Research on detonation engines shows promise despite difficulties

Following are links to two articles on detonation engines, the concept of using a controlled series of detonations for aircraft propulsion. The potential is attractive because successful application could result in great increases in power with fewer moving parts. Several issues remain difficult to overcome, however, including how to control the detonation, questions about fuel mixtures and aerodynamics of the aircraft body.

Rotating Detonation Wave Propulsion: Experimental Challenges, Modelling and Engine Concepts  [PDF, 907K]

Prospects for Detonation Propulsion [PDF, 1MB]


Frank Lu on detonation enginesFrank Lu is professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington and Director of its Aerodynamics Research Center. He holds a bachelor of arts and master of arts in engineering from University of Cambridge, a master of science from Princeton University and a Ph.D., from Pennsylvania State University. His research interests are in transonic and hypersonic aerodynamics, supersonic flow control, detonation engines and propulsion and power.


Eric Braun on detonation enginesEric M. Braun is a Space Launch System propulsion test and evaluation engineer at The Boeing Company in Huntsville, Alabama. He received a B.S.E. in aerospace engineering from Case Western Reserve University and then joined the Aerodynamics Research Center at the University of Texas at Arlington and earned a master of science and Ph.D. in aerospace engineering. While at the Research Center his work was focused on detonation-based propulsion and power-production systems, thermodynamic cycle analysis, and wind tunnels. Before joining Boeing, he was a lecturer in the UTA Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.


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