Professor Jiro Kasahara from Nagoya University's Institute of Materials and Systems for Sustainability (IMaSS), in collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Keio University, and Muroran Institute of Technologywere awarded the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' (AIAA) Pressure Gain Combustion Best Paper Award 2022.
Professor Kasahara and his team have developed a rotating detonation engine, a type of rocket engine for spacecraft. This technology is especially beneficial because of its compact size and light weight, making it easy to integrate into the overall design of the spacecraft. Professor Kasahara describes it as a "game changer".
The first Japanese rocket equipped with such an engine flew in July 2021. The next test flights by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) using rotating detonation engines are scheduled for next year.
Professor Kasahara received the award for his conference paper presented at the AIAA Scitech 2022 Forum, which analyzed the application of this technology. Research and development of the Kasahara group's rotating detonation engines takes place in specially built facilities at the Nagoya University Graduate School of Engineering. The engine is placed on a sliding mechanism inside a sealed metal test chamber and then connected to the instruments that measure its performance.
Credit: JAXA, Nagoya University, Keio University, Muroran Institute of Technology
"I am delighted to receive this award and all the progress we have made, but projects like this are being worked on all over the world and further development of our engines is essential to ensure that our technology remains competitive," said Professor Kasahara. The team hopes that its engines will be used as first and second stage engines in rockets and as "kickmotors" to propel spacecraft into deep space.
AIAA Scitech 2022 Forum Conference Paper: Goto, K. et al. Flight Demonstration of Detonation Engine System Using Sounding Rocket S-520-31: Performance of Rotating Detonation Engine. in AIAA SCITECH 2022 Forum (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2021). DOI: 10.2514/6.2022-0232
Goto, K. et al. Space Flight Demonstration of Rotating Detonation Engine Using Sounding Rocket S-520-31. Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets 60, 273-285 (2023). DOI: 10.2514/1.A35401
Buyakofu, V. et al. Flight Demonstration of Pulse Detonation Engine Using Sounding Rocket S-520-31 in Space. Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets 60, 181-189 (2023). DOI: 10.2514/1.A35394
Faculty profile: Professor Jiro Kasahara
Propulsion and Energy System Engineering Research Group
Images: Edmund Rhind-Tutt and Credit: JAXA, Nagoya University, Keio University, Muroran Institute of Technology