A team of scientists from the University of Central Florida for the first time to test experimental rocket engine PDE, which, in their opinion, can change the approach to space launch vehicles. The research results were published in the journal Combustion and Flame.

The idea of a detonation engine (PDE) was proposed by the prominent Soviet physicist, academician zel’dovich in 1940. In contrast to the slow (subsonic) combustion of a deflagration that is used in most modern rocket motors, it uses a different mode – detonation.

The principle of operation of a new detonation engine based on the energy generated by the detonation of explosions of fuel around the inside of the combustion chamber, which is served in sequence of fuel and oxidizer is hydrogen and oxygen.

The result is a so-called circular detonation, bursts of energy which move at the speed of 7000 to 9000 km/h, which is 5 times greater than the speed of sound.

According to researchers at the University of Central Florida, the main objective of their team was to “accurately calculate the size of the jets when the fuel injection to improve mixing of the hydrogen-oxygen mixture”.

In case of success rotating detonation rocket engines will help to radically reduce the weight of steps of future spacecraft.

Source — University of Central Florida