Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Marc D. Polanka, PhD


Recent progress has been made in demonstrating Radial Rotating Detonation Engine (RRDE) technology for use in a compact Auxiliary Power Unit with a rapid response time. Investigation of RRDEs also suggests an increase in stable operating range, which is hypothesized to be due to the additional degree of freedom in the radial direction which the detonation wave can propagate. This investigation seeks to determine if the detonation wave is in fact changing its radial location. High speed photography was used to capture chemiluminescence of the detonation wave within the channel to examine its radial location, which was found to vary based on operating condition. One wave detonations tended to operate near the inner radius of the channel near the nozzle, whereas two wave detonations tended to operate near the outer radius of the channel. Normalized detonation velocity was found to increase with detonation radius, from < 0.5vD,CJ near the inner radius to 0.7vD,CJ near the outer edge. Additionally, the power generation of the RRDE integrated with a radial inflow turbocharger was examined over a broad range of reactant mass ow rates, equivalence ratios, and compressor and turbine back pressures. The addition of a flow straightening device was shown to have no appreciable impact on performance. Compressor back pressure was found to increase performance but placed the compressor near its surge line, whereas turbine back pressure decreased performance.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number