Ignition systems within scramjet combust ors remain a trending topic of research because of the essential role they play in the engine's operation. An alternative to currently researched ignition systems is investigated in this study with the main goal of u tilizing the same liquid fuel as the mai n combustion chamber for the ignition system itself. In this case, JetA fuel was injected in a liquid jet in crossflow configuration with air to atomize the fuel. To characterize this ignition system, metrics such as combustion chamber pressure rise, pulse frequency, and jet penetration were used to validate possible utilization within a scramjet combustor. Tests were completed at different air temperatures ranging from 150C to 275C, varying spark plug frequencies, and at two unique combustion chamber exi t diameters. Schlieren imaging was also used to compare effects of temperature and exit nozzle diameter on jet quality. Results obtained demonstrate a high pressure rise, reliable ignition, and a fine jet exhaust fro m the combustion chamber. To increase pu lse frequency a more optimized combustion chamber is required along with a fuel injection system that would atomize the liquid fuel better than the current system. Following studies include further testing within a s upersonic flow regime to simulate the fl ow effects experienced within a scramjet combustion chamber. If results continue to prove useful , the current technology studied has the ability to innovate supersonic combustion engines by reducing mass from the flight vehicle and increasing reliability, both critical parameters.


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Graduation Date





Ahmed, Kareem


Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering (M.S.A.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Aerospace Engineering; Thermofluid Aerodynamic Systems


CFE0009781; DP0027889





Release Date

August 2023

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)