Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Paul I. King, PhD.


Detonation combustors provide advantages over current deflagration combustors due to their pressure gain and simplicity of design. Rotary detonation engines (RDEs) offer advantages over pulsed detonation engines (PDEs) due to a steadier exhaust and fewer total system losses. All previous research on turbine integration with detonation combustors has focused on utilizing PDEs to drive axial and centrifugal turbines. The objective of this thesis was the integration and testing of an axial turbine driven by a rotary detonation engine (RDE) to determine turbine operability. In pursuit of this objective, convergent nozzle sections were placed on the RDE to simulate the back-pressurization that would occur when placing the turbine behind the RDE. Nozzle testing showed that back-pressurizing the RDE increases the operational space of the RDE. Results from the nozzle testing were used to properly integrate the turbine with the RDE. The turbine was driven by the RDE with successful detonation runs, showing turbine operation with RDEs is possible. The RDE operated similarly for both nozzle and turbine testing, demonstrating that a nozzle can properly simulate the presence of a turbine behind a RDE.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number