Flow, Turbulence and Combustion

, Volume 78, Issue 1, pp 17–33

Combined Numerical and Experimental Investigation of a 15-cm Valveless Pulsejet

  • T. Geng
  • M. A. Schoen
  • A. V. Kuznetsov
  • W. L. Roberts

DOI: 10.1007/s10494-006-9032-8

Cite this article as:
Geng, T., Schoen, M.A., Kuznetsov, A.V. et al. Flow Turbulence Combust (2007) 78: 17. doi:10.1007/s10494-006-9032-8


The pulsejet, due to its simplicity, may be an ideal micro propulsion system. In this paper, modern computational and experimental tools are used to investigate the operation of a 15-cm overall length valveless pulsejet. Gas dynamics, acoustics and chemical kinetics are studied to gain understanding of various physical phenomena affecting pulsejet operation, scalability, and efficiency. Pressure, temperature, thrust, and frequency are measured as a function of valveless inlet and exit lengths and different geometries. At this length scale, it is necessary to run the pulsejets on hydrogen fuel. Numerical simulations are performed utilizing CFX to model the 3-D compressible vicious flow in the pulsejet using the integrated Westbrook–Dryer single step combustion model. The turbulent flow and reaction rate are modeled with the kɛ model and the Eddy Dissipation Model (EDM), respectively. Simulation results provide physical insight into the pulsejet cycle; comparisons with experimental data are discussed.

Key words

pulsejetvalveless pulsejetmicro-propulsionthermoacoustics



Damköhler number, ratio of flow times to chemical times


turbulent Prandtl number, ratio of turbulent kinematic viscosity to turbulent thermal diffusivity


shear production of turbulence


energy source


fluid timescale, k/ɛ


chemical time scale


stoichiometric coefficient for reactant I in reaction K


stoichiometric coefficient for product I in reaction K


turbulence kinetic energy per unit mass


turbulence dissipation rate

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Geng
    • 1
  • M. A. Schoen
    • 1
  • A. V. Kuznetsov
    • 1
  • W. L. Roberts
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA