A new acoustic model for valveless pulsejets and its application to optimization thrust

F. Zheng*, R. L. Ordon, T. D. Scharton, A. V. Kuznetsov, W. L. Roberts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Due to its simplicity, the valveless pulsejet may be an ideal low cost propulsion system. In this paper, a new acoustic model is described, which can accurately predict the operating frequency of a valveless pulsejet. Experimental and computational methods were used to investigate how the inlet and exhaust area and the freestream velocity affect the overall performance of a 50 cm pulsejet. Pressure and temperature were measured at several axial locations for different fuel flow rates and different geometries. Computer simulations were performed for exactly the same geometries and fuel flow tares using a commercial CFD package (CFX) to develop further understanding of the factors that affect the performance of a valveless pulsejet. An acoustic model was developed to predict the frequency of these valveless pulsejets. The new model treats the valveless pulsejet engine as a combination of a Helmholtz resonator and a wave tube. This new model was shown to accurately predict geometries for maximum thrust. The model was further extended to account for the effect of freestream velocity. Evidence is provided that valveless pulsejet generates the highest thrust when the inherent inlet frequency marches the inherent exhaust frequency. Coyright

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041501
JournalJournal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Pulsejet
  • Thermoacoustics
  • Valveless

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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