hermal engines based on pressure gain combustion offer new opportunities to generate thrust with enhanced efficiency and relatively simple machinery. The sudden expansion of detonation products from a single-opening tube yields thrust, although this is suboptimal. In this article, we present the complete design optimization strategy for nozzles exposed to detonation pulses, combining unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes solvers with the accurate modeling of the combustion process. The parameterized shape of the nozzle is optimized using a differential evolution algorithm to maxi­ mize the force at the nozzle exhaust. The design of experiments begins with a first optimization considering steady-flow conditions, subsequently followed by a refined optimization for transient supersonic flow pulse. Finally, the optimized nozzle performance is assessed in three dimensions with unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes capturing the deflagration-to-detonation transition of a stoichiometric, premixed hydrogen-air mixture. The optimized nozzle can deliver 80% more thrust than a standard detonation tube and about 2% more than the optimized results assuming steady-flow operation. This study proposes a new multi-fidelity approach to optimize the design of nozzles exposed to transient operation, instead of the traditional methods proposed for steady-flow operation.


Copyright Sage Journals, it is made available here CC-BY-NC-ND, and the version of record is available at https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1687814017690955


Supersonic nozzles, detonation tubes, design optimization, pulse detonation engines, method of characteristic

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