A facility was designed to provide high-enthalpy, hypersonic flow to a detonation chamber. Preliminary investigation identified 1300 K and Mach 5 as the total temperature and Mach number require to stabilize an oblique detonation wave inside the detonation chamber. Vitiated-air heating was the preheating method chosen to meet these capabilities. The vitiator facility heats compressed air while still retaining about 50% of the original oxygen content. Schlieren flow visualization and conventional photography was performed at the exit plane of a choke plate, which simulated the throat of a converging-diverging nozzle. A shock diamond formation was observed within the jet exhausting out of the choke hole. This is a clear indication that the facility is capable of producing hypersonic flow. A stoichiometric propane-air mixture was burned inside the combustion chamber. A thermocouple survey measured an average temperature of 1099 K at the exit plane of the mixing chamber; however, the actual temperature is likely higher than this, because cool, ambient air could be seen mixing with the hot, vitiated air near the exit plane. Because the adiabatic flame temperature of propane-air is lower than that of hydrogen-air, if hydrogen is used to vitiate the air, the facility is capable of meeting the 1300-K objective.
Bachelor Science in Aerospace Engineering (B.S.A.E.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Orlando (Main) Campus
Length of Campus-only Access
Hoban, Matthew M., "Design and Investigation of Vitiated-Air Heater for Oblique Detonation-Wave Engine" (2016). Honors in the Major Theses. 236.