTS delivery is a big step towards a guided, controlled flight, which needs to have the right safety mechanisms in place.” 5/n
“In that regard, this is one step in that direction where we’ll be directly interfacing with Isro systems.” A flight wouldn’t be possible without this system, he added. 6/n
Agnibaan, according to Agnikul, is a highly customizable, two-stage launch vehicle capable of taking up to 100kg to orbits around 700km high. 7/n
“...Agnibaan can access both low and high inclination orbits and is completely mobile — designed for accessing more than 10 launchports. Driven by LOX (liquid oxygen)/Kerosene engines in all its stages, Agnibaan is configurable by the customer,” it says. 8/n
Also, the vehicle need not fly with the same number of engines all the time. “The mission, the satellite and the launchport itself would decide how many engines go on the first stage. n/n