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Published on Oct 27, 2009
Several types of engines that utilize detonation waves have been conceptualized, of which the pulsed detonation engine (PDE) has seen the most extensive development. Another relatively unexplored concept (until recently) is the rotating detonation wave engine (RDWE). This engine uses an annulus placed perpendicular to an inlet and nozzle system whereby a detonation wave continuously travels around and detonates the incoming propellants to produce axial thrust. The engine, if successful, can be more efficient than a PDE because it eliminates the need to purge between detonations and has a more steady inlet and nozzle. Experimental research into this engine was made possible by a NSF LSAMP undergraduate research scholarship. The video shows initial testing of two engines, where some success is seen in the later clips. The tests are usually short since the data acquisition rate is high enough to produce a large amount of test data in a fraction of a second.