Trending News
Home / Technology / Energy & Propulsion / DARPA GAMBIT developing Rotating Detonation Engines (RDEs) powered Air to Ground Missile

DARPA GAMBIT developing Rotating Detonation Engines (RDEs) powered Air to Ground Missile

A rocket engine is a reaction engine, an engine that expels mass to generate thrust. Thrust is the force that propels a rocket or spacecraft and is measured in pounds, kilograms or Newtons. Physically speaking, it is the result of pressure which is exerted on the wall of the combustion chamber. Rockets carry all of their own working fluid, called propellant, in contrast with air-breathing engines. Furthermore reaction engines are only considered rockets when they use gasdynamic expansion of the working propellant to accelerate it. This contrasts with, for instance, many types of electric propulsion thrusters which use body forces such as the Coulomb electrostatic force to accelerate gasses.

It takes a lot of fuel to launch something into space. Sending NASA’s Space Shuttle into orbit required more than 3.5 million pounds of fuel, which is about 15 times heavier than a blue whale. But a new type of engine — called a rotating detonation engine — promises to make rockets not only more fuel-efficient but also more lightweight and less complicated to construct.

DARPA launched Gambit program in August 2022 focused on developing Rotating Detonation Engines (RDEs) as a new class of propulsion to enable standoff strike of time-critical targets from fourth-generation fighters at a campaign scale.

Current propulsion technologies (e.g. conventional rockets, ramjets, and gas-turbine engines) have limitations in maximum range, speed, and/or affordability that hinders their ability to meet the Gambit program objectives. RDEs are more compact than conventional ramjets, which allows them to carry more fuel. Additionally, RDEs are less complex than gas turbine engines. The combination of these two factors enable RDEs to affordably meet the Gambit program objectives.

The objective of the Gambit program is to develop and demonstrate a novel Rotating Detonation Engine propulsion system that enables a mass-producible, low-cost, high-supersonic, long-range weapon for air-to-ground strike in an anti-access/area denial (A2AD) environment. If the technology matures, this would allow for a long-range hypersonic missile to be mounted inside an F-35C, and at a lower cost than current designs for hypersonic missiles, giving them one hell of a standoff capability.

 

Phase 1 of the program is anticipated to last 18 months. Phase 1 performers will complete preliminary design of the propulsion system and execute direct connect combustor testing as well as free jet inlet testing. Phase 2 is expected to last 18 months and would include detailed design of the propulsion system as well as full-scale, tip-to-tail testing of a system in a free jet facility at flight conditions. The culmination of the Phase 2 free jet testing will form the foundation for a future program to flight test a weapon prototype that leverages the propulsion system demonstrated in this program.

 

Gambit will develop and demonstrate RDE technology in a full-scale freejet test. Phase 1 focuses on preliminary design of the freejet test article and substantiating the design with combustor and inlet testing. Phase 2 focuses on detailed design, fabrication, and testing of the freejet test article. Gambit could lay the foundation for future potential prototype weapon development.

 

Cite This Article

 
International Defense Security & Technology (March 25, 2023) DARPA GAMBIT developing Rotating Detonation Engines (RDEs) powered Air to Ground Missile. Retrieved from https://idstch.com/technology/energy/darpa-gambit-developing-rotating-detonation-engines-rdes-powered-missile/.
"DARPA GAMBIT developing Rotating Detonation Engines (RDEs) powered Air to Ground Missile." International Defense Security & Technology - March 25, 2023, https://idstch.com/technology/energy/darpa-gambit-developing-rotating-detonation-engines-rdes-powered-missile/
International Defense Security & Technology February 7, 2023 DARPA GAMBIT developing Rotating Detonation Engines (RDEs) powered Air to Ground Missile., viewed March 25, 2023,<https://idstch.com/technology/energy/darpa-gambit-developing-rotating-detonation-engines-rdes-powered-missile/>
International Defense Security & Technology - DARPA GAMBIT developing Rotating Detonation Engines (RDEs) powered Air to Ground Missile. [Internet]. [Accessed March 25, 2023]. Available from: https://idstch.com/technology/energy/darpa-gambit-developing-rotating-detonation-engines-rdes-powered-missile/
"DARPA GAMBIT developing Rotating Detonation Engines (RDEs) powered Air to Ground Missile." International Defense Security & Technology - Accessed March 25, 2023. https://idstch.com/technology/energy/darpa-gambit-developing-rotating-detonation-engines-rdes-powered-missile/
"DARPA GAMBIT developing Rotating Detonation Engines (RDEs) powered Air to Ground Missile." International Defense Security & Technology [Online]. Available: https://idstch.com/technology/energy/darpa-gambit-developing-rotating-detonation-engines-rdes-powered-missile/. [Accessed: March 25, 2023]

About Rajesh Uppal

Check Also

ARPA-E Mission is to enhance the economic and energy security of the United States through the development of energy technologies

ARPA-E, or Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy is a United States government agency tasked with promoting …

error: Content is protected !!