The Fluidic Obstacle Technique: An Approach for Enhancing Deflagration-to-Detonation Transition in Pulsed Detonation Engines
Knox, Benjamin W.
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The current research explored the fluidic obstacle technique and obtained relative performance estimates of this new approach for enhancement of de agration-to-detonation transition. Optimization of conventional physical obstacles has comprised the majority of de agration-to-detonation enhancement research but these devices ultimately degrade the performance of a pulsed detonation engine. Therefore, a new approach has been investigated that demonstrates a fluidic obstacle has the potential to maximize turbulence production and enhance the flame acceleration process, leading to successful DDT. A fluidic obstacle is also able to reduce total pressure losses, "heat soaking", and ignition times. A reduction in these variables serves to maximize available thrust. In addition, the fluidic obstacle technique is an active combustion control method capable of adapting to off-design conditions. Steady non-reacting and unsteady reacting flow have been utilized in two facilities, namely the UB Combustion Laboratory and AFRL Detonation Engine Research facility, to provide experimental measurements and observations into the feasibility of this new approach.