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.
38th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit
Rolling, A., King, P., & Schauer, F. (2002). Propagation of Detonation Waves in Tubes Split from a PDE Thrust Tube. In 38th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit (AIAA # 2002-3714). American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2002-3714