Rotating Detonation Engines
Rotating detonation engines (RDEs) are a promising technology for future propulsion and energy systems due to their high potential thermodynamic efficiencies and compact designs.
However, the development of these devices into robust, reliable systems requires continued experimentation. In the Hanson Research Group, we work with engine experts at the Naval Postgraduate School to support these experimentation efforts by developing laser sensors to measure H2O, CO2, CO, and temperature within their RDE combustors. The unique geometry of rotating detonation engine combustors led us to pioneer a single-ended sensor design, wherein laser light is both delivered and collected through the same window on the engine.
In combination with advanced diagnostic techniques that are able to overcome the intense vibration and thermal emission generated by the engine, our single-ended sensors provide crucial combustion data that will inform future rotating detonation engine designs.
To learn more, check out some of our publications:
 Peng, W. Y., Goldenstein, C. S., Spearrin, R. M., Jeffries, J. B., Hanson, R. K., “Single-ended mid-infrared laser-absorption sensor for simultaneous in situ measurements of H2O, CO2, CO, and temperature in combustion flows,” Applied Optics, Vol. 55, No. 33 (2016) pp. 9347–9359. DOI: 10.1364/ao.55.009347
 Peng, W. Y., Cassady, S. J., Strand, C. L., Goldenstein, C. S., Spearrin, R. M., Brophy, C. M., Jeffries, J. B., Hanson, R. K., “Single-ended mid-infrared laser-absorption sensor for time-resolved measurements of water concentration and temperature within the annulus of a rotating detonation engine,” Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, Vol. 37, No. 2 (2019) pp. 1435–1443. DOI: 10.1016/j.proci.2018.05.021
 Cassady, S. J., Peng, W. Y., Strand, C. L., Dausen, D. F., Codoni, J. R., Brophy, C. M., Hanson, R. K., “Time-resolved, single-ended laser absorption thermometry and speciation in a H2/C2H4-fueled rotating detonation engine,” Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, Vol. 38, No. 1 (2021) pp. 1719–1727. DOI: 10.1016/j.proci.2020.06.125
 Peng, W. Y., “Single-ended laser-based diagnostics for thermometry and speciation in detonation-driven combustors,” Ph.D. Thesis, Stanford University (2019)