The promises of increased efficiency, simplicity, and high power density are driving the current research focus on rotating detonation engines (RDEs). An engine that uses detonation rather than deflagration could have some key advantages. If harnessed in a gas turbine or rocket, detonation could reduce the need for some expensive hardware, lighten engine weight and increase power output and efficiency. Today, variants of the RDE as a combustor for gas turbines, rockets, and scramjets are being explored at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Naval Research Laboratory, Naval Postgraduate School, and the Department of Energy. Similar work is being conducted in several other countries. This study provides a deeper look into RDEs.

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