DRDO will soon start testing its Pulse Detonation Engine in a Aerospace configuration. Test facilities and gigs are under development. Once completed the system will be used to incorporate PDE in cruise and anti-tank missile propulsion, unmanned aerial vehicles.

A paper issued by the DRDO said the engine can be used in cruise and anti-tank missile propulsion, unmanned aerial vehicles. After the basic engine, the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL), a unit of DRDO, is now working on air breathing multi-tube, multi-cycle pulse detonation engine.

“After achieving single shot detonation in a single tube in liquid fuel, TBRL has achieved multi-cycle operation of 8 Hz in single PDS tube. TBRL is working on air breathing multi-tube multi-cycle pulse detonation engine with an objective to develop an air-breathing Pulse Detonation Engine (with throttling) to generate 2.5 kN of thrust for a duration of 30 minutes,” said the DRDO paper.

Pulse detonation system is a mechanically simpler engine in comparison to the gas turbine engine, wherein the combustion wave travels at supersonic speeds relative to the unburnt fuel-oxidizer mixture. It utilizes repetitive detonations of the fuel-oxidizer mixture to produce thrust.

For flying systems, however, detonation requires a long tube length to accommodate required amount of energy input. TBRL has been working on a system to reduce the length of the engine so that it can be applied in systems like UAVs and other missiles system as well. “To reduce engine length, suitable devices are employed which reduce the length of the tube required for the transition from deflagration to detonation. A test rig was designed and established for conducting experiments with liquid fuel-air mixtures,” the paper added.