Rotating detonation engines (RDE) present a new spin on high-Mach propulsion techniques.

This engine concept spends it fuel by using explosions moving through a circular channel. Compared to current combustion-reaction engines, RDEs would be more compact and provide more thrust with less fuel. This would have obvious benefits for air and space-faring systems.

HPCMP supports multiple areas of RDE development at the Air Force Research Laboratory. With millions of core-hours at our supercomputing resource centers, advanced software and simulation environments, and dedicated experts, we’re working to make RDEs a reality.

For instance, one HPCMP Frontier Project supports an AFRL-led program focused on optimizing RDE injector and nozzle components through modeling and simulation. The goals are to find designs that promote fuel mixing, flow, and thrust in the RDE, which would increase efficiency and enable further technology development.