Magnetohydrodynamic Augmentation of Pulse Detonation Rocket Engines (Preprint)
CALIFORNIA UNIV LOS ANGELES DEPT OF MECHANICAL AND AEROSPACE ENGINEERING
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Pulse detonation engines PDEs are the focus of increasing attention due to their potentially superior performance over constant pressure cycle engines. Yet due to its unsteady chamber pressure, the PDE system will either be over- or under-expanded for the majority of the cycle, with energy being used without maximum gain. Magnetohydrodynamic MHD augmentation offers the opportunity to extract energy and apply it to a separate stream where the net thrust can be increased. With MHD augmentation, such as in the Pulse Detonation Rocket-Induced MHD Ejector PDRIME concept, energy could be extracted from the high speed portion of the system, e.g., through an MHD generator in the nozzle, and then applied directly to another flow or portion of the flow as a body force. This paper explores flow processes and the potential performance of such propulsion systems via high-resolution numerical simulations. In the PDRIME, at the appropriate point in the PDE cycle, the MHD energy extracted from the nozzle is applied in a separate bypass tube by an MHD accelerator, which acts to accelerate the bypass air and potentially impart an overall net positive thrust to the system. An additional magnetic piston applying energy in the PDE chamber can also act in concert with the PDRIME for separate or additional thrust augmentation. Results show potential performance gains under many flight and operating conditions, but with some challenges associated with achieving these gains, suggesting further analysis and optimization are required.
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics
- Rocket Engines