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Integrated Vehicle Comparison of Turbo-Ramjet Engine and Pulsed Detonation Engine (PDE)

[+] Author Affiliations
Tom Kaemming

The Boeing Company

Paper No. 2001-GT-0451, pp. V001T01A008; 7 pages
doi:10.1115/2001-GT-0451
From:
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2001: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 1: Aircraft Engine; Marine; Turbomachinery; Microturbines and Small Turbomachinery
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, June 4–7, 2001
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-7850-7
  • Copyright © 2001 by ASME

abstract

The Pulsed Detonation Engine, PDE, is a unique propulsion system that uses the pressure rise associated with detonations to efficiently provide thrust. A study was conducted under the direction of the NASA Langley Research Center to identify the flight applications that provide the greatest potential benefits when incorporating a PDE propulsion system. The study was conducted in three phases. The first two phases progressively screened a large matrix of possible applications down to three applications for a more in-depth, advanced design analysis. The three applications best suited to the PDE were: 1) a supersonic tactical aircraft, 2) a supersonic strike missile and 3) a hypersonic single-stage-to-orbit, SSTO, vehicle. The supersonic tactical aircraft is the focus of this paper.

The supersonic, tactical aircraft is envisioned as a Mach 3.5 high altitude reconnaissance aircraft with possible strike capability. The high speed was selected based on the perceived high speed fuel efficiency benefits of the PDE. Relative to a turbo-ramjet powered vehicle, the study identified an 11% to 21% takeoff gross weight, TOGW, benefit to the PDE on the baseline 700 n.mi. radius mission depending on the assumptions used for PDE performance and mission requirements. The TOGW benefits predicted were a result of the PDE lower cruise specific fuel consumption, SFC, and lower vehicle supersonic drag. The lower vehicle drag resulted from better aft vehicle shaping, which was a result of better distribution of the PDE cross-sectional area.

The reduction in TOGW and fuel usage produced an estimated 4% reduction in life cycle cost for the PDE vehicle. The study also showed that the simplicity of the PDE enables concurrent engineering development of the vehicle and engine.

Copyright © 2001 by ASME

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