» » The “impossible” detonation engine turned out to be working

The “impossible” detonation engine turned out to be working

The “impossible” detonation engine turned out to be working

The rocket engine, which was once considered impossible, was tested in laboratory conditions. Engineers created and successfully tested a prototype of the so-called rotating detonation engine, which generates traction by means of a blast wave held in an endless loop.

The operation of a rotating detonation rocket engine requires much less fuel than the internal combustion engine currently used in rockets. That is, in the future there will be more effective and less costly ways to deliver spacecraft into space.

Thus, in an experiment conducted by aerospace engineer Karim Ahmed of the University of Central Florida and his colleagues, evidence was first presented of the safe and effective detonation of hydrogen and oxygen in a rotating detonation rocket engine.

The idea of a rotating detonation engine appeared in the 1950s. The essence of the technology lies in a looped combustion chamber located between two cylinders that are one inside the other.

Gaseous fuel and an oxidizing agent are injected into the chamber through small holes (nozzles), after which they are ignited. This creates the first detonation that emits a supersonic shock wave traveling through the ringed combustion chamber. Having made one revolution and returning to the nozzles, it sets fire to the next portion of fuel and oxidizer - the explosion creates the next supersonic wave and so on. As a result of a series of explosions, thrust appears.

The advantage of the technology is lower fuel consumption (by 25%) with the same thrust, so the US military is actively investing in the development of a rotating detonation engine, hoping to subsequently save about $ 400 million annually on missile launches.

But the new engine has important features: detonation is chaotic and harder to control. That is, the engine requires careful calibration. It is important not only the fuel used and its ratio with the oxidizing agent, but also the size of the nozzles, the diameter and thickness of the chamber, the size and shape of the reactor, the place and time of fuel injection. Ahmed and his team are occupied precisely with the engine settings and its calibration. They created a small prototype of an engine with a diameter of 7.6 centimeters and successfully tested it in work.

07 май 2020 /
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