Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Aeronautics and Astronautics

Committee Chair

Stephen Heister

Committee Member 1

Daniel Paxson

Committee Member 2

Timothee Pourpoint

Committee Member 3

Sally Bane


An experimental study is conducted to investigate pulsed combustion in a lab-scale bipropellant rocket engine using hypergolic propellants. The propellant combination is high concentration hydrogen peroxide and a catalyst-laced triglyme fuel. A total of 50 short duration firings have been conducted; the vast majority in an open-chamber configuration. High amplitude pulsations were evident in nearly all cases and have been assessed with high frequency pressure measurements. Both pintle and unlike impinging quadlet injector types have been evaluated although the bulk of the testing was with the latter configuration. Several firings were conducted with a transparent chamber in an attempt to gain understanding using a high-speed camera in the visible spectrum. Peak chamber pressures in excess of 5000 psi have been recorded with surface mounted high frequency gages with pulsation frequencies exceeding 600 Hz. A characterization of time-averaged performance is made for the unsteady system, where time-resolved thrust and pressure measurements were attempted. While prior literature describes this system as a pulse detonation rocket engine, the combustion appears to be more “constant volume” in nature.