The Experimental Study about the Effect of Operating Conditions on Multi-tube Pulse Detonation Engine Performance

  • Jung-Min Kim
  • Hyung-Seok Han
  • Jeong-Yeol Choi
Original Paper


This study examines a multi-tube pulse detonation engine (PDE) which has a type of constant volume combustion. We designed and made the multi-tube PDE and then conducted an experiment in various operating frequencies and equivalence ratios. First, experiments with operating frequencies of 40, 80, 120, 160, and 200 Hz resulted in an average thrust and specific impulse 23.14 N and 42.34 s. The next experiment resulted in the equivalence ratio varying from 0.81 to 1.38, which resulted in an average thrust and specific impulse 22.36 N and 40.11 s. The average detonation velocity was 8% lower than that calculated according to C–J theory. The incidence ratios of the detonation wave were stable with the exception of the operating frequency of 200 Hz. However, at 200 Hz, the incidence ratio was less than 50%. We assumed that a low fill fraction occurred for this problem. The thrust of the PDE increased with the operating frequency. However, the thrust increase was at a lower rate than in previous studies, because of a lost thrust output result from the slow response time of the load cell amplifier.


Detonation PDE (pulse detonation engine) PGC (pressure gain combustion) CVC (constant volume combustion) FSC (fast switching circuit) 

List of Symbols



\(\tau \)

Angle percentage occupied at \(360^{\circ }\)


Operating frequency


Mass flow rate


Absolute pressure


Gas constant


Cross sectional area


Kelvin temperature

\(\gamma \)

Specific heat ratio

\(\varPhi \)

Equivalence ratio



\(\varPsi \)

Fill fraction






Specific impulse


Gravitational acceleration

\({\epsilon }\)

Incidence ratio


Number of times


\(\hbox {supply}\)

In time of supply condition

\(\hbox {oper}\)

Operating condition

\(\hbox {tank}\)

Reservoir tank

\(\hbox {a}\)

Ambient condition


Total condition

\(\hbox {x}\)

Any chemical species

\(\hbox {tot}\)

In case of total time

\(\hbox {f}\)


\(\hbox {o}\)


\(\hbox {stoic}\)


\(\hbox {tube}\)

Tube of combustor

\(\hbox {cyc}\)

Per a one cycle

\(\hbox {avg}\)

Time averaged



This work was carried out with support from the Space Core Technology Research Grants (NRF-2013M1A3A3A02042430) of the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea, which was funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) of the Korean Government. It was also supported in part by the Advanced Research Center Program (NRF-2013R1A5A1073861) of the NRF, which is funded by the MSIP contracted through the Advanced Space Propulsion Research Center at Seoul National University.


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society for Aeronautical & Space Sciences and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pusan National UniversityBusanRepublic of Korea

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