Eli M. Thorpe

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Industrial and Managements Systems Engineering

Committee Chair

Patrick H Browning

Committee Co-Chair

Andrew C Nix

Committee Member

Akkerman V'yacheslav


With the constant drive to improve the efficiency of systems used to generate heat and work pulse detonation engines have been explored. Pulse detonation engines can be described by the Humphrey thermodynamic cycle which, in theory, has advantages over the Brayton, Otto, and Diesel cycles.;This work is concerned with the design, fabrication, and the initial tests of a pulse detonation laboratory test bed. The test bed was designed with modularity and ease of alteration in mind while ensuring that a wide range of detonable fuel and oxidizer mixtures where able to be utilized.;Initial testing with a methane and oxygen mixture showed repeatable detonations in both single shot and cyclic operating modes. The expected detonation velocity was 2390m/s. Detonation was monitored with ionization probes and detonation velocities of 2391m/s were found as close as 30" from ignition source and some form of detonation as close as 6" from the ignition source.