Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Marc D. Polanka, PhD


In recent years, Rotating Detonation Engines (RDEs) have been coupled with turbomachinery to harness the benefits of detonative combustion. A novel type of RDE, referred to as the disk or Radial RDE (RRDE), has been developed in pursuit of length and weight savings compared to a traditional annular flow RDE. This design includes a disk-shaped device within which reactants flow from the outer radius, detonate, and exit the inner radius. In this paper several modifications have been made to a previously tested RRDE to address issues that arose with the original design. The combustion chamber diameter has been increased to maintain area convergence within the combustion channel while forcing the detonation radially outboard, thus enabling a higher efficiency. New fuel and air entry schemes were devised with computational fluid dynamics. This device was tested as a standalone combustor. Although persistent leakage issues have been observed, preliminary results have shown detonation wavespeeds near that of the first-generation, constant-area RRDE, but with higher pressure recovery.

AFIT Designator



A 12-month embargo was observed.

Approved for public release. Case number on file.