Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



A Pulse Detonation Engine (PDE) combusts a fuel air mixture through detonation. Existing designs require spark plugs in each separate thrust tube to ignite premixed reactants. A single thrust tube could require the spark plug to fire hundreds of times per second for long durations. This paper reports on the use of a continuously propagating detonation wave as both a thrust producer and a single ignition source for a multi-tube system. The goal was to minimize ignition complexity and increase reliability by limiting the number of ignition sources. The work includes a systematic investigation of single tube geometric effects on detonations. These results were subsequently used to further examine conditions for splitting detonations i.e. the division of a detonation wave into two separate detonation waves. Finally a dual thrust tube system was built and tested that successfully employed a single spark to initiate detonation in separate thrust tubes.


This paper is a work of the U.S. Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States.

Sourced from DTIC, accession number ADA454345.

Source Publication

38th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit