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Fuel-Air Mixing and Combustion in ScramjetsAt flight speeds, the residence time for atmospheric air ingested into a scramjet inlet and exiting from the engine nozzle is on the order of a millisecond. Therefore, fuel injected into the air must efficiently mix within tens of microseconds and react to release its energy in the combustor. The overall combustion process should be mixing controlled to provide a stable operating environment; in reality, however, combustion in the upstream portion of the combustor, particularly at higher Mach numbers, is kinetically controlled where ignition delay times are on the same order as the fluid scale. Both mixing and combustion time scales must be considered in a detailed study of mixing and reaction in a scramjet to understand the flow processes and to ultimately achieve a successful design. Although the geometric configuration of a scramjet is relatively simple compared to a turbomachinery design, the flow physics associated with the simultaneous injection of fuel from multiple injector configurations, and the mixing and combustion of that fuel downstream of the injectors is still quite complex. For this reason, many researchers have considered the more tractable problem of a spatially developing, primarily supersonic, chemically reacting mixing layer or jet that relaxes only the complexities introduced by engine geometry. All of the difficulties introduced by the fluid mechanics, combustion chemistry, and interactions between these phenomena can be retained in the reacting mixing layer, making it an ideal problem for the detailed study of supersonic reacting flow in a scramjet. With a good understanding of the physics of the scramjet internal flowfield, the designer can then return to the actual scramjet geometry with this knowledge and apply engineering design tools that more properly account for the complex physics. This approach will guide the discussion in the remainder of this section.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Langley Research Center
Document Type
Drummond, J. Philip
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Diskin, Glenn S.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Cutler, Andrew D.
(George Washington Univ. Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2006
Subject Category
Aircraft Design, Testing And Performance
Funding Number(s)
OTHER: 708-72-80-01
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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