In this paper, wave dynamics processes occurring in pulse detonation devices are analyzed both numerically and experimentally, including the propagation of detonation fronts, the motion of rarefaction waves in gas exhausting phase and the diffraction of shock waves at thrust nozzles. Numerical results are also compared with experiments to confirm the observed wave phenomena. In order to estimate operation roles of pulse detonation engines more accurately, the initiation of the air/hydrogen mixture is also examined experimentally at certain conditions. Numerical analysis indicates that pulse detonation devices can be operated in a quite high frequency, the gas-filling phase occupies a longer time in one detonation cycle, and decreasing the length of detonation chambers for the higher operation frequency is possible, but has its limitation.

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