The safe and efficient propagation of the Deflagration to Detonation Transition (DDT) is a topic that has been researched for many years due to its applications in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. DDT is when fire caused by the burning of fuel is accelerated to the upper CJ point on the Rankine Hugoniot curve due to instabilities in the flame and the turbulence caused by these instabilities. The complex flame dynamics that go along with DDT have ensured that the process is yet to be fully understood and defined. This research will work towards observing the early stages of burning hydrogen-air mixtures in DDT conditions in order to better understand the processes that cause DDT. The research will also involve the testing of multiple different equivalence ratios of hydrogen known to undergo DDT. This research will assist in making places that store reactive gasses such as hydrogen safer by searching for the method of DDT formation and ways to prevent it. This research will also allow for safer commercial use of DDT in Detonation Based Engines. The research was tested in a secure facility and observed the first four inches of ignition and deflagration using schlieren and chemiluminescence imaging techniques. Through the research, it was found that flames at higher equivalence ratios tend to be longer, more top-biased, and have more instabilities than flames of lower equivalence ratios, better preparing them for DDT. This study will be elaborated on in future research using a variety of different fuels to solidify the findings of the research performed and to assist in the ability to innovate using DDT.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Ahmed, Kareem


Bachelor Science in Aerospace Engineering (B.S.A.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Aerospace Engineering



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date