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Shock Waves (2012) 22:23–38 DOI 10.1007/s00193-011-0348-5

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Rotary wave-ejector enhanced pulse detonation engine

M. R. Nalim · Z. A. Izzy · P. Akbari

Received: 27 December 2010 / Revised: 7 June 2011 / Accepted: 24 August 2011 / Published online: 3 December 2011 © Springer-Verlag 2011

Abstract The use of a non-steady ejector based on wave rotor technology is modeled for pulse detonation engine performance improvement and for compatibility with tur- bomachinery components in hybrid propulsion systems. The rotary wave ejector device integrates a pulse detonation pro- cess with an efficient momentum transfer process in spe- cially shaped channels of a single wave-rotor component. In this paper, a quasi-one-dimensional numerical model is developed to help design the basic geometry and operating parameters of the device. The unsteady combustion and flow processes are simulated and compared with a baseline PDE without ejector enhancement. A preliminary performance assessment is presented for the wave ejector configuration, considering the effect of key geometric parameters, which are selected for high specific impulse. It is shown that the rotary wave ejector concept has significant potential for thrust aug- mentation relative to a basic pulse detonation engine.

Keywords

Pulse detonation engine · Shock waves

Wave ejector · Wave rotor ·

1 Introduction

Considerable work has been done on the development of the pulse detonation engine (PDE) in the past decades, focused

Communicated by F. Lu.

M. R. Nalim · Z. A. Izzy Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indianapolis, IN 46202-5132, USA

P. Akbari (B) Department of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA e-mail: PA2297@Columbia.edu

on many aspects of the PDE including ignition and detona-

tion initiation, fuel mixing, valving, intake, and nozzle design [1]. The application of a PDE was usually envisioned for aircraft and missile propulsion [24] when used as a direct thrust device, taking advantage of a nearly constant-volume combustion process and gas acceleration in the PDE tube.

A single-tube PDE produces intermittent high-temperature

high-velocity jets of exhaust, separated by longer periods of dribbling or no outflow. This concentration of momentum and energy stems from the fundamental mechanics of det- onation and the mixture detonability limits, and causes low propulsive efficiency, diminishing the benefits of high ther- mal efficiency. The use of an external ejector to redistribute momentum to a larger mass flow is an effective and rec- ognized remedy [5,6], boosting thrust and specific impulse significantly. Most PDE configurations also use multiple det- onation tubes [79] that breathe and fire sequentially, using

a rotary valve or other type of valving. This tends to reduce inlet and nozzle non-steadiness and flow losses, but does not eliminate flow stagnation in individual feed distribution and exhaust collection ducts. Multi-tube PDE technology could also benefit gas turbine engines [1013] in hybrid-PDE systems by replacing the con- ventional pressure-loss combustor with a pressure-gain PDE combustor. However, the detonation-generated pressure fluc- tuations and peak temperatures are generally deleterious to turbines, even while high average gas pressure is desirable. Therefore, the highly concentrated and intermittent energy

of the PDE exhaust compromises the fundamental thermo-

dynamic superiority of nearly constant-volume combustion. Multi-tube PDE configurations also typically need multiple high-repetition detonation initiation devices, and complex, high-speed valving for purge gas, fuel, oxidant (or enrich- ment). Furthermore, cyclically loaded valve parts or bearings transmit pressure and thrust, which reduces durability by

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creating vibration and noise. The concept described here addresses these issues with the innovative approach of rotat- ing a drum of multiple PDE tubes. It is applicable to hybrid- PDE systems with downstream components that impose temperature and uniformity requirements on the PDE, and to direct thrust augmentation at moderate flight speeds.

2 Rotary PDE: wave rotor concept

The principle of the present concept is to rotate the multi- ple detonation tubes and keep all other parts stationary under continuous flow [14]. Such a device, called a rotary PDE is one form of a wave-rotor combustor (WRC) [1517] that takes advantage of automatic valving at each end and cre- ates a confined combustion process for the rotating tubes, as schematically shown in Fig. 1. In this figure, relative motion between combustors and turbomachinery components accom- plishes sequential filling, firing, and purging in a WRC, as illustrated notionally by an upward moving direction. In a periodic operation, each combustor aligns with the flow from the compressor and flow to the turbine with a time lag set by rotational speed. At any moment, some combustors pass flow with the compressor and turbine, while others are closed and firing under volumetric confinement. Wave rotors were originally employed for exchanging pressures between dif- ferent fluids in a more complex geometry called the pressure- exchange wave rotor [1820]. They have been successfully operated as superchargers for diesel engines [21], a shock- wave repeater for a high-enthalpy wind tunnel [22], and have

Combustor 5 discharging high pressure gas Combustor 4 contains high pressure hot gas Combustor 3
Combustor 5
discharging high pressure gas
Combustor 4
contains high pressure hot gas
Combustor 3
constant volume combustion
Combustor 2
contains low pressure air + fuel
Combustor 1
filling low pressure air
Compressor
Turbine

Fig. 1

Conceptual layout for a WRC

123

been tested for propulsion and power generation systems [23] in pressure-exchange and combuster versions. The geometry of a WRC is illustrated in Fig. 2, show- ing the inlet and exit ports and the end walls functioning as valves when the clearance gaps between the rotational tubes and stationary end walls (exaggerated here) are tightly con- trolled to minimize leakage. As each rotating channel aligns with the inlet port, it receives reactant mixture. After both ends of each channel are closed, combustion occurs through an igniter mounted at one or both end walls. Finally, the out- let port discharges the burned gas as the channels rotate past the partial-annular outlet port. The length and height of com- bustion channels, the placement and circumferential size of the inlet and exit ports, and the rotational speed of the rotor are optimally designed to control the cyclic flow processes, internal wave processes, and confined combustion. Figure 3 is a more detailed illustration of Fig. 1, being specifically a developed (unwrapped) view of the rotary PDE where the circular motion of the channels is represented on paper by a vertical translatory motion. The hatched shad- ing on the each side of the channels represent end walls that establish the portion of the cycle over which the inlet and outlet ports are closed. The relative locations of the inlet and outlet ports connected to the turbomachinery components will be shown to be related by pressure wave motion. Pos-

sible locations of the fuel injectors and the ignition initiator are also depicted. The inlet port is divided into segments by

a few partitions and fuel is added to the incoming air only

through a few of these segments. The first segment prefera- bly introduces only air into the inlet forming a non-combus- tible region within the respective chamber. This provides a

buffer from previously existing hot gases in the channel, thus, inhibiting premature ignition. Each fuel injector is capable of introducing fuel at a different rate, leading to stratification of combustible gases within the rotating chambers. Such strati- fication aids in establishing proper conditions for detonative combustion [24]. While there are several possible methods to ignite the combustible gas, the ignition initiator shown is

a combustion-torch ignition method, which simply injects a

hot gas into each channel [25]. The complicated gasdynamic wave processes are simply represented via schematic waves and will be discussed in detail in the next sections.

3 Rotary wave ejector concept

While the rotary PDE obtains internally the same funda- mental detonation process and combustion stoichiometry as other PDEs, it would have essentially steady inlet and noz- zle flows with relatively little flow stagnation or pulsation, high-frequency operation without pulsed ignition, no mov- ing parts that transmit thrust, and automatic valveless purg- ing and mixture stratification as needed. While numerical

Rotary wave-ejector enhanced pulse detonation engine

25

Fig. 2

Inflow (air + fuel) From Compressor

Schematic of a WRC or rotary PDE

Rotation End-Wall Seal Plates
Rotation
End-Wall Seal Plates
of a WRC or rotary PDE Rotation End-Wall Seal Plates Outflow to Igniter Inlet Duct Turbine

Outflow to

Igniter

Inlet Duct

Rotation End-Wall Seal Plates Outflow to Igniter Inlet Duct Turbine Fuel Detonation Shock Exhaust Air Expansion

Turbine

Fuel Detonation Shock Exhaust Air Expansion wave Rotation
Fuel
Detonation
Shock
Exhaust
Air
Expansion wave
Rotation

Fig. 3

Schematic of exit-valved rotary PDE with synchronized wave

motion

simulations [2630] have indicated a relatively uniform exit profile for such a configuration, overall outflow temperature and velocity remain high, as with any PDE. An integrated ejector can improve the propulsive efficiency of a direct- thrust PDE, and lower the output temperature of a gas-gen- erator PDE [5,6]. Ejectors have been widely used for aug- menting thrust in propulsion applications. In an ejector, the energy and momentum of a driving primary fluid are redis- tributed by entrainment of a driven secondary fluid. The sec- ondary flow is drawn into a duct with primary fluid usually flowing in parallel with the incoming jet as schematically shown in Fig. 4. This action distributes energy and momen- tum to a larger mass, resulting in lower overall exit velocity and greater propulsive efficiency and thrust. While most past work focused on steady-flow ejectors designs [31,32], inter- est in non-steady ejectors has grown to address the needs of PDE and similar non-steady flow thrusters. Non-steady ejec- tors that accomplish work exchange between fluids by the action of pressure forces are potentially more efficient than steady ejectors that rely on dissipative viscous momentum exchange alone [33]. They have been designed and tested for various configurations of PDEs [5,6,34] and pulsejets [3538]. A typical non-steady ejector consists of a duct of

Fig. 4 Schematic of an ejector
Fig. 4
Schematic of an ejector

larger diameter at the exit of the non-steady device, designed to accept the intermittent exhaust and entrain the secondary flow from a bypass duct or the atmosphere. Such an ejector harnesses the energy and momentum of detonation processes to maximize performance. A significant challenge for PDE- driven ejectors is that the strong shock waves driven out of the exhaust disrupt the secondary flow and tend to propa- gate upstream into the bypass duct, which negates thrust. The concept of a rotary wave ejector combined with a rotary PDE introduced here can avoid this problem [3941]. As dis- cussed in this article, the rotary wave ejector effectively shuts in the shock pressure from the secondary flow and allows the ejector to maximize thrust augmentation. A rotary-wave-ejector PDE can be visualized as a rotary wave ejector longitudinally integrated with a particular con- figuration of a rotary PDE with varying radial height of the rotor channels in the middle section of the rotor. Air flow that bypasses the primary inlet enters in the middle section, pre- dominantly in axial direction. Figure 5 shows four sketched views of a rotary PDE integrated with a rotary wave ejec- tor: (a) partially shrouded rotor without housing or ducts, (b) the housing and primary inlet ducting for the rotor, (c) front view of assembled engine, and (d) rear view of assembled engine. The rotor and its channels consist of three main parts:

the detonation channels (narrow forward section), partially or completely unshrouded flow merging channels (transition middle section), and pressure-exchange channels (wide rear section). The channels are continuous through the three sec- tions, and the front and rear sections are completely shrouded. The transition section and the aft sections have as many or fewer channels that have higher radial height and circum- ferential width than the forward ones. The transition middle

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Fig. 5

wave ejector PDE

Multiple views of rotary

et al. Fig. 5 wave ejector PDE Multiple views of rotary section joins the forward combustion

section joins the forward combustion passages to the rear combustion channels and communicates with a source of bypass air to provide a rotary wave ejector. In the transition section, the height of channels increase gradually along the length of the rotor and it is mostly or completely unshrouded to allow the secondary flow to enter the transition section. In the figure, there are two sets of inlet ducts from which the pri- mary air–fuel mixture is introduced to the forward section. This implies two cycles of operation over one revolution, which is more suitable for balancing mechanical loads and engine applications. The inlet port has a helical shape to pro- vide required rotational velocity to the rotor. The bypass or secondary air inlet duct is not shown for clarity. Figure 6 shows schematic side view of the assembly where the com- busted gases flow from the forward combustion passages through the transitional and rear passages to an exhaust port. Possible variations of the rotary wave ejector PDE concept are described by Nalim [42]. The sequence of combustion events occurring in one oper- ating cycle of the rotary wave ejector is illustrated in Fig. 7, for a representative combustion chamber of Fig. 3 at differ- ent stages of its rotation. Starting after closure of the inlet port, the forward channel contains detonable mixture, while the remainder of the chamber contains only air (I). Here, employing optional partitions in the inlet duct may provide a stratified reactant mixture and an air buffer layer preceding the detonable mixture in the channels as discussed in Fig. 3. Detonation is initiated at the inlet end wall at left (II), by a presumed rapid mechanism. A detonation wave moves super- sonically, pressurizing and accelerating the burned gas until

Bypass Air

Outflow (burned gas) Inflow (air + fuel) Forward Transitio Rear Section n Section Section
Outflow (burned gas)
Inflow (air + fuel)
Forward
Transitio
Rear
Section
n Section
Section

Fig. 6

Schematic side view of rotary wave ejector PDE (from [42])

the detonation wave reaches non-combustible mixture and converts to a shock wave (III). Propagating the shock wave through the large area change of the transition section causes first expansion waves formed and travel back to the inlet side, while the shock wave continues to propagate to the exit side. Gas is expelled through the open exit end, while the shock wave reflects as a secondary expansion wave that propagates towards the inlet end (IV). Meanwhile, the first expansion waves arrive at the closed inlet end and reflect off the wall, reducing the rotor pressure sufficiently for the primary inlet to be opened, admitting a buffer of unfueled air followed by fresh detonable mixture. Concurrently, the secondary expan- sion wave arrives at the inlet end and is reflected back towards

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Rotary wave-ejector enhanced pulse detonation engine

27

Time

VI VI

V V

Hammer Shock 2 nd Reflected Expansion Fans Bypass Flow
Hammer Shock
2 nd Reflected Expansion Fans
Bypass Flow

Second Expansion Fans

First Reflected Expansion Fans Exhaust IV IV First Expansion Fans Shock Wave III III Detonation
First Reflected Expansion Fans
Exhaust
IV IV
First Expansion Fans
Shock Wave
III III
Detonation
II II
Fresh Air
Burned Gases
I I
Fuel/Air Mixture

Fig. 7

Operation of rotary wave ejector PDE cycle, corresponding to

Fig. 3

the outlet end forming a second reflected wave. This expan- sion wave reduces pressure in the transition section, further which by rotation comes into communication with the bypass air duct (not shown), admitting bypass air into the rear section now also at low pressure (V). At various times, the primary and secondary inlet ports are closed by rotation, avoiding any flow reversal as local pressures change. The exit port may also be closed when necessary, whereupon a hammer shock is generated at the exit wall (VI). The charged combustion chamber is then ready for another operating cycle. It is expected that the shock wave and its reflections pro- vide the dominant mechanism for entrainment of and momen- tum transfer to bypass air. This is in contrast with steady and non-steady ejectors that rely on viscous shear layers and vor- tex formation for their working mechanism. In addition, it is known that the macroscopic gasdynamics of detonations is well predicted by a one-dimensional (ZND) model. With this assumption, the basic fluid dynamics and detonation pro- cesses of the rotary wave ejector PDE can be estimated well by a quasi-one-dimensional gasdynamic model that includes the effects of detonative combustion, secondary air injection, and area variation of the channel. Such a model is described next, in which important multi-dimensional effects are mod- eled as source terms in the governing equations.

4 Computational methodology

The modeling presented here uses an experimentally vali- dated wave rotor simulation code under the assumption of

quasi-one-dimensional flow of an ideal gas. The numeri- cal code, originally developed [4345] at NASA has been applied to a broad range of non-unsteady flow devices such as pressure dividers [46], wave augmented diffusers [47], four-port pressure-exchange wave rotors [48,49], pulsejets [36,50], premixed gas turbine combustors [51,52], PDEs [29,30,5355], and combustion wave rotors [24,26,56]. Some analyses considered uniform cross-section chambers, and some considered area variation [47,53,57]. Details of the code including algorithm, numerical approach, loss mod- eling, and boundary condition implementations have been described in the above references. A brief description emphasizing aspects relevant to this study is provided here. The code simulates flow in one channel of a wave rotor as it passes over various ports. Ports are specified by their repre- sentative pressures, temperatures, composition, and their cir- cumferential locations on the wave rotor casing. To simulate the operation process of PDE-driven rotary wave ejectors, the original code was modified to model mass addition into the transition channels (middle section). Gradual area variation of the middle section is assumed in a sinusoidal form. The type and number of boundary conditions required are based on the direction and Mach number of flow and are discussed in detail by Paxson [43]. For subsonic flow, inflow requires specification of upstream stagnation conditions, and outflow requires downstream pressure. For reacting gases, the code solves one-dimensional flow equations along with the species equation for fuel represented by a reaction progress variable (z), varying from unity for pure reactants to zero (0 z 1) for products as combustion occurs. The combustion process is represented by a simple, one-step, premixed reaction with calorically perfect gas, with constant specific heat ratio (γ ). The combustion initiation is simulated by exposing the termi- nal computational cell to a high-pressure high-temperature gas injection port. The code is capable of modeling both def- lagration and detonation combustion modes. A turbulence model in the form of an eddy diffusivity is activated when deflagration is considered. The rate of reaction is assumed zero below the threshold temperature (T ign ). Building on the earlier non-reacting code [46,48], all major loss mechanisms in combustion wave rotors, including friction, heat transfer, leakage, partial (gradual) channel opening/closing, mixing phenomena in the ports, and flow incidence, are available in the code as sub-models, but require dimensional infor- mation that is not considered in the current work. For sim- plicity, several assumptions and simplifications are used to model the rotary PDE-driven rotary wave ejector as listed below:

The flow is quasi-one-dimensional, adiabatic, inviscid, and is everywhere a pure calorically perfect gas, with specific heat ratio γ = 1.3.

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Wall viscous drag, heat transfer, the interaction effect among channels, circumferential velocity of the rotor and leakage at the gaps are neglected in the calculations.

The channel ends are opened and closed very rapidly with no partial-opening losses, presuming a large number of channels.

For generality, a particular fuel is not specified; the adia- batic flame temperature for a stoichiometric fuel–air mix- ture is 9.35 times primary inlet stagnation temperature,

The detonation initiation occurs very rapidly upon expo- sure of the channel to a high-pressure, high-temperature gas, and the deflagration to detonation transient (DDT) process is not included.

The channels cross sections are assumed rectangular with constant mean width, but varying height.

Stagnation pressure, and stagnation temperature are assumed known for primary and secondary inlets, while static pressure is assumed known for the outlet. If flow reversal occurs at the outlet, gas properties are estimated from conditions of the gas outflow preceding the reversal.

heat ratio γ , and specific heat of reaction q c are assumed con- stants, and internal energy is expressed as

1

p

γ 1

ρ .

 

¯

The source vector

S (w,¯

x) includes contributions from

entrainment of secondary flow, area variation, and combus- tion. Other source terms present in the original code and deactivated in the present study are not shown here: turbulent eddy diffusion, wall viscous forces, and wall heat transfer, and a deflagrative combustion rate model. The secondary air flow is assumed to enter a specified section of the channel from a stagnation cavity at pressure P cav , temperature T cav , at a specified incidence angle ϕ. The inflow velocity of the secondary flow u rel is computed from isentropic expansion to the local channel pressure, and the coefficient ψ is the projection of the secondary flow direction on the local chan- nel surface orientation. The cosine factor in the momentum equation captures the axial component of momentum from the secondary flow, thus taking a loss on the kinetic energy of the radial component of the flow. The detonative combus-

tion is represented by a finite-rate, single-step reaction, with a reaction rate constant K 0 , when a threshold ignition tem- perature T ign is exceeded. Based on prior experience with detonation simulations [24], K 0 = 100 and T ign = 2.5 were set, with no significant sensitivity of performance predictions to these small variations of values for the grid spacing used.

¯ The equations are numerically integrated using a Lax– Wendroff scheme that utilizes Roe’s approximate Riemann solver [43]. Second-order central differencing is applied to derivatives in the source terms. Previous work using this code predicted key gas dynamic effects with a grid of 10–50 cells, or fewer [46,48]. Grid sensitivity tests specifically for det- onative combustion computations have indicated [26] that detonation speed and cycle performance measures are nearly independent of grid size varied from 50 to 200, provided the

solution are converged, but peak pressure may vary. Wave

speed accuracy is important for valve timing and cyclic oper- ation. Real detonation structure is fundamentally three- dimensional and cannot be captured in this one-dimensional numerical model, which is intended to predict the conse-

quent gasdynamics and system performance without sensi-

tivity to local detonation structure. The von Neumann peak pressure of the classical one-dimensional detonation model is approached with fine grids and large K 0 , but there is no

significant correlation of performance predictions with peak

pressure. Grid sensitivity tests for the typical simulations

of this study are presented below after presentations of the

results. Paxson and Lindau [57] used this code to study wave rotor flows with different channel height profiles and compared the results with both the exact solutions and two-dimensional unsteady CFD results. Their results justify the use of this quasi-one-dimensional code for channel height ratio used here in the range of 1.2–2.0.

The code uses a shock-capturing flow solver to integrate the governing equations of mass, momentum, energy, and spe- cies. The non-dimensional equations are expressed in vector

¯

format with conserved variable w¯ , flux F and source term S

defined alongside:

∂w¯

+

¯

F (w¯ )

¯

=

S (w¯ )

 

t

x

where:

w¯ =

ρH

ρuH

γ (γ 1) + ρHu 2

pH

ρzH

2

+ ρHzq c

¯

ρuH

pH

+

ρHu 2

 

F =

γ

uH

ρuHz

p

1)

+ ρu 2

2

+

ρzq c

ρu rel ψ

p d H

dx

+

2

ρu rel ψ cos φ

¯

S(w,¯

x) =

T cav

 

ρu rel ψ

ρzK 0

γ 1

1, T i > 0, T i >

T ign T ign

(1)

(2)


(3)


(4)

Non-dimensionalization of pressure ( p), density (ρ), and velocity (u) is based on a reference state p , ρ , and sound speed a , while channel height, H , and distance x are based on total rotor length, L, and time based on L/a . The specific

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Rotary wave-ejector enhanced pulse detonation engine

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5 Performance prediction

In this section, modeling and analysis of PDEs with and with- out rotary wave ejectors are presented. First, simulations will be presented (Sect. 5.1) for a rotary PDE (no mass addition and no area variation) with and without exit valve to ver- ify simple PDE simulation. This discussion will also demon- strate the advantage of incorporating an exit valve to a simple PDE, which is much easier in the rotating case. In Sect. 5.2, a particular PDE cycle will be selected as the baseline engine for benchmarking the performance of the rotary wave ejector PDE. Next, simulations performed for a rotary PDE-driven ejector without and with an exit valve will be demonstrated (Sects. 5.3 and 5.4). Finally, preliminary performance eval- uation of rotary wave ejector PDE without an exit valve is presented (Sect. 5.5) in terms of calculated specific impulse and pressure gain, and comparative performance measures are discussed. Detailed parametric investigation and design are presented in Ref. [58,59].

5.1 PDE cycle without and with exit valve

The first results presented here are based on a previous study [30] investigating the flow field of rotary PDEs of a partic- ular design, for illustration of major features. The rotor has 20 channels; each has a length of 77.5 cm with height and width of about 6.35 cm. It operates under rotational speed of 4,100 revolutions per minute ( f = 68 Hz) with inlet gas pressure of 1.43 atm. Configurations without and with an exit valve were considered, as shown in the top and bottom of Fig. 8, respectively, in plots of key non-dimensional gas properties in a representative channel, as a function of time over one converged cycle of operation. A converged solu- tion is defined as the situation that after several cycles of time-marching computation, the wave pattern and operation process will be very closely the same for successive cycles. Velocity profiles in the inlet (blue line) and exit planes (red lines) are shown on the leftmost plots as functions of time. The three xt contour plots on the right show temperature, pressure (in logarithmic scale), and fuel concentration as a function of time (vertical axis) and position (horizontal) in the channel frame of reference. The color scheme represents lowest values in blue and highest in red, for non-dimensional quantities shown. The white strips on the left sides of the tem- perature plots represent the portion of the cycle over which the inlet and outlet ports are closed (end walls). The loca- tion of detonation initiator is shown with a black arrow on the top left side of the temperature plots. In these scenar- ios, the air/fuel mixture is detonated directly when channel gas is exposed briefly to the small high-pressure high-tem- perature ignition gas port placed after closing the inlet port, as described before. Typically, the mass of gas injected is less than 1% if the total mass flow. It is assumed that the

mixture in the channel is detonable for the channel size and conditions. There is evidence that hot gas injection is a fea- sible direct method of detonation initiation; other methods like spark ignition may be used if sufficient time is provided for deflagration to detonation transition (DDT), but is not considered here for ejector-enhanced and conventional PDE (baseline) simulations. DDT processes scale according to tur- bulent and multi-dimensional flow physics that are beyond the models used here, and must be short relative to the overall time of the cycle gas dynamics. This assumption simplifies the assessment of ejector performance. For the configuration without an exit valve (top of Fig. 8), the exit velocity plot (red dashed line) indicates a signifi- cantly non-uniform profile with intermittent flow reversal. The inlet velocity (blue full line) shows gradual velocity change during the partially open period, considered in this particular case. Note the small peak due to the detonation initiator. The inlet port opens when the channel pressure has fallen below the inlet port pressure, admitting cooler fresh air followed by the detonable mixture, as seen in the temper- ature and fuel fraction plots. As the inflowing gas is stopped by closing the inlet, it generates an expansion wave that depresses the channel pressure (circled region in the pressure plot), with consequent loss of thermodynamic performance. Immediately following initiation, the detonation wave con- sumes the fuel rapidly and overtakes the expansion wave, as seen in the temperature, pressure, and fuel concentra- tion plots. The detonation wave becomes a shock wave upon reaching non-fueled air. The temperature plot also indicates the movement of the contact interface between hot gas in the channels and fresh cold mixture received at the inlet port. For the exit-valved rotary PDE (bottom), portions of the exit end are covered by an end wall where exit velocity is expected to be low. The detonation initiator is located such that the detonation wave does not hit the exit end wall, and create additional shock reflections. The detonation-generated shock wave reflects at the open but choked exhaust port as a reflected shock wave. Relatively more uniform velocity profiles are seen at the exhaust port, with no flow rever- sal. Further, by closing the exit end wall, a hammer shock wave is generated inside the rotor channels that stops the inflow and favorably increases the pressure and temperature of the detonable mixture, in contrast to the pressure drop in the previous case. Because this pre-compression wave stops the channel gas motion, no further expansion wave is gener- ated when the inlet port closes. This causes the exit-valved cycle to have significantly better thermodynamic performa- nce. More details of these two cases are available in Ref. [30].

5.2 Baseline PDE cycle

For consistent comparison with rotary wave ejector designs, another particular and typical PDE cycle with no exit valving

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30 M. R. Nalim et al. Fig. 8 Flow field of rotary PDE without, top ,

Fig. 8

Flow field of rotary PDE without, top, and with exit valve, bottom, (from [30])

is selected as a baseline cycle. Such a rotary PDE is assumed, like all other rotary wave ejector PDE designs discussed here, to have a sufficiently large number of channels that the inflows and outflows are approximately steady, although gen- erally not uniform, This baseline allows self-consistency in the analysis of rotary PDE designs, and avoids comparisons among the many different types of valving provided in var- ious stationary PDE designs. To provide a baseline cycle of this type with a high performance, care was taken to time the inlet valve to create a channel wave pattern that avoids a com-

pression wave upon opening the inlet port, or an expansion wave upon closing the inlet port, or any backflow. This maxi- mizes the efficiency of the filling process. A minimal amount of purge air is supplied for the first one-fifth of the inlet open time. Figure 9 indicates 40 wave diagrams and computed Mach number and pressures at the inlet and exit planes for two successive cycles of the baseline cycle, illustrating con- verged solution on a repeating cycle. Based on the desired rotor frequency and adequate time for a complete combustion process, the cycle time is set to 4.8, non-dimensionalized by

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Rotary wave-ejector enhanced pulse detonation engine

31

24 24 Inlet Inlet 23 Outlet 23 Outlet 22 22 21 21 20 20 19
24
24
Inlet
Inlet
23
Outlet
23
Outlet
22
22
21
21
20
20
19
19
18
18
17
17
16
16
15
15
14
14
-1
0
1
2
-0.5
0
0.5
1
1.5
Mach No
Log Pressure
Inlet
Inlet
Time
Exit

Fig. 9

Flow field of baseline PDE without exit valve (from [40])

the reference transit time. Ignition occurs at the beginning of each cycle. The specific impulse for the baseline cycle is calculated to be 1.11 a s , where a is the reference state speed of sound, φ s is the stoichiometric fuel–air ratio, and the con- stant specific heat ratio is γ = 1.3. For sea-level atmospheric inlet with a = 345 m/s and typical hydrocarbon fuel with φ s = 15, this gives a baseline cycle I sp of 1,510 s. It is empha- sized that this value is based on homogenization of the out- flow feeding a nozzle, and thus reflects pressure gain rather than momentum change in the PDE. In contrast, many PDE performance estimates are based on the raw time-unsteady momentum and pressure balance of a single tube or multiple tubes without regard to the need for steady flow and homo- geneity in a flow supplied to a jet nozzle or turbine.

5.3 Rotary wave ejector PDE cycle with equal pressure inlets and without exit valve

In this section, selected simulations of the rotary wave ejec- tor rotary PDE are presented. Total pressures and tempera- tures of the primary and bypass inlet ports are all at standard atmospheric conditions. Geometric and timing parameters are set based on preliminary experience to assure detonation combustion within channels, but detailed parametric investi- gation can be found in Ref. [58,59] where the potential for further improvements by geometric parameter optimization is indicated. The channel height ratio between the rear and forward sections is set at 2.0, with a smooth sinusoidal tran- sition from the small to the larger diameter. The bypass duct start and end angles in the radial plane are set at 30 as illus- trated in Fig. 10 where L is the rotor total length and H 1 is the forward combustion channel height. Figure 11 presents [3941] simulations of a rotary wave ejector PDE without an exit valve where the outlet port

Bypass Air α 2 α 1 P rimary Air H2 H2 H1 H1 and Fu
Bypass Air
α 2
α 1
P rimary Air
H2
H2
H1
H1
and
Fu Fu el el
X1
X1
SX1
SX2
X2

P assa g e Ou tflow Height, H2 = 2.0 H1 Area Transition Start Location, X1 = 0.2 L Area Transition End Location, X2 = 0.5 L Secondary D u ct Start Location, SX1 = 0.3 L Secondary D u ct End Location, SX2 = 0.6 L Secondary Du ct Start Ang le, α1 = 30° Secondary D u ct End Ang le, α2 = 30°

Fig. 10

Dimensions used for simulations (from [3941])

remains open for the entire cycle at one atmosphere static pressure. Appropriate boundary conditions and time is pro- vided for each of the phases of operation described in Fig. 7. The non-dimensional cycle time of 2.95 and other timings appear to be shorter only because they are referenced to the nominal wave transit time for the entire rotor length, longer than the detonation section. The primary inlet port is parti- tioned into five sectors of selected circumferential width, to allow non-uniform mixtures. Typically, the first sector was left unfueled to provide a non-combustible buffer, and had a width of 15% of the inlet. As shown in the Mach number plot, the primary inlet port remains open from time 1.0 to 2.3 (blue full line). In the exit flow (red dashed line), a short duration of backflow is observed in a highly non-uniform flow. The pressure pro- file indicates that the channel pressure during the primary

123

32

M. R. Nalim et al.

3 3 Inlet Inlet Outlet Outlet 2.5 2.5 2 2 1.5 1.5 1 1 0.5
3
3
Inlet
Inlet
Outlet
Outlet
2.5
2.5
2
2
1.5
1.5
1
1
0.5
0.5
0
0
-0.5
0
0.5
1
1.5
-0.5
0
0.5
1
Mach No
Log Pressure
Inlet
Time
Exit

Fig. 11

Flow field of rotary PDE without exit valve (from [3941])

inlet port opening is below atmosphere, as required to receive the inlet flow at the forward section. The sub-atmospheric pressure is the outcome of reflected expansion waves as dis- cussed in Fig. 7. The peak pressure at the outflow indicates the shock wave leaving the rotor. The trajectory of detonation wave and transmitted shock wave appears sharply near the bottom of the pressure xt plot. The significant feature of the rotary wave ejector is the entrainment of fresh air in the transition section, with the bypass inlet port located at non-dimensional axial location 0.3–0.55. This is seen most clearly in the temperature plot, which shows the initial injection of colder secondary air (dark/blue) beginning about time 1.0 along this region. The secondary flow terminates at time 2.6, but this is less evident as the flow rate diminishes and the primary air flow sweeps along the channel. The closing of the secondary air inlet port may occur after or before closing the inlet port; the timing of closure has ranged from 1.6 to 2.95 in attempted simu- lations. Typically, the timing is chosen to avoid significant backflow into the bypass and to achieve a high performance. The green region in the fuel fraction graph indicates dilution by the bypass air (blue) from the full strength mixture (red).

5.4 Rotary wave ejector PDE cycle with pressurized primary inlet, and with exit valve

For a hybrid-PDE configuration with upstream compression, the primary inlet pressure could exceed the secondary inlet pressure. For primary-to-secondary pressure ratios more than about 1.2, visual inspection of wave patterns showed signifi- cant backflow into the rotor. To prevent backflow and obtain other benefits, the exhaust is closed for a time period, in this exit-valved configuration. As discussed in Fig. 8 for a simple PDE, the partial closing of the exhaust can also improve the performance of the engine. Figure 12 shows [41] wave diagrams and predicted flow properties at the inlet and exit planes for an exit-valved rotary wave ejector PDE. Now, the primary inlet total pressure is set to 4.0 atm while other ports are kept at the standard atmo- spheric conditions. The Mach number plot shows that the primary inlet and exhaust ports are open from 1.6 to 2.0 and from 0.2 to 0.7, respectively. The plot clearly shows that compared with the full annular exit configuration discussed before, both the primary inlet and exhaust flows indicate a more uniform velocity profile without any backflow at the

3 3 Inlet Outlet 2.5 2.5 2 2 Inlet 1.5 1.5 Outlet 1 1 0.5
3
3
Inlet
Outlet
2.5
2.5
2
2
Inlet
1.5
1.5
Outlet
1
1
0.5
0.5
0
0
-1
0
1
2
-1
0
1
2
Mach No
Log Pressure
Inlet
Time
Exit

Fig. 12

Flow field of rotary PDE with exit valve (from [41])

123

Rotary wave-ejector enhanced pulse detonation engine

33

exit. The inward motion of the fueled region (red) is initially stopped by closing of the exhaust port and a backward motion is observed later due to propagations of waves inside the rotor channels. In this simulation, the bypass duct remained open from time 0.2 to 0.7, before the opening of the higher- pressure primary flow, and the colder fluid may be observed (darker blue) in the temperature plot.

5.5 Performance evaluation

To evaluate the rotary wave ejector for enhancing PDE per- formance, a detailed performance investigation was made [3941]. Performance results are presented in the form of net pressure gain across the wave ejector PDE and augmentation ratios for specific impulse as functions of entrainment ratio. The results are obtained for an exit-valved rotary PDE inte- grated with a rotary wave ejector. Port timings are selected based on matching wave events, using the results of a detailed parametric design investigation using the design-of-experi- ments statistical methodology presented in Ref. [58,59]. For hybrid-PDE application to gas turbine engines, pres- sure gain is defined as the ratio of the port-average stagna- tion pressures, exhaust to inlet. The averaging calculation preserves the time-integrated mass, momentum, and energy flux in the port, and assumes that each port is in commu- nication with a large number of rotating channels, so that it has a steady flow of gas regardless of the unsteady pro- cesses in each channel. The numerical procedure takes into account the mixing loss associated with homogenizing the port properties [46]. The pressure gain measures the perfor- mance of hybrid-PDE systems because their overall effect is to increase the turbine inlet pressure, resulting in higher cycle efficiency. For the exit-valved rotary PDEs, the ham- mer shock discussed in Fig. 8 enhances the pressure gain due to the pre-compression prior to the combustion. For direct thrust applications, performance is measured by augmentation of specific impulse, defined as the thrust per unit mass rate of fuel. For the rotary wave ejector PDE, thrust is computed by assuming an isentropic expansion of the homogenized exhaust gas to atmospheric pressure. Neglect- ing the inlet flow velocity compared with the exit flow veloc- ity, the ideal thrust (F) can be calculated by [59]:

F = m˙ exit

2c p

T twee

1

P twee γ 1

P a

γ

(5)

where subscript “a” indicates the ambient state which sets the nozzle discharge static pressure, and “wee” indicates the wave ejector exit state supplying the nozzle. Subscript t” stands for stagnation condition. It should be noted that this thrust is not the same as that calculated from a sim- ple pressure and momentum balance on the detonation tube.

5 HR = 1.2 HR = 1.35 HR = 1.5 4 HR = 1.8 HR
5
HR = 1.2
HR = 1.35
HR = 1.5
4
HR = 1.8
HR = 2.0
HR = 2.2
3
HR = 2.5
2
1
Temperature Ratio

012345678

Entrainment Ratio

Fig. 13

Temperature ratio versus entrainment ratio (from [41])

Because m˙ exit = m˙ inlet + m˙ bypass , the specific impulse is calculated as:

I sp =


m˙ bypass

m˙ primary

F

m˙ fuel

1 +

exit = ϕ primary

F

1 + ER

=

m˙ fuel

m˙

m˙ primary

2c p T twee

1

P twee γ 1

P a

γ

⎤ ⎦

(6)

where “ER” is entrainment ratio, defined as the mass flow rate ratio of the bypass air and the primary inlet flow. Parameter ϕ primary ” is the fuel–air mass ratio in the primary inlet port, and hence defines its energy content. In this study, the results are presented in the form of the specific impulse augmenta- tion ratio, which is defied as the ratio of the non-dimensional specific impulse of the rotary wave ejector PDE to the non- dimensional specific impulse of the baseline rotary PDE with no bypass flow. The overall energy balance requires that the average out- flow enthalpy, as measured by the stagnation temperature ratio, reflect the average energy in the primary and second- ary inlet, including fuel enthalpy, regardless of the details of the system design and design parameters. If it is assumed that the primary zone fuel–air ratio does not change, the overall fuel–air ratio will depend directly on the entrain- ment ratio. To verify this, the stagnation temperature ratio

across the rotary wave ejector PDE is plotted as a func- tion of entrainment ratio in Fig. 13. Entrainment ratio was changed by varying the bypass opening and closing timings. Port locations and other geometric parameters were kept the same. Outflow temperature falls hyperbolically with entrain- ment ratio regardless of height ratio (HR) in the range 1.2– 2.5, as expected. The observed fluctuations may reflect small variations in the primary mixture fuel–air ratio, which is due to wave-induced velocity fluctuations.

123

34

M. R. Nalim et al.

Pressure Ratio

1.5 1.4 1.3 HR = 1.2 HR = 1.35 1.2 HR = 1.5 HR =
1.5
1.4
1.3
HR = 1.2
HR = 1.35
1.2
HR = 1.5
HR = 1.8
1.1
HR = 2.0
HR = 2.2
HR = 2.5
1

12345

Temperature Ratio

Fig. 14

Pressure ratio versus temperature ratio (from [41])

The variation of overall pressure gain with temperature ratio is indicated in Fig. 14 for different height ratios. This plot is a common representation of the performance of pressure-gain combustors. Overall energy balance and ther- modynamic models [60,61] show that the maximum pressure gain increases with temperature ratio, but actual performance can vary considerably depending on design features. It appears that height ratio has moderate but possibly complex impact on pressure gain. The specific impulse for the baseline cycle is calculated to be 2.87 a s using the constant specific heat ratio γ = of 1.3. It is emphasized that thrust and impulse calcula- tions for this baseline and for ejector enhanced designs in this paper all include a mixing loss associated with homogenizing the multi-tube exhaust prior to nozzle expansion. For other cases, the calculated specific impulse is divided by this value to express an augmentation ratio. The variation of specific impulse augmentation with entrainment ratio for the previ- ous height ratios is shown in Fig. 15. Considerable thrust aug- mentation is observed, even for small entrainment ratios, but there is significant scatter associated with the direct effects of HR variation and indirect effects via the overall fuel–air ratio and entrainment ratio responses to wave dynamics at the inlets. The performance generally increases with entrain- ment ratio, and impulse augmentation up to a factor of two appears possible.

6 Optimization using design-of-experiments

To optimize the rotary wave ejector design for maximum I sp , the most influential seven parameters were examined. Of the selected seven, the effect of fill fraction FF is relatively obvi- ous and strong, as it corresponds to partial filling in a PDE. Therefore, FF was separated from the analysis, and two sets

123

2 1.8 1.6 HR = 1.2 HR = 1.35 1.4 HR = 1.5 HR =
2
1.8
1.6
HR
= 1.2
HR
= 1.35
1.4
HR
= 1.5
HR
= 1.8
1.2
HR
= 2.0
HR
= 2.2
HR
= 2.5
1
Specific Impulse Augmentation

012345678

Entrainment Ratio

Fig. 15

(from [41])

Specific impulse augmentation ratio versus entrainment ratio

of experiments were conducted based on settings of FF = 0.6 and FF = 0.8. The non-linear effects of the remaining six variable parameters were sought using a three level analysis, applying the Box–Behnken design-of-experiments structure to minimize experimental effort. Based on the design-of-experiments prediction, the opti- mal design without exit valving is shown of Table 1. In this table, X 2 and X 3 represent transition middle section forward and middle offsets, respectively. ANG refers to the bypass duct angel relative to the rotor. When FF is 0.8, the non- dimensional I sp for the rotary wave ejector is 2.01. In com- parison, for the PDE baseline case with FF set at 0.8, I sp was calculated as 1.11. Thus, a specific impulse augmentation ratio of 1.83 is obtained. When FF is 0.6, I sp is 2.29., and I sp augmentation becomes 2.1. Figure 16 is a sketch of the resulting ‘optimal’ rotary wave ejector geometry model for FF = 0.6, which was also found to give nearly optimal I sp for FF = 0.8, with the optimal parameter settings given in Table 2. POT and SOT represent primary and bypass ducts opening time, respectively. PCT and SCT are used for the primary and bypass ducts closing time, respectively. P5 is the back pressure and X 4 is transi- tion middle section rear offset. It is emphasized that in this design, parameters were selected for their weak or strong influence on specific impulse alone, without regard to other

Table 1 Design of experiments based optimal design simulation results

Design of experiments predictions of the optimal settings for design parameters

FF

I sp prediction

HR

Cycle

X 2

X 3

ANG

2

3.95

0

0.3

30

0.8

2.01

2

3.95

0.05

0.3

30

0.6

2.29

Rotary wave-ejector enhanced pulse detonation engine

35

H

Rotary wave-ejector enhanced pulse detonation engine 35 H 35° 30° L/5 3L/10 L/20 L 2H Fig.
35° 30°
35°
30°
L/5 3L/10 L/20 L 2H
L/5
3L/10
L/20
L
2H

Fig. 16

Optimal rotary wave ejector model based on I sp

 

Table 2

Optimal design parameter values

 

POT

PCT

SOT

SCT

P5

Cycle

FF

1.1

2.3

0.7

2.5

1

3.95

0.6

X 1

X 2

X 3

X 4

ANG1

HR

0.2

0

0.3

0.05

30

2

performance measures. Other measures such as thrust den- sity, rotor weight, size, and cost should be considered together with I sp to generate a feasible design.

6.1 Exit valving for backflow control

It was observed that some backflow occurs at the rotary wave ejector exit, generally in the low-speed phase of each cycle. This may be explained by the fact that improved I sp at the near-optimal design state corresponds to high levels of entrainment, with concomitant low exit velocity as the momentum of the detonation is distributed over increased mass. Backflow is computed in the model according to the pressure difference across the exit, and an averaged outflow temperature is assigned to the returning fluid. The opportu- nity was presented to prevent backflow by valving the exit, and further improve the I sp . The exit port timing was modified

to open only from 0.36 to 3.9 in non-dimensional time, and backflow is reduced but not eliminated, as shown in Fig. 17 for the case of FF = 0.6. I sp is calculated to be increased from 2.29 to 2.63. Exit port timing could involve two or more addi- tional parameters, which were not included as design param- eters in the current research, but should be included in further investigation. Figure 18 shows the I sp augmentation for various paramet- ric cases considered in the design-of-experiments approach of Ref. [58,59], for the case of FF = 0.8. It included a two-level FFD and three-level Box–Behnken sets of simula- tions. It illustrates that I sp is strongly correlated with entrain- ment ratio, as expected. The optimal settings had the highest I sp among all the runs, justifying the design-of-experiment approach to an optimal rotary wave ejector model. Figure 19 is a plot of I sp augmentation against the overall temperature ratio, where in addition to the baseline, several partial-fill

Fig. 17

ejector simulation (exit-valved,

FF = 0.6)

Optimized rotary wave

to the baseline, several partial-fill Fig. 17 ejector simulation (exit-valved, FF = 0 . 6) Optimized

123

36

M. R. Nalim et al.

2.6 PDE Baseline FF=0.8 2.4 "RWE (2-level FFD)" 2.2 "RWE (Box-Behnken)" "Optimal RWE - open
2.6
PDE Baseline FF=0.8
2.4
"RWE (2-level FFD)"
2.2
"RWE (Box-Behnken)"
"Optimal RWE - open exit"
2.0
"Optimal RWE - exit-valved"
1.8
1.6
1.4
1.2
1.0
0.8
Isp Augmentation
1.4 1.2 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 Specific Impulse 0.2 Thrust Density Entrainment Ratio 0 Non-Dimensional
1.4
1.2
1
0.8
0.6
0.4
Specific Impulse
0.2
Thrust Density
Entrainment Ratio
0
Non-Dimensional Metric

0123456 0

100

200

300

400

500

Entrainment Ratio

No. of Computational Cells

Fig. 18 I sp augmentation as a function of entrainment ratio (FF = 0.8) Fig.
Fig. 18
I sp augmentation as a function of entrainment ratio (FF = 0.8)
Fig. 20
Grid sensitivity of non-dimensional performance metrics and
entrainment ratio
2.6
PDE baseline
2.4
PDE LF1 FF=0.6
PDE LF2 FF=0.5
2.2
PDE LF3 FF=0.4
PDE LF4 FF=0.3
other means, and thus reach a greater thrust augmentation,
as indicated by the specific impulse augmentation achieved
by the optimal cases.
2.0
"RWE Box-Behnken FF=0.6"
"RWE Box-Behnken FF=0.8"
6.2 Grid sensitivity verification
1.8
"RWE exit-valved FF=0.6"
"RWE exit valved FF=0.8"
1.6
1.4
1.2
1.0
0.8
13579
Overall Temperature Ratio
Fig. 19
I sp augmentation as a function of overall temperature ratio
All simulations in this study use 100 uniform computational
cells over length L. As the cycle presented here includes
features such as secondary mass inflow that is not present in
previous analysis, a grid sensitivity study was conducted spe-
cifically for the typical configuration presented in Sect. 5.3
and illustrated in Fig. 11. The simulation was repeated with
200 and 400 cells. The property fields and profiles were indis-
tinguishable from Fig. 11, and the results indicated that grid
refinement beyond 100 cells did not change any performance
predictions more than 1%, nor entrainment ratio more than
2%, as shown in Fig. 20.
Isp Augmentation

straight-channel PDE simulations are included: ranging from FF = 0.8 to FF = 0.3. PDE designs with FF < 0.3 could not be simulated with stable solutions, and it is likely that practical PDE systems would not be able to control fuel distribution at such low fill fractions. All PDE simulations assume a multi-channel rotary design with the same loss assumptions, other than the ejector feature. I sp is generally higher for straight channel PDE with the same overall air to fuel ratio and the same exit temperature, as a straight channel PDE does not suffer some of the losses of an ejector or rotary wave ejector, in particular the momentum loss as secondary air is entrained at an incidence angle. When compared for the same fuel fraction in its primary zone, the rotary wave ejector almost doubled the I sp . This is because segregation of the main mixture in the primary zone allows the rotary wave ejector to reach much lower over- all fuel–air ratio than effectively possible with partial fill or

123

7 Conclusion

By combining the rotary PDE with a non-steady ejector device, the rotary wave ejector is envisioned to enhance PDE performance and address some existing challenges in PDE technology. A time-unsteady quasi-one-dimensional model has been created for the analysis of the rotary wave ejector concept. Simulations are presented for several rotary con- figurations of a multi-tube PDE with and without the rotary wave ejector. A preliminary investigation of exit valving and one of the important geometrical parameters of the model is presented in this paper. This analysis indicates that exit valving has significant benefit and a rotary PDE with rotary wave ejector has potential for doubling the specific impulse relative to a rotary PDE with a conventional operating cycle. The performance predictions are sensitive to ejector geome-

Rotary wave-ejector enhanced pulse detonation engine

37

try and entrainment ratio, and these effects were investigated to obtain the best performance. The large entrainment ratio corresponding to the optimal design was observed to result in slight backflow at the exit, suggesting exit valving to reduce backflow. When exit val- ving was applied to a design that had been previously opti- mized for an open exit, the rotary wave ejector significantly increased maximum I sp to 2.37 times that of the PDE baseline case, suggesting that this concept has potential for high effi- ciency propulsion technology. Factors that increase entrain- ment tend to increase specific impulse, but may compromise thrust density.

Acknowledgments This work was partially supported by grant NAG3-2325 from the NASA Glenn Research Center, monitored by G. Welch. The authors acknowledge D. E. Paxson for assisting with the code modifications.

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