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Microwave Ignition for the Pulse Detonation Engine

[+] Author Affiliations
Gurjap Singh

National Institute of Technology Jalandhar, Jalandhar, Punjab, India

Paper No. IMECE2014-37542, pp. V001T01A052; 9 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 1: Advances in Aerospace Technology
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, November 14–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4642-1
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


The Pulse Detonation Engine (PDE) is now offering the Aviation Industry a new, efficient and cheap mode of propulsion. Outside of the valving of the fuel and the air, the basic design of the PDE contains no moving parts: it is merely a tube in which some fuel is detonated, and the resultant shock wave used for propulsion. It suffers, however, from the lack of an appropriate ignition system designed especially for this propulsion technique. This paper discusses the possibility of using microwave radiation to initiate detonation in the PDE. Background information regarding the PDE, the merits of detonation over deflagration, and extant techniques for initiating detonation is included. The merits of this technique over the more traditional methods are emphasized. A practical technique of producing and controlling microwave radiation is subsequently presented. To prove viability of the central idea, a list of public patents related to the previous work done regarding the use of microwave radiation to initiate ignition is presented, along with a short summary related to each entry. This area of research is still new and unorthodox, as far as both the PDE and microwave ignition are concerned, and no work has been done until now that involves both of these. Further experiments involving realistic fuels and conditions to demonstrate the viability and practical use of this technique are required. It is expected that this research will do for the PDE what invention of spark plugs did for the gasoline (or Spark Ignition) engine.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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