How feasible would a rocket engine that ignited fuel in fast, high pressure pulses be. This type of engine would be especially applicable for low thrust burns such as for the raising of a small satellite into a higher orbit.

The engine could use bi-propellants such as methane/oxygen and an igniter or hypergolics or a mono-propellant sprayed onto a catalyst. Such a system would inject a spray of propellant into the combustion chamber followed by the closing of the propellant valves leading into the chamber and then the ignition of the propellant. The hot gas would rush out of the chamber in a high speed pulse and then the cycle would repeat.

The advantages I can see with such a system are be:

  • Very high possible chamber pressures and thus high exhaust velocity and ISP without heavy high propellant tanks or the impracticability of tiny high pressure gas turbines/pumps because the propellant lines into the chamber would be sealed off before each pulse cycle.

  • The required chamber pressure can be easily changed by increasing/decreasing the throat area and the strength of the combustion chamber walls without the need for modifying the rest of the propulsion system(Tanks, propellant feed lines etc.).

EDIT: A simple diagram for clarification

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  • $\begingroup$ Not sure this is exactly what you mean, but consider reading about the V1 bomb, which was called the buzz bomb because of its pulse engine en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/V-1_flying_bomb $\endgroup$ – OrangePeel52 Sep 12 '17 at 16:49
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    $\begingroup$ Attitude control thrusters can be run in very short bursts (less than 1 second). $\endgroup$ – Hobbes Sep 12 '17 at 17:53
  • $\begingroup$ What you seems to be asking about is a pulse detonation rocket engine. This have been seriously studied, for example here nasa.gov/centers/marshall/pdf/173616main_pulse_detonate.pdf so it seems considered feasible. $\endgroup$ – lijat Sep 13 '17 at 11:38
  • $\begingroup$ please elaborate your answer and a short summary so that if the link no longer works in the future people can still know more about what you were talkign about $\endgroup$ – Rajath Pai Nov 6 '18 at 23:52

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