Skip to main content

About this book

This book focuses on the latest developments in detonation engines for aerospace propulsion, with a focus on the rotating detonation engine (RDE). State-of-the-art research contributions are collected from international leading researchers devoted to the pursuit of controllable detonations for practical detonation propulsion. A system-level design of novel detonation engines, performance analysis, and advanced experimental and numerical methods are covered. In addition, the world’s first successful sled demonstration of a rocket rotating detonation engine system and innovations in the development of a kilohertz pulse detonation engine (PDE) system are reported. Readers will obtain, in a straightforward manner, an understanding of the RDE & PDE design, operation and testing approaches, and further specific integration schemes for diverse applications such as rockets for space propulsion and turbojet/ramjet engines for air-breathing propulsion.

Detonation Control for Propulsion: Pulse Detonation and Rotating Detonation Engines provides, with its comprehensive coverage from fundamental detonation science to practical research engineering techniques, a wealth of information for scientists in the field of combustion and propulsion. The volume can also serve as a reference text for faculty and graduate students and interested in shock waves, combustion and propulsion.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Performance of Rotating Detonation Engines for Air Breathing Applications

The performance of air breathing rotating detonation engines is presented through the use of experimental measurements made at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Detonation Engine Research Facility. The performance scaling characteristics observed between various physical device configurations is discussed; included is the influence of mass flow rate, air injection area ratio and nozzle area ratio. The impact of geometry on the unsteady nature of rotating detonation engines and the combustors’ efficient production of thrust is presented, along with an analysis of the pressure-gain properties of rotating detonation engines. Finally, the impact of transitioning from hydrogen fueled to hydrocarbon fueled devices is examined through the direct comparison of experimental measurements of operation on both gaseous hydrogen and ethylene fuels. Previous pulsed detonation engine work is used to provide a reference for this comparison.
Matthew L. Fotia, John Hoke, Frederick Schauer

Chapter 2. Development of Gasturbine with Detonation Chamber

Extensive and complex studies of the application of continuously rotating detonation (CRD) to gasturbine are presented. Special installation of high pressure preheated air supply system was constructed which allows to supply air at rate of a few kg/s, preheated to more than 100 °C and at initial pressure up to 2.5 bar. Supply system for Jet-A fuel which could be preheated to 170 °C was also constructed. Additionally gaseous hydrogen supply system was added to the installation. Measuring system for control air flow and measurements of detonation parameters were installed and data acquisition and control system implemented. Extensive research of conditions in which CRD could be established and supported in open flow detonation chambers, throttled chambers and finally in detonation chambers attached to the GTD-350 gasturbine engine where conducted. Conditions for which stable detonation was achieved are presented. It was found that for conditions when the GTD-350 engine was supplied by gaseous hydrogen or by dual-fuel, Jet-A and gaseous hydrogen, thermal efficiency of the engine could be improved even by 5–7% as compared to the efficiency of the base engine.
Piotr Wolański, Piotr Kalina, Włodzimierz Balicki, Artur Rowiński, Witold Perkowski, Michał Kawalec, Borys Łukasik

Chapter 3. Flow Structure in Rotating Detonation Engine with Separate Supply of Fuel and Oxidizer: Experiment and CFD

The experimental and computational investigations of detonation liquid rocket engine (DLRE) operating on natural gas (NG) – oxygen mixture have been performed to examine the impact of the DLRE configuration and fuel supply parameters on the operation process and thrust performance. In experiments, the absolute pressures of NG and oxygen supply were up to 30 and 15 atm, respectively; the mass flow rate of the reactive mixture was varied from 0.05 to 0.7 kg/s; the overall mixture composition was varied from fuel lean (with equivalence ratio 0.5) to fuel rich (with equivalence ratio 2.0). The maximum thrust and the maximum specific impulse obtained in this experimental series was 75 kgf and 160 s, respectively, at the maximum average pressure in the combustor of about 10 atm. It is shown that the increase of static pressure in the combustor results in the increase of both engine thrust and specific impulse. With the growth of the specific mass flow rate of reactive mixture, the operation process, on the one hand, becomes more stable, and on the other hand, the number of detonation waves simultaneously rotating in one direction in the combustor annulus increases. The results of DLRE fire tests were used to explore the predictive capabilities of the Semenov Institute of Chemical Physics (ICP) computational technology designed for full-scale simulation of the operation process in continuous-detonation combustors. Comparison of the predicted results with measurements proved that the calculations accurately predict the number of detonation waves circulating in the tangential direction of the annular DLRE combustor and the chaotic near-limiting operation mode resembling the mode with longitudinally pulsating detonation in the DLRE with CD nozzle extension. Calculations predict with reasonable accuracy both the detonation propagation velocity and detonation rotation frequency. In addition, calculations correctly predict the trends in the variation of DLRE operation parameters in an engine of a particular design. As in the experiments, the use of nozzle extension increases thrust. As for the thrust values, the calculations were shown to systematically overestimate them by at least 27% compared with measurements.
Sergey M. Frolov, Viktor S. Aksenov, Vladislav S. Ivanov, Sergey N. Medvedev, Igor O. Shamshin

Chapter 4. Application of Detonation Waves to Rocket Engine Chamber

We present the results of experiments performed with a rotating detonation engine using continuous detonation in an annular combustor to create thrust. Detonation waves propagate in a supersonic and very small region, allowing shortening of the combustor. The combustor of RDE causes high-pressure loss when the propellant is injected, and cooling is necessary due to high heat flux. However, the combustion efficiency of detonation combustion in an annular combustor is the most important, but have not been fully elucidated. In addition, the influence of the injector shape and direct cooling of a rotating detonation combustor require clarification. This paper reports the measurement results of combustor stagnation pressure and thrust, the influence of injector shape on c * efficiency, and the estimate of heat flux. The c * efficiency was 88–100% when we used the convergent or convergent-divergent nozzle and the equivalence ratio was less than 1.0. The shape of the injector influenced wave propagation mode, but the mode did not change the c * efficiency. We estimated time-spatial average heat flux from the terminal temperature, and the heat flux was 8.1 ± 1.8 MW/m2 in no water injection condition. The rocket RDE sled test was successfully performed. The total mass of the rocket RDE system was 58.3 kg, total time averaged thrust was 201 N, the time averaged mass flow rate was 143 g/s, and the specific impulse was 144 s.
Jiro Kasahara, Yuichi Kato, Kazuaki Ishihara, Keisuke Goto, Ken Matsuoka, Akiko Matsuo, Ikkoh Funaki, Hideki Moriai, Daisuke Nakata, Kazuyuki Higashino, Nobuhiro Tanatsugu

Chapter 5. Numerical Simulation on Rotating Detonation Engine: Effects of Higher-Order Scheme

The implementation and simulations of the robust weighted compact nonlinear scheme (RWCNS) for the two-dimensional rotating detonation engine are performed using the detailed chemistry model. The comparison of the MUSCL and the 5th-order RWCNS (WCNS5MN) indicates that the shock front and the contact surface for the WCNS5MN can be improved with the better resolution than those for the MUSCL and that both rotating velocities are approximately 97% of the CJ value. I sp for the WCNS5MN is approximately 5 s larger than I sp for the MUSCL because the mass flow rates for the WCNS5MN are 2–4% smaller than those for the MUSCL.
Nobuyuki Tsuboi, Makoto Asahara, Takayuki Kojima, A. Koichi Hayashi

Chapter 6. Review on the Research Progresses in Rotating Detonation Engine

Present paper focuses on the comprehensive survey of Rotating Detonation Engine (RDE) and their research from the basic to the advanced level. In this paper, an abridged archival background of Pulse/Rotating Detonation Engine (PDE/RDE) is briefed. This is followed by a short description of a Continuous Spin Detonation (CSD) and a few essential facts from the prior publications. Furthermore, a summarization of the Continuous Detonation Wave Rocket Engine (CDWRE) concepts is examined. At long last, a detailed numerical investigation and experiment work of RDE is also presented.
Mohammed Niyasdeen Nejaamtheen, Jung-Min Kim, Jeong-Yeol Choi

Chapter 7. Continuous Detonation Engine Researches at Peking University

In this chapter we reviewed the research of the continuous detonation engine (CDE) performed at Peking University. The research team at Peking University was the first to conduct numerical and experimental research of the CDE in China. We designed several types of CDE combustion chambers and carried out experiments to verify its feasibility. In addition, we have performed a series of two- and three-dimensional simulations of the CDE. Numerical studies covered many aspects of the CDE, including the detailed flow structure, fuel injection, nozzle design, viscous effect, propulsive performance, initiation method, particle path, thermodynamic performance, shock wave reflections near the head-wall, spontaneously formation of multiple detonation waves, etc. In this chapter, we also discussed several recent examples of progress and accomplishments.
Jian-Ping Wang, Song-Bai Yao, Xu-Dong Han

Chapter 8. Pulse Detonation Cycle at Kilohertz Frequency

To realize kilohertz and higher frequency of a pulse detonation cycle (PDC), enhancement of deflagration-to-detonation transition (DDT) is necessary. A novel semi-valveless PDC method, in which the inner diameter of the oxidizer feed line is equal to that of the combustor, can increase the pressure of detonable mixture by increasing total pressure of supplying oxidizer. In demonstration experiments, ethylene as fuel, pure oxygen as the oxidizer and the combustor having an inner diameter of 10 mm and length of 100 or 60 mm were used. A PDC was successfully operated at the frequency of up to 1916 Hz. Under the condition of 1010 Hz operation, the total pressure of supplying oxidizer were varied. As the results, it was found that the DDT distance and time decreased by approximately 50% when the total pressure of supplying oxidizer increased by 242%.
Ken Matsuoka, Haruna Taki, Jiro Kasahara, Hiroaki Watanabe, Akiko Matsuo, Takuma Endo

Chapter 9. On the Investigation of Detonation Re-initiation Mechanisms and the Influences of the Geometry Confinements and Mixture Properties

The topic of detonation re-initiation is studied through both experimental measurements and numerical simulations using a bifurcation channel and the detonation research facilities in Temasek Laboratories. The main objective is to understand the re-initiation mechanisms through shock reflections, and investigate the performance of detonation re-initiation at different test conditions. Stable and unstable detonation waves are both taken into consideration. It is found that the re-initiation through shock reflection is mainly achieved through the interactions of the multiple transverse waves. The details of the generation and evolution of the transverse waves are also clarified. The influence of the geometry confinement to detonation re-initiation is investigated. It is found that the length of the bifurcation channel can affect the re-initiation results by limiting the shock reflection times, which is discovered to be the main reason leading to the discrepancies between the previous similar studies. The width of the bifurcation channel is also critical as it can directly affect the induction length during detonation diffraction which determines the shock reflection strength. The differences of re-initiation using various mixture properties are also addressed, and a sudden transitional behavior of detonation re-initiation is found between stable and unstable detonation waves. Regarding the reason why a certain number of shock reflections are required before successful re-initiation, it can be explained using the relative relation between the shock reflection strength and the corresponding marginal solution curve of a quasi-steady detonation.
Lei Li, Jiun-Ming Li, Chiang Juay Teo, Po-Hsiung Chang, Van Bo Nguyen, Boo Cheong Khoo


Additional information

Premium Partner

image credits