Thermodynamics seminars

Hydrocarbon Fuelled High-Mach Number Scramjets

3:00–4:00pm Thursday 19 April 2018

Venue: PAR-Alan Gilbert-120 (Theatre 4)

Dr Anand Veeraragavan


In this seminar, Dr Veeraragavan will present the results of a series of shock tunnel experiments/simulations of a hydrocarbon-fuelled, Mach 8 shape-transitioning scramjet engine with a cavity combustor. The inlet of the scramjet transitions from a quasi-rectangular capture area to an elliptical throat, which results in a highly three-dimensional flowfield at the combustor entrance. The main focus of the work was to achieve ignition and combustion of hydrocarbon fuels at a high Mach number in a flight-candidate engine that has the necessary three dimensional flow path that is typical of “practical” scramjet engines. The engine was fuelled with ethylene, methane and a surrogate fuel mixture (64% ethylene and 36% methane by volume) which mimics the extinguishing characteristics of partially cracked JP-7 fuel. Experiments were performed with and without a hydrogen-pilot to demonstrate ignition and combustion. Static pressure measurements throughout the flow path were used in conjunction with experiments where combustion was suppressed, by using nitrogen instead of air as the main flow, to confirm a combustion-induced pressure rise for different injection and piloting strategies. Three-dimensional, non-reacting RANS simulations of fuel-air mixing were also performed of the cavity that demonstrated that the entrained fuel had a highly 3D pathway inside the cavity.

Towards the end, he will discuss ongoing/future efforts using axisymmetric combustors in which he aims to utilise advanced optical diagnostic techniques in collaboration with others.


Dr Anand Veeraragavan graduated with a B.Tech in aerospace engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) in 2002. He obtained his MS (2006) and PhD (2009) degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland. His PhD research focused on understanding flame stabilization in microscale combustors. After his research appointment on solar energy as a postdoctoral associate in the Device Research Lab at MIT, he worked as a combustion technologist for GE Energy in Greenville, South Carolina. At GE, he worked primarily on designing the next generation, land-based, heavy-duty, gas turbine engine combustors focusing on cost, operability, reliability and emissions and also completed his lean Six Sigma Greenbelt certification. He is currently a tenured academic (Senior Lecturer) at the University of Queensland (Australia), where his work is primarily focused on high-speed propulsion for scramjets.

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