Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Marc D. Polanka, PhD.


The Ultra Compact Combustor (UCC) presents a novel solution to the advancement of aircraft gas turbine engine performance. A high-g UCC design operates by diverting a portion of the axial compressor flow into a circumferential combustion cavity positioned about the engine outer diameter. The circumferential cavity (CC) provides the necessary residence length and time for combustion within reduced axial lengths; furthermore, high rates of centrifugal acceleration termed high-g loading are imposed upon the swirling cavity flow. These high-g conditions are hypothesized to increase flame speed, reduce flame length, and improve lean blow-out performance. Work at AFIT was sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to study high-g combustion. This research capitalized on the availability of advanced flow diagnostic data coupled with a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model to provide detailed insight into the high-g flow field and combustion dynamics. Results indicated that combustion could be sustained and controlled in a manner suitable for integration into modern gas turbine engine architecture.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number