Thrust chamber dynamics of multi-tube pulse detonation engines

Fuhua Ma, Yuhui Wu, Jeong Yeol Choi, Vigor Yang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper deals with the modeling and simulation of the thrust chamber dynamics of airbreathing pulse detonation engines (PDEs). The system under consideration includes a supersonic inlet, a rotary valve, a multi-tube combustor, and a common nozzle. The analysis treats the conservation equations of mass, momentum, energy, and species concentration in two dimensions. Chemical kinetics is modeled using a onestep global reaction scheme, which is calibrated with a detailed model for stoichiometric hydrogen/air system. The governing equations and their associated boundary conditions are numerically solved be means of a recently developed Space-Time Conservation Element/Solution Element method, which circumvents the deficiencies of existing numerical methods for treating detonation waves and shock discontinuities. The resultant computer code is further parallelized using the Message-Passing-Interface library to improve its efficiency. The combustion and gasdynamic processes in both single- and multi-tube PDEs are studied in detail. The effects of operation frequency, valve close-up time, and system geometry on the engine propulsive performance are examined. Results show that the multi-tube design substantially modifies the system dynamics and reduces the degree of the unsteadiness of the engine. It, however, only slightly improves the propulsive performance for the system considered herein.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication41st Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781624100994
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Event41st Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit 2003 - Reno, NV, United States
Duration: 2003 Jan 62003 Jan 9

Publication series

Name41st Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit


Other41st Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit 2003
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityReno, NV

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Aerospace Engineering


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