Inspenet, December 20, 2023.
GE Aerospace engineers have successfully achieved operation of a remotely detonated combustion engine in a ramjet configuration during a platform test. This hypersonic engine design is considered potentially useful for powering aircraft and missiles more efficiently.
New type of hypersonic engine
According to GE Aerospace, researchers at its Global Research Center in Niskayuna, New York, have successfully developed and operated the world’s first hypersonic dual-mode ramjet (DMRJ) in a supersonic flow stream. This novel type of engine could be applied in the propulsion of hypersonic vehicles, allowing longer distances and speeds greater than Mach 5 (4,000 mph) to be reached more efficiently.
The introduction of the dual-mode hypersonic ramjet (DMRJ) with remote detonated combustion (RDC) took 12 months of work, and the team plans to demonstrate a full DMRJ with RDC at scale in the next year.
Notably, GE Aerospace acquired hypersonic propulsion company Innoveering last year, merging its dual-mode ramjet capabilities with its high-speed research and development (R&D) and DRC expertise. RDC technology allows for more efficient thrust generation, with smaller engines in terms of overall size and weight. This is achieved by burning the fuel through detonation waves rather than using a standard combustion system, such as that which powers conventional jet engines today.
Mark Rettig, vice president and general manager of Technology and Business Development for GE Aerospace’s Edison Works, said: “The successful development, integration and demonstration of GE technologies and capabilities will position us to provide differentiating hypersonic propulsion systems for our customers. now and in the future.
The successful test of the high-speed propulsion dual-mode hypersonic ramjet (DMRJ) is an integral part of GE’s hypersonic program. In this program, the company also focuses on the development of materials and electronics capable of withstanding high temperatures.
For more than a decade, GE has been actively involved in the research and development of hypersonic technologies, addressing areas such as high-temperature ceramic matrix composites, silicon carbide power electronics, additive technologies and advanced thermal management.
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