Valveless Detonation Concepts for Space Exploration
The objective of the proposal is to develop a valveless pulse detonation engine (PDE) and provide performance metrics for comparison to traditional propulsion systems.
The proposed research program will have the following elements:
- Development of a lumped-parameter transient hydraulic model to aid in the design of manifold/injector combinations with a tuned resistance to support valveless detonation behavior
- Experimental investigation into the performance of a lab-scale combustor under valveless detonation mode operation. This investigation will include high-rate pressure measurements to facilitate performance calculations for comparison against conventional options.
- A systems study to ascertain the overall benefit of the pulse detonation cycle relative to a conventional pressure or pump fed rocket.
Valveless PDE technology has the potential to provide costs savings in inert weight, simplicity in manufacturing, and increases to efficiency for rocket propulsion systems. These benefits aim to provide greater mission capability.