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RAP opportunity at Air Force Science and Technology Fellowship Program     AF STFP

Rotating Detonation Engine Foundational Research


Aerospace Systems Directorate, RQ/Turbine Engine Division

opportunity location
13.30.08.C0844 Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 454337103


name email phone
Brent Rankin 937-255-9722


Improving foundational understanding of rotating detonation engines (RDEs) is important for many propulsion and power applications with significant impact and broad relevance to next-generation Air Force systems.  Rotating detonation engines provide the potential for enhancing the range, speed, and affordability of ramjet, rocket, and gas turbine engines.  The primary objective involves developing advanced experimental or computational tools and providing foundational knowledge useful for guiding the design and development RDEs.  The experimental or computational research should focus on one of the following areas:

(a) Investigate fundamental phenomena associated with detonation propagation, fuel-air mixing, turbulence, or chemical kinetics in RDEs operating in relevant regimes.

(b) Quantify thermodynamic loss mechanisms associated with RDEs such as combustion efficiency, inlet dynamics, or exit dynamics.

(c) Develop and apply intrusive or non-intrusive diagnostic techniques for measuring combustion efficiency, fuel-air mixing, pressure, temperature, or velocity in RDEs.

(d) Develop and apply large eddy simulations to RDEs for providing new insights, interpreting experimental observations, or guiding the design of RDEs. 

The research is expected to be conducted in collaboration with the Air Force Research Laboratory Aerospace Systems Directorate Turbine Engine Division Combustion Branch.  The Combustion Branch provides access to state-of-the-art experimental and computational resources including the Combustion Research Complex, High Pressure Combustion Research Facility, and Department of Defense High Performance Computing Centers.  The experimental facilities are capable of supplying large amounts of air and fuel at the pressures, temperatures, and flow rates necessary to achieve relevant conditions in representative configurations.  Experimental capabilities include but are not limited to emissions sampling; hot-wire anemometry; high-speed broadband, filtered chemiluminescence, and mid-infrared imaging; hydroxyl and formaldehyde planar laser induced fluorescence (PLIF) imaging; particle image velocimetry (PIV); and phase Doppler particle anemometry (PDPA).  Computational capabilities include in-house and commercial large eddy simulation (LES) codes and high-performance computing (HPC) systems.

key words
Detonation; Propulsion; Power generation; Detonation experiments; Detonation modeling; Computational fluid dynamics (CFD); Large eddy simulations (LES); Laser Diagnostics; Rotating detonation engines (RDE)


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$95,000.00 $5,000.00

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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