Detonation combustors are considered promising alternatives to conventional combustors because they offer high thermal efficiency and fast combustion. However, especially for the rotating detonation combustor, the theoretical propulsive performance has not been confirmed in experimental studies because the highly unsteady flow field hinders the measurements process. To understand the involved phenomena in more detail, a reflective shuttling detonation combustor (RSDC) with a rectangular combustion chamber was developed. The interior of the chamber can easily be visualized owing to its two-dimensional quality. Utilizing the RSDC, several combustion tests with gaseous ethylene and oxygen were conducted for different values of mass flow rates and equivalence ratios. Combustion modes from the tests were classified into four types based on the fast Fourier transform (FFT) analysis of the luminous intensity of the CH∗self-luminescence images captured by a high-speed camera and a band pass filter. Simultaneously, the theoretical total pressure of a conventional isobaric combustor was compared to the static pressure measured at the bottom of the RSDC chamber. For the detonation modes, the ratio between experimentally measured static pressure and the theoretical pressure varied depending on the location in the chamber owing to the distribution of the time-averaged static pressure. Furthermore, the pressure ratio of the detonation modes was up to 18% lower than that of the deflagration mode potentially owing to the flow velocity induced by the detonation waves.
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