Pulsejet Flow Dynamics Utilizing a 1-d Numerical Model

Open Access
Blake, Garrett Scott
Area of Honors:
Aerospace Engineering
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Michael Matthew Micci, Thesis Supervisor
  • Mark David Maughmer, Honors Advisor
  • George A Lesieutre, Faculty Reader
  • pulsejet
  • pulse jet
  • flow
  • flow dynamics
  • dynamics
  • jet
The pulsejet is one of the earliest ways to show the fundamental interactions between fluid flow and pressure waves. Though they are simple to make, their gas dynamics provide an excellent starting point to investigate fluid flow phenomena. This study of a pulse jet is an initial attempt to discover and understand how the flow through a simple pulse jet engine determines performance. The flow was modeled using Computational Fluid Dynamics based on MacCormick’s quasi one-dimensional numerical model. This method uses Euler equations to determine the pressure, density, and velocity at each time step and position along the tube. This analysis will use experimental results as a comparison of the performance against the calculated performance. It is expected the pressure and velocity will fluctuate in an oscillatory manner due to the reflected pressure waves at the end of the tube. Extracting the frequency, it can be shown that the inlet and exit frequencies match up for maximum thrust. Evaluating these results show why pulsejets are again becoming a popular study in the aerospace industry.