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Fwd = Pulse detonation rocket engine testing begins at Marshall Centre

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  • Frits Westra
    Forwarded by: fwestra@hetnet.nl URL: http://defence-data.com/current/page7064.htm Original Date: Mon, 1 May 2000 21:39:56 +0200
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1 1:22 PM
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      Forwarded by: fwestra@...
      URL: http://defence-data.com/current/page7064.htm
      Original Date: Mon, 1 May 2000 21:39:56 +0200

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      Pulse detonation rocket engine testing begins at Marshall Centre

      1 May 2000

      Technology for a rocket engine that uses an automotive ignition
      system to initiate supersonic combustion waves is being tested at
      NASA's Marshall Space Flight Centre in Huntsville in Alabama.
      Component testing of a small-scale pulse detonation rocket engine
      began in April.

      [INLINE]
      Artist's impression of pulse detonation rocket engine

      A spark plug is discharged to ignite hydrogen fuel in a small
      initiator tube, about 4 inches long and half an inch in diameter.
      The hot firings, which last 5 to 10 seconds, demonstrate pulse
      detonation principles and help researchers evaluate engine
      performance.
      Following this month's successful testing of the initiator tube,
      engineers finalised their design and started building a primary
      tube, about 3 feet long and 2 inches in diameter, which will be
      connected to the initiator tube. Using only a small amount of
      spark energy, a detonation wave can be created in the initiator
      tube and propagated into the larger primary tube where the main
      propellants are burned at an extremely high rate.
      Like automobile engines, pulse detonation rocket engines operate
      by injecting fuel and oxidiser into long cylinders and igniting
      the mixture with a spark plug. The explosive pressure of the
      detonation pushes the exhaust out the open end of the cylinder,
      providing thrust to the vehicle. Pulse detonation rocket engine
      technology development could lead to lightweight, low-cost space
      transportation systems.
      REF XQQAS XQQSE

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