This work presents the first measurement of turbulent burning velocities of a highly-turbulent compressible standing flame induced by shock-driven turbulence in a Turbulent Shock Tube. High-speed schlieren, chemiluminescence, PIV, and dynamic pressure measurements are made to quantify flame-turbulence interaction for high levels of turbulence at elevated temperatures and pressure. Distributions of turbulent velocities, vorticity and turbulent strain are provided for regions ahead and behind the standing flame. The turbulent flame speed is directly measured for the high-Mach standing turbulent flame. From measurements of the flame turbulent speed and turbulent Mach number, transition into a non-linear compressibility regime at turbulent Mach numbers above 0.4 is confirmed, and a possible mechanism for flame generated turbulence and deflagration-to-detonation transition is established. Additionally, this study presents the exploration of detonation wave propagation dynamics in premixed supersonic flows using a novel rotating detonation engine (RDE) configuration. An RDE with a coupled linear extension, referred to as ρDE, is used to divide detonations traveling radially in the RDE into linearly propagating waves. A tangential propagating wave is directed down a modular tangential linearized extension to the engine for ease of optical diagnostics and hardware configuration investigations. A premixed Mach 2 supersonic linear extension is coupled to the ρDE to investigate the effects of varying crossflow configurations for detonation propagation, particularly the interaction between detonations and supersonic reactive mixtures. Detonation waves are generated at the steady operating frequency of the RDE and visualized using high speed schlieren and broadband OH* chemiluminescence imaging. The stagnation pressure was varied from over- to ideally-expanded supersonic regimes. Experimental analysis of detonation interaction with the supersonic regimes show that the detonation propagates freely in the ideally-expanded regime. Deflagration-to-detonation transition (DDT) occurs in the over-expanded regime. Based on the data collected, the DDT process favors supersonic flow with higher source pressures. Lastly, this work presents the experimental evidence of controlled detonation wave initiation and propagation in hydrogen-air premixed hypersonic Mach 5 flows. A Mach 5 high-enthalpy facility is used to provide the premixed hydrogen-air stream targeted to match the boundary conditions (Chapman-Jouguet, CJ) for stable detonations. The work shows for the first-time flame deflagration-to-detonation transition through coupled mechanism of turbulent flame acceleration and shock-focusing in a premixed Mach 5 flow. The paper defines three new distinct regimes in a Mach 5 premixed flow: Deflagration-to-Detonation Transition (DDT), Unsteady Compressible Turbulent Flames, and Shock-Induced Combustion. With rising national interest in hypersonics and reduced combustion emissions, the discovery and classification of these new combustion regimes allows for a possible pathway to develop and integrate detonation technology enabling hypersonic propulsion technology and advanced power systems.


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Graduation Date





Ahmed, Kareem


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering









Release Date


Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)