Examination of Wave Speed in Rotating Detonation Engines Using Simplified Computational Fluid Dynamics

Daniel E. Paxson
2018 2018 AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting   unpublished
A simplified, two-dimensional, computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulation, with a reactive Euler solver is used to examine possible causes for the low detonation wave propagation speeds that are consistently observed in air breathing rotating detonation engine (RDE) experiments. Intense, small-scale turbulence is proposed as the primary mechanism. While the solver cannot model this turbulence, it can be used to examine the most likely, and profound effect of turbulence. That is a substantial
more » ... t is a substantial enlargement of the reaction zone, or equivalently, an effective reduction in the chemical reaction rate. It is demonstrated that in the unique flowfield of the RDE, a reduction in reaction rate leads to a reduction in the detonation speed. A subsequent test of reduced reaction rate in a purely one-dimensional pulsed detonation engine (PDE) flowfield yields no reduction in wave speed. The reasons for this are explained. The impact of reduced wave speed on RDE performance is then examined, and found to be minimal. Two other potential mechanisms are briefly examined. These are heat transfer, and reactive mixture nonuniformity. In the context of the simulation used for this study, both mechanisms are shown to have negligible effect on either wave speed or performance.
doi:10.2514/6.2018-1883 fatcat:o4znublkc5aupemkuo2ub64wy4