ISSN 0010-5082, Combustion, Explosion, and Shock Waves, 2018, Vol. 54, No. 3, pp. 357–363.
Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2018.
Original Russian Text
S.M. Frolov, V.I. Zvegintsev, V.S. Ivanov, V.S. Aksenov, I.O. Shamshin, D.A. Vnuchkov, D.G. Nalivaichenko,
A.A. Berlin, V.M. Fomin.
Continuous Detonation Combustion of Hydrogen:
Results of Wind Tunnel Experiments
S. M. Frolov
V. S. Aksenov
, I. O. Shamshin
D. G. Nalivaichenko
Published in Fizika Goreniya i Vzryva, Vol. 54, No. 3, pp. 116–123, May–June, 2018.
Original article submitted August 2, 2017.
Abstract: Combustion tests of a ramjet model 1.05 m long and 0.31 m in diameter with an
expanding annular combustor operating in the regime of detonation combustion of hydrogen are
described. The tests are performed in a short-duration wind tunnel at free-stream Mach numbers
of the incoming air ﬂow from 5 to 8 and stagnation temperature of 290 K. Continuous detonation
and longitudinally pulsating regimes of hydrogen combustion with characteristic frequencies of
1250 and 900 Hz, respectively, are observed. The maximum measured values of the fuel-based
speciﬁc impulse and the thrust generated by the engine are 3600 s and 2200 N, respectively.
Keywords: ramjet, supersonic ﬂow, detonation, hydrogen, speciﬁc impulse, thrust, wind tunnel.
Detonation combustion of fuel–air mixtures is
considered as an alternative aspect in the develop-
ment of advanced propulsion systems for high-velocity
aerospace vehicles. The question about the energy ef-
ﬁciency of detonation engines was ﬁrst formulated by
Zel’dovich , and then this idea was proved experi-
mentally [2–4]. Today the most promising schemes of
detonation combustion in the ﬂow are assumed to be
those with pulse detonation in tubes and bunches of
tubes [5, 6] and also schemes with continuous spin deto-
nation in annular combustors [7–9]. Information about
various aspects of engines with continuous and pulse
detonation combustion operating on air, air enriched
with oxygen, or oxygen as an oxidizer and various fu-
Semenov Institute of Chemical Physics, Russian Academy
of Sciences, Moscow, 119991 Russia; email@example.com.
National Research Nuclear University “MEPhI,” Moscow,
Khristianovich Institute of Theoretical and Applied
Mechanics, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Novosibirsk, 630090 Russia.
els (mostly, hydrogen) can be found in [5–9]. Contin-
uous detonation combustion of hydrogen–air mixtures
in annular combustors with versatile sizes and struc-
tures was experimentally studied in [7–15]. Various
regimes of self-sustained detonation combustion includ-
ing regimes with one or several detonation waves simul-
taneously rotating in the annular gap of the combustor
in the same or opposite directions and also close-to-
limiting regime of longitudinally pulsating detonation
arising under certain conditions for the air and hydro-
gen ﬂow rates were reported. In the last regime, detona-
tion is spontaneously periodically re-initiated near the
combustor exit and propagates upstream in the form
of a supersonic reaction front, which covers the entire
combustor cross section without regular rotation [11,
The possibility of organizing continuous spin det-
onation of hydrogen in a ramjet engine was studied
theoretically in [16–18] and experimentally in [19, 20].
Three-dimensional calculations  proved the possibil-
ity of its realization in a supersonic ﬂow of a stoichio-
metric homogeneous hydrogen–air mixture in an annu-
lar combustor under conditions corresponding to ﬂight
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