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Experimental research on the rotating detonation in gaseous fuels–oxygen mixtures

Abstract

An experimental study on rotating detonation is presented in this paper. The study was focused on the possibility of using rotating detonation in a rocket engine. The research was divided into two parts: the first part was devoted to obtaining the initiation of rotating detonation in fuel–oxygen mixture; the second was aimed at determination of the range of propagation stability as a function of chamber pressure, composition, and geometry. Additionally, thrust and specific impulse were determined in the latter stage. In the paper, only rich mixture is described, because using such a composition in rocket combustion chambers maximizes the specific impulse and thrust. In the experiments, two kinds of geometry were examined: cylindrical and cylindrical-conic, the latter can be simulated by a simple aerospike nozzle. Methane, ethane, and propane were used as fuel. The pressure–time courses in the manifolds and in the chamber are presented. The thrust–time profile and detonation velocity calculated from measured pressure peaks are shown. To confirm the performance of a rocket engine with rotating detonation as a high energy gas generator, a model of a simple engine was designed, built, and tested. In the tests, the model of the engine was connected to the dump tank. This solution enables different environmental conditions from a range of flight from 16 km altitude to sea level to be simulated. The obtained specific impulse for pressure in the chamber of max. 1.2 bar and a small nozzle expansion ratio of about 3.5 was close to 1,500 m/s.

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Acknowledgments

The research was supported by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Project No. 4T12D02429.

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Correspondence to J. Kindracki.

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This paper is based on work that was presented at the 22nd International Colloquium on the Dynamics of Explosions and Reactive Systems, Minsk, Belarus, July 27–31, 2009.

Communicated by S. Dorofeev and L. Bauwens.

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Open Access This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0), which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

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Kindracki, J., Wolański, P. & Gut, Z. Experimental research on the rotating detonation in gaseous fuels–oxygen mixtures. Shock Waves 21, 75–84 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00193-011-0298-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00193-011-0298-y

Keywords

  • Rotating detonation
  • RDE engine