Development of a Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuel System for Pulse Detonation Engines

Period of Performance: 05/01/1998 - 05/01/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Advanced Projects Research, Inc.
1925 McKinley Avenue, Suite B
La Verne, CA 91750
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


The Pulse Detonation Engine (PDE) is an intermittent combustion engine that relies on traveling detonation waves for the combustion and compression elements of the prosulsive cycle. This engine may be used as a low cost propulsion system in defense flight vehicle system applications or as the low speed cycle for a high Mach number combined cycle engine system. The mechanical simplicity of this engine provides for low cost and high reliability permitting use in low cost vehicles. The simple geometry naturally provides for integration into a new combined cycle engine with ramjets. To date, APRI has focused on using highly reactive and detonable fuels in the development of PDE systems and subsystems. Specifically, APRI has focused on the use of hydrogen fuel, for use in multi-mode PDE-ramjet-scramjet combined cycle systems. However, the use of storable liquid hydrocarbon fuels that are of this engine in defense systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), cruise missiles, and target drones. Hence this proposal describes the conceptual design for a practical low-cost PDE and a development path for the use of liquid hydrocarbon fuels in PDE's.