Overview of Pulse Detonation Propulsion Technology
Technical rept. for 1942-1999
CHEMICAL PROPULSION INFORMATION AGENCY COLUMBIA MD
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Propulsion systems based on the pulsed detonation cycle offer the potential to provide increased performance while simultaneously reducing engine weight, cost, and complexity, relative to conventional propulsion systems currently in service. The increased performance potential is due to the high thermodynamic efficiency of detonation combustion. The near constant volume heat addition process of the detonation cycle, along with the lack of a compression cycle lend to the high efficiency and specific impulse, simplicity, and low-cost of pulse detonation propulsion systems. Pulse detonation Engines PDEs have the potential for operation at speeds ranging from static to high-supersonic M5, with competitive efficiencies enabling supersonic operation beyond conventional gas turbine engine technology. Currently, no single engine cycle exists that has such a broad range of operability. Pulse Detonation Rocket Engines PDREs have the potential to drastically reduce the cost of upper stage and orbit-transfer propulsion systems, and are also attractive for lunar and planetary exploration, and landers and excursion vehicles that require throttling for soft landing. This report discusses the thermodynamic basis of pulse detonation propulsion technology and identifies the major technology initiatives currently underway in the United States.
- Rocket Engines
- Air Breathing Engines (Unconventional)
- Combustion and Ignition