Initiation mechanisms of low-loss swept-ramp obstacles for deflagration to detonation transition in pulse detonation combustors
Myers, Charles B.
Brophy, Christopher M.
Hobson, Garth V.
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In order to enhance the performance of pulse detonation combustors (PDCs), an efficient deflagration-to-detonation transition (DDT) process is critical to maintain the thermodynamic benefits of detonation-based combustion systems and enable their use as future propulsion or power generation systems. The DDT process results in the generation of detonation and can occur independently, but the required length is excessive in many applications and also limits the frequency of repeatability. Historically, obstacles have been used to reduce the required distance for DDT, but often result in a significant total pressure loss that lessens the delivered efficiency advantages of PDCs. This thesis evaluated various swept-ramp obstacle configurations to accelerate DDT in a single event PDC. Computer simulations were used to investigate the threedimensional disturbances caused by various swept-ramp configurations. Experimental tests were conducted using various configurations that measured combustion shockwave speed and flame front interactions with the swept-ramp obstacles. Detonation was verified across the instrumented section through high-frequency pressure transducers, and experimental data proved that swept-ramp obstacles successfully accelerate the DDT process with minimal pressure losses.
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