DRDO readies on-flight oxygen generator for Tejas

New Delhi, Dec 29 (IANS) The DRDO Monday announced the completion of an indigenous ‘on-board oxygen generating system’ designed for light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas, saying it was ready for final trials.

The system – Integrated Life Support System-On Board Oxygen Generating System (ILSS-OBOGS) – will now undergo ground fitment trials on the Tejas, followed by flight trials.
Once trials are successfully completed, India will join the elite club of five countries who have established and mastered the technology in the field of ILSS for military flying.
The system uses the bleed air from the aircraft’s engine to produce oxygen, instead of the usual liquid oxygen based system.
The technology consists of OBOGS that provides oxygen for breathing, a breathing regulator that supplies the breathing gas to the aircrew at desired flow and pressure, an Anti-G-Valve (AGV) that inflates the anti-gravity suit to apply desired counter pressure and an Electronic Controller Unit (ECU) to coordinate various functions.
A Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) official said the system will be helpful in long endurance flights.
“This system gets integrated within the confined space available in the aircraft. It replaces the Liquid Oxygen based system (LOX) by utilising bleed air from the aircraft engine by separating oxygen from other components by a process based on Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) technology,” the official said.
This will prove to be beneficial as the LCA has lesser space to store the liquid oxygen.
“It also provides improved safety, reduced logistics and significantly lowered operational costs,” the DRDO official said.
The ILSS-OBOGS has the versatility to be customised to the needs of other fighter aircraft like MIG-29, Sukhoi-30 Mk1 and Mirage-2000.