Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Marc D. Polanka, PhD


Radial Rotating Detonation Engines (RRDE) have provided an opportunity for use of a pressure-gain combustor in a more compact form compared to an axial RDE. A successfully tested RRDE has operated over a wide range of test conditions and produced detonation modes with one, two, and three waves. The presence of multiple waves located the detonation waves to the outer radius, while one wave modes operated closer to the inner radius. Locating the detonation wave closer to the inner diameter resulted in less time for combustion prior to the radial turbine. Subsequently, this tended to decrease efficiency. To attempt to alleviate this, the detonation chamber area was modified from its constant area design to a decreasing area design as the flow travelled radially inward to confine the detonation wave to a more radially out- ward position. The detonation chamber featured a at channel plate that reduced the flow's effective cross-sectional area by almost 65% from its inlet to the turbine inlet plane. The constant channel height improved total pressure loss as high as 92% over the constant area geometry for similar ow conditions and increased the RRDEs ability to operate at larger channel heights. Guide vanes were introduced downstream of the combustion section by modifying the at channel plate with modular channel plates. This configuration attempted to provide a combustion section with a confined detonation and a transition section to the guide vanes and nozzle. While in this configuration, the RRDE operated at both detonative and acoustic wave modes. Thin-filament pyrometry (TFP) was also performed to measure transient temperature responses during operation. The successful implementation of the filaments provided temperature measurements during detonative modes up to 2194 K at the guide vanes and frequency responses captured through TFP between 1.6-5.9 kHz.

AFIT Designator