Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Shiv Om Bade Shrestha

Second Advisor

Dr. John Cameron

Third Advisor

Dr. Christopher Cho

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Tianshu Liu


Scramjets, boundary layer combustion, high-speed combustion, detonation wave stabilization, numerical simulation, modeling


In the last fifteen years the development of a viable scramjet has quickly approached the following long term goals: responsive sub-orbital space access; long-range, prompt global strike; and high-speed transportation. Nonetheless, there are significant challenges that need to be resolved. These challenges include high skin friction drag and high heat transfer rates, inherent to vehicles in sustained, hypersonic flight. Another challenge is sustaining combustion. Numerical simulation and modeling was performed to provide insight into reducing skin friction drag and sustaining combustion.

Numerical simulation was used to investigate boundary layer combustion, which has been shown to reduce skin friction drag. The objective of the numerical simulations was to quantify the effect of fuel injection parameters on boundary layer combustion and ultimately on the change in the skin friction coefficient and heat transfer rate. A qualitative analysis of the results suggest that the reduction in the skin friction coefficient depends on multiple parameters and potentially an interaction between parameters.

Sustained combustion can be achieved through a stabilized detonation wave. Additionally, stabilizing a detonation wave will yield rapid combustion. This will allow for a shorter and lighter-weight engine system, resulting in less required combustor cooling. A stabilized detonation wave was numerically modeled for various inlet and geometric cases. The effect of fuel concentration, inlet Mach number, and geometric configuration on the stability of a detonation wave was quantified. Correlations were established between fuel concentration, inlet speed, geometric configuration and parameters characterizing the detonation wave. A linear relationship was quantified between the fuel concentration and the parameters characterizing the detonation wave.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access