Streamlining Jet Engine Design

This three-dimensional numerical simulation captures complex combustion dynamics in a realistic, non-premixed, rotating detonation engine configuration. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory.)

Argonne National Lab scientists developed a numerical modeling tool that helps researchers better understand Rotating Detonation Engines that could one day propel the next generation of airplanes and rockets. The computer simulations are combined with X-ray experiments to help engine designers understand the fundamental physics that, ultimately, affect engine performance, thrust, and emissions.

With the right boundary conditions, scientists can build models that predict a host of engine behavior — involving pressure, temperatures, mass, speed and so on — that may be immeasurable during experiments.