Numerical Investigation of Transverse-Jet-Assisted Initiation of Oblique Detonation Waves in a Combustor

Zijian Zhang, Ziqi Jiang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Detonation initiation is a prerequisite to normal operations of an oblique detonation engine (ODE), and initiation-assistant measures are imperative in cases of initiation failure that occur in a length-limited combustor under wide-range flight conditions. This study numerically investigates the initiation characteristics of oblique detonation waves (ODWs) in H2-fueled ODE combustors at wide-range flight Mach numbers Maf or flight altitudes Hf. Failures of ODW initiation are observed at both low Maf and high Hf if no measure is taken to assist initiation. Through analyses of the flow fields and theoretical predictions of the ignition induction length Lind, the data reveal that the detonation failure at low Maf is raised by the significant decrease in the post-shock temperature due to insufficient shock compression, leading to a significant increase in Lind. The detonation failure at high Hf is caused by the rapid decrease in the combustor inflow pressure as Hf increases, which also results in an increase in Lind. With further identifications of the key flow structures crucial to detonation initiation, an initiation-assistant concept employing a transverse H2 jet is proposed. The simulation results show that through an interaction between the incident oblique shock wave and the jet shock wave, the transverse jet helps to initiate an ODW in the combustor at a low Maf, and the initiation location is relatively fixed and determined by the jet location. At high Hf, a Mach reflection pattern is formed in the combustor under the effects of the transverse jet, and detonative combustion is achieved by the generated Mach stem and its reflected shock waves. The proposed concept of using transverse jets to assist detonation initiation provides a practical reference for future development of ODEs that are expected to operate under wide-range flight conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1033
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • initiation
  • oblique detonation engine
  • oblique detonation wave
  • transverse jet
  • wide-range flight condition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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