LAPAN Tested Rockets for Guided Rocket Prototype

December 2, 2010

Monday (Nov 22, 2010), LAPAN successfully tested flight-test of five experimental rockets with diameter of 200 mm and 100 mm in LAPAN rocket launch station, Pameungpeuk, Garut, West Java. Fifth rocket carrying cargo Global Positioning System (GPS) to locate the rocket. According to LAPAN senior staff, Ir. Yus Kadarusman Markis, Dipl. Ing., Flight testing is not only to know the position of the rocket, but also tested the function of separation systems and sustainer.

Beside GPS load, each rocket also carried other cargo missions. For RX-200 rocket carrying cargo of tracking radar, which is a tool to identify where rockets is located (counting the distance using radio frequencies set of three point ground station). Meanwhile, rocket RWX-200 and rocket-100, are installed with separation system and sustainer system functions as a second rocket.

Ir. Hermayudi Irwanto, M. Eng. added, rocket RWX-200 is a further development of the RWX-100. And all of these rockets go well according to the phases that have been planned. For the rocket RTX-100, tested for its folded wing system. The purpose of this test to find out the opening of the wing control system starting from a closed state and the stability of the wing once it is opened.

Furthermore, for the rocket RKX-200, he explained, the purpose of testing is to emphasize the detection of system rocket maneuvering, from the roll (roll), pitch (nod), and yaw (shake) of the rocket movement during sliding.

For all of these LAPAN experiment rockets flight tests, Yus Kadarusman added, “All data obtained were running well. Of course, this still remains to be developed further in order to obtain more optimal results.”

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LAPAN is Preparing Military Medium Rocket with 400 Km Range

December 2, 2010

Dr Soewarto Hardhienata leaved TNI Combat Training Centre in Baturaja, South Sumatera, at 13:30 pm, Nov 8, 2010 with a heart relieved. Half an hour earlier, four rockets that included in a joint project from several important institutions, including the Institute of Aviation and Space Agency (Lapan), where he worked as Deputy Head of Aerospace Technology, successfully re-tested.

All rockets reaching 14 kilometers and a diameter of 12.2 inches can be launched and hit the targets on that weekend. This success not only makes the project seen brighter in front of the cabinet members in attendance list, including Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro and Minister of Research and Technology Suharna Surapranata, but also become an important milestone.

“This is the first time given Lapan rocket warheads,” said Soewarto. Previously, Lapan-made rockets tended only for research purposes. There is no rocket actually utilized. Following recent successful trials, the Defense Ministry also announced it will put a rocket named Han R-122 in combat ships of Indonesia and is targeted by 2014 must be produced up to 500 units.

This rocket-making project is relatively fast, only about three years. “This is due to collaborative project, so that it is fast enough,” said Dr. Timbul Siahaan, Head of Research and Development Center of Science and Technology Agency in the Ministry of Defence.

Several state agencies already have the technology. Lapan has the rocket technology, Pindad has decades of experience in the manufacture of warheads and PT Dirgantara Indonesia has the facilities and experience to make a torpedo. Everything is joined together. “If from the beginning (the study itself), will not be enough time,” said Timbul.

Rocket R-Han 122-which means a diameter of 122 millimeter – defense rocket is a derivative from LAPAN RX-120 rocket. Lapan rocket is slightly enlarged with a simple reason. “Military standard rocket is rocket-122,” said Soewarto. One of the rockets used in Indonesia is rocket that launched from RM-70 Grad, rocket launchers made in the Czech Republic.

In the military world, a rocket with this size referred to artillery rockets because of its function exactly like a cannon: sweep enemy troops. In next class are intermediate and intercontinental-range rockets. A number of countries in Asia not only Japan, India, or China, but also Iran and North Korea-have been able to produce rockets reaching hundreds of kilometers. Indonesia is currently in early stages of development and its target in 2014 has been producing long-range rocket that not only could carry a bomb into other continents, but also a satellite into space (see “Four More Years”).

Rocket R-Han 122 does not have its own control and without the navigation system. To steer when launched, personnel must calculate the launch angle. Accuracy is also not the point, but the area with a radius of about 500 meters. When flying, the rocket will blast while rolling. This makes the rocket reach farther and directed.

With this system, the rocket R-Han 122 undergoing a long trial. The initial stage, after designs, as usual testing ground to test the system driving force. Only then do the actual test launch. “About 25 times of test launch,” said Soewarto, “all successful.”

The tests have been run on Pameungpeuk near Garut, Lumajang in East Java, and Baturaja, Palembang. At trial in Pameungpeuk and Lumajang, rockets launched towards the sea. Unfortunately, while testing in Lumajang, there was an accident though not by the rocket R-Han 122. The accident injured two people residing in huts around the launch field. “For this rocket (R-Han 122), we had no problem,” said Soewarto.

Subsequent trials conducted in Baturaja, Palembang. As rocket artillery, rockets were loaded real explosives. The test must be done with ground targets. “That should test warheads, could not be at sea,” said Soewarto. They chosed Baturaja because the place is spacious, 23 thousand hectares (= 230,000,000 m2), so it is relatively safe if there is a problem. The trial was also successful.

However, this team was not satisfied with the coverage is only 14 kilometers. The team has developed the R-Han 122 with a range of 23 kilometers, nearly two-fold farther from RM-70 Grad rocket. Further coverage will be achieved with a simple way: redesigned fuel load. In the present version, the fuel has a length of one meter. In subsequent versions, up to two meters in length. This longer version has been tested on land. “It will be tested soon fly in the near future,” said Soewarto.

Another project is already waiting. “We are developing R-Han 200,” said Siahaan. The rocket that size, according to Soewarto, able to reach about 40 kilometers.

Four More Years

Although an important part in the project R-122 or R-Han Han 200 has raised prestige Aeronautics and Space Agency (Lapan), the main concentration of these rocket scientists institute is to create rockets that could send a satellite into space. Lapan target in 2014: can produce rocket named RPS-01 to send a satellite. “So far stages (towards it) go well,” said Dr. Soewarto Hardhienata, Deputy Head of Aerospace Technology Lapan.

The rocket consists of four levels. The top level of the RX-320 rocket which was manufactured and successfully tested Lapan. Three levels below it originally planned to consist of the RX-420 all plus two booster rockets (booster) in the left-right. RX-420 was successfully tested last year and became the largest rocket made in Indonesia.

But a number of calculations made Lapan then tried to remove a pair of those boosters. One reason: the complexity of the calculation. If the power of two rockets were not really the same, the trajectory can be chaotic. Instead of using rocket with diameter 420 millimeters, LAPAN enlarges it to 550 millimeters. “Next month is a static test of the RX 550 in Pameungpeuk (near Garut),” said Soewarto.

This is very great progress, considering since 1960s until 2006, Lapan likely to stop making rockets. They concentrate on matters such as remote sensing. During that four decades, Indonesia stops rocket technology at diameter of 250 millimeters.

Not only from being able to bring the satellite, this four levels-rocket reaching nearly 400 miles can be converted into military rockets. “The pay load can be replaced with warheads,” said Soewarto.


Indonesian Rocket Institute Successfully Launched RX-420 Rocket This Morning into Space (July 02, 2009)

July 2, 2009

Indonesian home grown RX-420 rocket launching test has been done successfully into space by LAPAN or Lembaga Antariksa dan Penerbangan Nasional (English: National Institute of Aeronautics and Space)  in Southern Region of Garut Regency, West Java Province (toward Indian Ocean)  this morning, July 02, 2009. This experiment not only for scientific purposes but also for military purpose. Future mission, Defense Ministry will exploit this test result to be local guided missile for missile defense system as an alternative ground defense force. In this occasion, there were three launching rockets, one RX-420 released by Dr. Adi Sadewo (LAPAN’s chairman) and two RX-100 by BPPT (Badan Pusat Pengembangan Teknologi) – Center For Research and Development’s chairman and the last by a representative official of PT Dirgantara Indonesia DI-Indonessian Aerospace Company) under tight security control.

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Indonesian Defense Minister, Juwono Sudarsono said that Defense Office is still calculating the cost comparison between guided missile development cost and main armament supplying cost, such as air fighter and combat ship.

Previously, Science and Technology Minister, Kusmayanto Kadiman said that this morning test launched the biggest rocket so far by Indonesian and used the greatest amount of propellant (solid) fuel. He added, cruise distance of RX-420 rocket may reach up to 100 kilometers and its speed was 4 times of sound speed (mach) so this experiment also to test the rocket to move from subsonic to supersonic speed with temperature may up to 1,200 deg C. Most of material were originated from Indonesia, including the solid fuel. This also to avoid the protest and embargo from any other countries.

LAPAN’s spokesperson, Elly Kuntjahyowati said that this test is a part of LAPAN’s ambition to launch their micro satellite in 2014 with Indonesian local SLV. RX-420 as booster rocket and combined with RX-320 are designed to have cruise range about 3,600 kms.

RX-420 rocket fabrication took three months only (with only US$ 30,000 cost), with specification as follows: 420 mm diameter, 1,000 kgs launching load, 6,200 mm long, fuel solid, 13 secs combustion time, 205 secs departure time, 4,5 mach maximum speed, 101 kms predicted cruise distance range, 53 kms predicted vertical distance and with load: diagnostic tool, GPS, altimeter, gyro, 3-axis accelerometer, processor and battery. Meanwhile for RX-100 specs as follows: 110 mm diameter, 30 kgs launching load, 1900 mm long, fuel solid, 2,5 secs combustion time, 70 secs cruise time, 1,7 mach maximum speed, 11 kms predicted cruise distance range, 7 kms predicted vertical distance and with load: diagnostic tool, GPS, altimeter, gyro, 3-axis accelerometer, processor and battery.

Video that covered the launching period by national local TV

From the video seen that the first rocket launch (RX-420) at the end of its travel path was twisted from its straight trajectory. It was suspected due to its loosen/cracked fin while traveling in supersonic velocity. However, from this experiment, LAPAN’s objective was achieved to know the rocket condition and performance within the first 10 secs (golden data). Considering this was also the first trial for bigger rocket diameter launch and new play in supersonic condition (stress and temperature related that resulted from more than 4 machs speed) for LAPAN, the experiment result was considered successful.

Note: That’s why the experiment must be performed to compare with the theory and simulation. Other countries that developing long range ballistic missile have done the experiments many times with much larger budget.

For next development, LAPAN with Pindad are going to develop explosive payload for missile development and LAPAN with PT LEN (Lembaga Elektronika Nasional, National Electronics Institute, a strategic state owned company for electronics products) for guided sensor system development. If succeeded, those rocket to be guided missile may reach Singapore from Batam or similar range along the Indonesian border.

This launching news has attracted some foreign news agencies in their website, such as The Straits Times Singapore, The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), Chinese People’s Daily Online, nasdaq.com, AFP and so on.

Note: Citing from digitaljournal.com, nations in Asia are currently in the middle of a regional space race: the Indians are getting ready to build their own crew capsule for putting astronauts in space, China has sent a space probe to the moon, Japan has also done it, and later this year China is going to have their first space walk from their own space craft. So there is a lot of activity going on and it’s all to do with national prestige, and technology and economic development.

Source: lapan.go.id, nasional.vivanews.com, tempointeraktif.com, youtube, digitaljournal.com


LAPAN is Planning to Launch RX-420 Rocket on July 02, 2009

June 11, 2009

LAPAN is planning to launch rocket RX-420 for the first time on July 02, 2009. RX-420 is the milestone of the next Indonesian indigenous satellite orbital launching vehicle program.

That  special news was released by Research and Technology Minister Kusmayanto Kadiman, in Jakarta, Thursday, June 11, 2009. Minister in meeting session with Commission VII of Indonesian Parliament said that RX-420 launching with 100 kms distance will be conducted by LAPAN because they had already successfully launched experimental rocket RX-320 in 2008. He added that RX-420 basically has more power than RX-320 and may be boosted up to 190 kms if the rocket structure weight is lighter.

“Its cruise range equivalent to distance between Jakarta to Bandar Lampung”, said Kadiman. The rocket launching plan will be extended in the same year (2010) by launching combined RX-420-420 and in 2011 for combined RX-420-420 – 320 and SOB 420.

In 2014, all experimental rocket launchings should be finished and the rockets must be ready to carry nano satellite with height about 300 kms and speed 7.8 kms/sec. “If we make it happens, it will be monumental achievement as a very special gift from LAPAN to the country”, said Kadiman again.

Meanwhile, LAPAN Chairman, Adi Sadewo, also informed that LAPAN previously has done trial on two-stage rocket launching RX-150-120 supported by TNI-AD (Indonesian Army) and PT Pindad. Rocket with cruise distance 24 kms has successfully been launched from moving vehicle (Pindad Panser) on March 31, 2009 –> VERY GOOD NEWS!!!

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LAPAN also has performed rocket launching trial of RX-D230 (RX-122) with cruise distance 14 kms that can be released from tube launcher on May 05, 2009. That rocket has main function to know the field condition prior to deploying marine soldier to the beach.

Another report gathered today, LAPAN also working with several institutions for flash arrester rocket project to protect important facility and working for artificial rain maker rocket project.

Taken from Kompas, Thursday, June 11, 2009 , kaskus


LAPAN and Indonesian Rocket Program

May 24, 2009

LAPAN or Lembaga Antariksa dan Penerbangan Nasional (English: National Institute of Aeronautics and Space) is the government space agency. it was established on november 27, 1964 by President Suharto. Its function similar to NASA that responsible for long term civilian and military aerospace research.

For several years, there was no big news from LAPAN that incorporated with their program since their rocket launching test performed in 1962 with “Kartika” as the rocket code name. The different story is being delivered by LAPAN at this moment. After their collaboration with Germany institute (TU of Berlin) to develop micro satellite up to its service now (called LAPAN-TUBSAT satellite; launched in 2007), they started growing the intensity of the program, in developing new Indonesian built satellites and rocket testings prior to launching program that scheduled in 2014.

Satellite

Proving their capability and independence, LAPAN now finishing LAPAN-A2 as improved LAPAN-TUBSAT and Communication Repeater Satellite for Indonesian Amateur Radio Association in Bogor, West Java.

LAPAN-TUBSAT

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The launching to the orbital of those satellites  are planned using Indian rocket in 2009 and 2010 with piggy back method. Especially for the  LAPAN-A2, it has additional improvements by adding some components results in heavier load with 65 kgs than 57 kgs LAPAN-TUBSAT, designed to have long distance remote sensing or surveying with resolution 5 and 200 meters, GPS transmitter for satellite position and time, altitude determination and control system (AD-CS) for body controlling system and stability especially during data acquisition, data storage and automatic camera control to reach specific geographic area. The size of LAPAN-A2 is 60 cm x 60 cm x 80 cm.

Rocket

A variety of satellite application and increasing demand of this media, worsened by embargo/veto for Indonesia not to purchase any kind of rocket components, drive Indonesia to empower all internal capability and resources independently building and developing rocket as orbital satellite launcher.

LAPAN that already 45 years on November 27, since 2007 had boosted rocket and satellite study and development, especially after got ability to produce solid rocket fuel.

In 2007, RX-250 (250 mm) had been launched successfully with distance 53 kms. After good result on static test, RX-320 rocket has successfully launched in Pameungpek, West Java on May 19, 2008 by transmitting navigation system data, aerodynamics performance, trajectory, environment condition and any obstruction during  launching. The special improvement from this test was RX-320 rocket used Indonesian own solid propellant. RX-320 rocket has dimension 320 mm diameter x 4,736 mm long and weight 532 kgs. The trust power is 52 ton/sec and reached 42 kms as per design.

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After successfully launched that experimental rocket with diameter 320 mm or coded RX-320 (the biggest so far for Indonesian built rocket), LAPAN again succeeded static test RX-420 on Tuesday (23/12/2008) at LAPAN Aerospace Technology Center, Tarogong, Tangerang. In 2009, Chief of LAPAN Adi Sadewo Salatun said after successful static test of RX-420, rocket launching program will be continued in 2009.

Testing of experimental rocket with diameter 420 mm (RX-420) has been postponed for a week because still required additional ballast load at propulsion tail for safety reason. In firing condition, this rocket may have 10 tons in 11 sec. From the test, the performance is slightly better than design, especially on boosting power. Its launching schedule is rumored will be sometime in July 2009 after the first stage of Indonesian president election.

This RX-420 rocket is the main part of the first LAPAN satellite orbital launching vehicle (SLV-1) that scheduled in 2014, said by Yus Kadarusman Markis, chief of LAPAN Aerospace Technology Center. SLV-I consists of three-stage rockets, which is in the first stage will be three RX-420 as booster, in second stage one RX-420 as sustainer and the last is three RX-320. With that configuration and LAPAN solid fuel, the SLV-1 has capability to launch nano satellite to the orbit.

SLV Lapan

One RX-420 rocket weighs up to 2 tons is designed to have distance range about 120 kms,. With SLV-1 configuration, it may reach a vertical height up to 400 kms. This rocket can be loaded 50 kgs load to be able to the orbit minimum 250 kms high and at horizontal speed at 8 kms/sec.

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For the next development, LAPAN will develop rockets with bigger diameter, such as RX-540 dan RX-750 and liquid fuel that has better performance than solid fuel. RX-420 is the sixth rocket developed by Lapan after 70, 100, 150, 250, and 320 mm.

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As the limited budget as the major problem (as usual for Indonesia) for funding the research and experimental work, LAPAN still has many agendas in their work. One of that is there is a plan to modify the function of this developed rocket for military use to be balistic missile as a part of state independence on domestic built main strategic armament. However, LAPAN is not involved on that policy and it solely government decision (c.q. defense ministry and etc).

Taken from several sources (LAPAN, Kompas, etc).