A key application for a Pulse Detonation Engine concept is envisioned as a hybrid engine, which replaces the combustor in a conventional gas turbine with a Pulse Detonation Combustor (PDC). A limit cycle model, based on quasi 1-D, unsteady Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations, was developed to estimate the performance of a pressure-rise PDC in a hybrid engine to power a subsonic engine core. The parametric space considered for simulations of the PDC operation includes the mechanical compression or the flight conditions that determine the inlet pressure and the inlet temperature conditions, fill fraction and purge fraction. The PDC cycle process time scales including overall operating frequency were determined via limit-cycle simulations. The methodology for estimation of performance of the PDC considers the unsteady effects of PDC operation. These metrics include a ratio of time-averaged exit total pressure to inlet total pressure and a ratio of mass-averaged exit total enthalpy to inlet total enthalpy. This information can be presented as a performance map for the PDC, which was then integrated into a systems-level cycle analysis model, using Gate-Cycle, to estimate the propulsive performance of the hybrid engine. Three different analyses were performed. The first was a validation of the model against published data for specific impulse. The second examined the performance of a PDC versus a traditional Brayton cycle for a fixed combustor exit temperature; the results show an increased efficiency of the PDC relative to the Brayton cycle. The third analysis performed was a detailed parametric study varying engine conditions to examine the performance of the hybrid engine. The analysis has shown that increasing the purge fraction, which can reduce the overall PDC exit temperature, can simultaneously provide small increases in overall system efficiency.

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