Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Paul I. King, PhD


A study is presented on the relationship between a pre-detonator and a detonation channel of an RDE. Testing was conducted on a straight narrow channel made of clear polycarbonate windows connected to an H2/O2 pre-detonator to simulate the RDE initiation scheme and allow for flow visualization. A comparison is made on decoupling distance and wave velocities for a range of pre-detonator designs, inclination angles, equivalence ratios and geometries placed within the simulated channel. Regardless of inclination angle or equivalence ratio the detonation wave decoupled within 25 mm from the pre-detonator exit into the channel. A step change in diameter 25 mm from the exit of the pre-detonator increased the coupled distance to approximately 40 mm from the pre-detonator exit. A step diameter change also increased the exit velocity of the wave and directionalized the flow. Wedges of 30° , 45° and 60° , placed in the channel next to the pre-detonator exit, increased the distance the shock and flame remained coupled from the pre-detonator exit to 42 mm, 50 mm and 60 mm, respectively.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number