Rotating detonation engine thrust

Rotating detonation engines (RDEs) are a novel form of thrust generating device.

They make use of supersonic flames, contained within a circular channel, to provide thrust more fuel efficiently than traditional jet engines. It has been found that varying the geometry of an RDE has a significant effect on its performance. In particular, the specific impulse of RDEs is known to scale non-linearly with the width of the channel.

Modelling RDEs with varying channel widths, and constant boundary conditions, the trend may be identified. In this project, preliminary computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling of a shock tube was conducted to establish the modelling parameters necessary for such a study. A baseline case model has been developed, and the computed detonation propagation speed was compared with that of a real engine and a baseline thrust and efficiency were determined. Further models have been developed, showing the varying thrust with channel width.

Securing our future


Mechanical Engineering

Ian Shaw

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