New video from USS Omaha shows unknown aerial sphere vanishing into ocean

#UFO #UAP #Unexplained

Newly released video taken on board the USS Omaha, a littoral combat ship, shows what has been described as a transmedium vehicle (that is, a vehicle capable of traveling through both air and water) moving, hovering, and disappearing into the Pacific Ocean.

The new video has been published by investigative filmmaker Jeremy Corbell. The video is from the same incident Mystery Wire documented in April. Previously, two freeze frame images from the video were made public. A Pentagon spokesperson confirmed last month that one of the freeze-frame images was recorded by US Navy personnel.

During July 2019, several U.S. warships based in San Diego were repeatedly buzzed by unknown aerial intruders. Stories of strange encounters bubbled to the surface last summer, initially focused on the USS Kidd, a Navy destroyer.

In March, more documentation surfaced in the form of ships logs, which confirmed that unidentified objects were seen by crews aboard multiple warships in restricted waters off the coast of southern California. One of those ships was the USS Omaha.

The objects were described as “drones”, also as “UAVs,” generic terms for what are otherwise considered unidentified objects

NAVY_FILMED_TRANSMEDIUM_SPHERE_UAP
Navy images showing trans-medium Sphere travel from the air to underwater. (Image sourced by @JeremyCorbell)

This new video and the earlier images were part of a series of bizarre encounters reported by the U.S. Navy during the past two years.

On March 2019 a U.S. Navy F/A-18 jet encounter of three stationary drones of unknown origin, reported earlier by Mystery Wire, off the coast of Virginia above the Atlantic Ocean.

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The Metallic Blimp


Below you can read the transcript of the conversation between George Knapp and Jeremy Corbell and watch the USS Omaha video of the unidentified sphere.

George Knapp   
Jeremy, good to have you back. 2019 remarkable things happening on both coasts. Back in April, you and I jointly released some incredible images starting with the three photographs taken by an F/A-18 crew off the coast of Virginia, still unidentified images that are in the briefing presentation prepared by the UAP Task Force and delivered to members of Congress, joint chiefs, intelligence agencies. And then two days later, April 8, we released some amazing images that you’ve acquired and that we have confirmed regarding several ships in the Pacific Fleet that were surveyed, under surveillance by a number of unidentified. Call them drones, call them UAVs, UFOs, whatever you want to call them. This was a series of events that is well documented. And one of the key ships that was identified by you, and that came from the UAP Task Force briefing document involves the USS Omaha. Now, as we know, the Pentagon came forward (and) confirmed that the images were real. But this slide that you obtained about the USS Omaha seems to be one that they were kind of fuzzy about. You have an idea about why they were sort of reluctant to go as far as they did with this image as opposed to the other images that you presented.

Jeremy Corbell  
Yeah, well, here’s the deal. Let me recap for a second here. We released a lot of content. You released three images from an F/A-18 over the east coast, verified part of the study of the UAPTF UFO studies, you know, then together, we released six new images, three of which were of the pyramidal shape object, the UFOs. And then the other was three of this USS Omaha, which they describe these as spherical, unmanned aerial platforms, maybe UFOs going into the water. Then, we also released the kind of now iconic, pyramid and triangular shaped video. So it’s like a mother lode. Then, a little time after I released another still image, an image that wasn’t contained as a still image in the UAPTF UFO reports from May 1 2020. So why did the Pentagon instantly confirm the USS Russell, pyramidal shaped UFOs and not the USS Omaha? That confused me too.  Why confirm anything? I now suspect that they didn’t have all of that data and information. And upon my search and trying to find people that would know that we’re in a position to know I have heard through word on the wash, you know, that now UAPTF has a lot more data than before. So this is so cool. This is where reporting, you and I are reporting and it’s influencing the knowledge base of governmental organizations that can now take this seriously and put it into hopefully, the summer release of information. So to answer your question very succinctly, the reason I think that the triangular and pyramid shaped UFO footage was confirmed and the USS Omaha USO, Unidentified Submerging Object, was not confirmed directly, although as a play on words, is because I think when we’re breaking news, people are playing catch up, George.

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NAVY_FILMED_PYRAMID_UAPs
Still images from video recorded by the U.S. Navy showing Pyramid shaped UAPs flying above the USS Russell. (Image sourced by @JeremyCorbell)

George Knapp  
The slide created for the UAP Task Force briefing document shows the USS Omaha, it is a still image. There’s been a lot of speculation, as you know, online and in the UFO world, that it might be a still image taken from a video. We can now confirm that is the fact, right.

Jeremy Corbell  
Yeah. So in fact, what happened was when these huge series of events happened in a warning area off the coast of San Diego, there were so many ships involved. And there were so many things happening, that some of the people on the ships were tasked with putting reports up the chain of command. They didn’t know is going to go to UAPTF. They’re just doing these reports because that’s their job. And these are unknowns unidentifiedes with peculiar functionalities. So all of a sudden, you and I released these UAPTF images that were part of this intelligence report. All unclassified and all of a sudden people realize, well, these are stills that were prepared. It’s a briefing, which means it was brief, there’s a lot more data, there’s full video of this thing, allegedly, or seemingly descending and going into the water without destruction. So the essence of this is, it would be very easy to assume that these images came from video. And you and I can now not only confirm that, but we can release part of that.

George Knapp
Let’s set the stage of where this is happening. We have a map that shows where the USS Omaha is. As mentioned earlier, there were several ships involved. A friend of ours and mutual friend Tyler Rogoway, wrote for The Drive and he got a lot of FOIA information, ship logs that established where various ships were when the things happened to them. In that same time period, the USS Omaha was buzzed by craft at a position that we’ll show on this map just sort of straight west from San Diego, west of the Channel Islands, it was buzzed over a period of days, right, from what you’ve learned?

Jeremy Corbell  
It was. So Tyler Rogoway’s like the only journalist that has got everything right so far, when it comes to ship positions and that kind of thing. He’s very thorough, and I really appreciate, you know, what he put out. Now the Omaha wasn’t listed on his map, but I talked to him about that. It’s possible the Omaha came in from over 100 miles away on the 15th, the next day, but all this activity is in an area and there were more ships involved than people know. And they all had kind of different experiences. Although, you know, there were similarities, but what we’re about to show people is the exact GPS location of the USS Omaha at the height of this event series, particularly the exact time and location when this object drops into the water. Now shows you the location of the USS Omaha to the exact degree with coordinates and you’ll see that in your bottom left of the screen. So what I guess what I’m saying is the footage I have, we’ve confirmed and validated. George and I just so everybody knows, we’ve confirmed and validated. It took us some time and I think everybody’s gonna find out and they’re going to confirm and get it validated for themselves. But we got it confirmed and validated. So this footage you’re seeing is authentic. Whatever it is. It is real Navy footage filmed on the Sapphire which is a FLIR system from the ship, live.

George Knapp  
Here we go, we’ll play the video.

Transcript of USS Omaha video
:05 “Took off, bookin’ it.”
:21 “Break, OMAHA, PINCKNEY, KIDD, RAFAEL PERALTA possibility to launch helo ASAP”. 
:28 “If it splashes you get a bearing and range.”:30 “Yes sir.”
:32 “… keep going bro [inaudible]”:33 [inaudible]
:36 “… it’s windy as f**k out there.”
:42 “… got a lotta white water out there. Six foot swells.”
:43 “Whoa, it’s getting close.”
:50 “We have, uh, 31 knots sustained wind topside, gust of 40 [knots].”
:56 “Whoa, it splashed!”
:57 “Splashed!”
:58 “Mark bearing and range.”

George Knapp
Jeremy, explain where that video is recorded. So it’s not somebody standing on the side of the ship looking over the edge. It’s inside the ship and the command center right?

Jeremy Corbell 
Yeah, what you’re seeing is footage from within the CIC, which is the Combat Information Center. And that’s live, that’s as this was happening. That’s as they’re tracking these targets. And that’s as you’re seeing one of the targets appear to become transmedium, and go into the water.

George Knapp  
So you can hear the excitement of the people who are watching this unfold. They don’t know what this thing is.

Jeremy Corbell 
Oh, yeah, definitely this. This was a very unique event series. This is something that none of them had really experienced prior in this way. You do hear the excitement. So if you think about the iconic footage of the go fast video or you think about the iconic footage of the gimbal video, we are now able as a society to really look at this UFO Footage and understand what FLIR is, what thermal imagery is, why it’s black and white. What we should be seeing if something had rotors or fins or tails and what we’re not seeing. So you do hear the excitement and something I think is worth mentioning is just like how Your hearing, you know, it’s going against the wind at 130 knots, whatever was said in the Gimbal video, we’re hearing and seeing something like that in this video. When they say splash splash, that doesn’t mean there was a physical splash. That means this object went into the water or they suspect it did. And they did carry out, there was a search that was underway, you heard him say, you know, send out hilos or whatever. But the wind was really choppy. And the water was really choppy. But I did report and I’m standing behind it, there was a search by a submarine that was unsuccessful, they did not find wreckage, and this object was not small. I’ll just put it to you that way for now. But there’s ways for me to qualify that. But when you hear their excitement, and they say mark the bearing and range, splash splash, And they say mark the bearing and range, splash splash. Whoa, splash. I mean, that is equivalent to the air footage we have. But this is now going into the sea.

George Knapp  
It occurs to me that this went on for quite a while, an hour. At 11 o’clock at night, right? That’s when it happened. 11 o’clock at night. It’s dark out there in the middle of the ocean. And this object, the dimensions of which we will describe later, but it’s a spherical object that travels right along with the ship for a period of time, like, Hey, take pictures of me.

Jeremy Corbell  
Oh, no, there were a lot of actions. Yeah. So let’s talk about the actions of these craft and what was going on. That’s important to clarify. But just to nail down one point, I told everybody that when I said 11 p.m., I meant 11 p.m., not 11:01. So everybody can now look in the bottom right, you can confirm that it’s the 15th of July 2019. You can also confirm that the object appears to descend into the water at precisely 11 p.m. Pacific time. Now the indicators that you see on screen, you’re going to see I think a different date, you’re going to see the 16th at 6 a.m. because that’s general mean time (GMT). But that ship where it was with those GPS coordinates, you know, they’re in the Pacific Time Zone. So people will be a little confused at first. But understand it’s 11 p.m. sharp, at exactly July 15. At the coordinates you see in the left side of the screen.

George Knapp  
I am not sure how far we can go in this conversation. But there is more to be revealed. So is that object alone, or were there other objects that look like this sphere, traveling with it.

Jeremy Corbell  
Okay, so the object was not alone. This was a swarm. I think it’s fair to say that there was a minimum of 14 objects. And that’s a minimum. There, there could have been more. That’s at one time on the S band radar screens. So yeah, there you go. That’s what I know to the best of my understanding from individuals who have been in a position to know, multiple individuals.

George Knapp  
The USS Omaha is what is called littoral, not literal, but littoral combat ship, built to be small and fast and maneuverable and suitable for multiple kinds of missions that the ships were created to, a lot of different kinds of roles. Anti submarine warfare, anti mines, anti surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, special ops, so it’s jam packed with sophisticated sensors, it should be able to see unidentified craft that are heading its way. It should be able to get it on radar, sonar, various sensors. Can you describe how successful the various sensors on the Omaha were in terms of tracking these things, keeping them in their sights, and then seeing when they leave?

Jeremy Corbell 
Yeah, so I think I should reiterate, everything that we are releasing is unclassified. People are going to understand more about that as we go forward. But I just like to be very clear that it’s possible that this footage is not contained in classified reports that we’ve reported on before. This might be fresh information for a lot of people. So just to back up a second. Everything we’re releasing is unclassified. There are numerous sensor systems on a craft as cool as USS Omaha. The two I think are worth talking about is SPS 77, which is like an air search technology. It’s a very interesting technology. But I would say I’d put a little bit more weight on the S band radar. And that’s something that I think we’re going to report on more later. We know from these systems, the shape is probably very similar to what you’re seeing in that video. Kind of like the Tic Tac video, when Commander Underwood said that look, you should be able to see wings and rotors and plumes and wash and you don’t see any of that. I would argue very successfully, I think, that you would see similar aspects in this footage if they were there. Additionally, there are certain types of, so that’s with the Sapphire FLIR system. With the S band radar, if we were to get more into that in the weeks to come, I would suspect there’s a minimum size that can be picked up by the S band radar. And I would suspect that things getting picked up by S band radar would probably be at least six feet in diameter spherically of solid mass, that means no like sticks with rotors on them reaching out six feet, I’m talking about an actual mass of at least six feet, if that makes sense.

George Knapp 
So there were 14 of these things at any given time. And my understanding is there was difficulty in keeping track of all of them in terms of whatever sensor systems were being used, the one that we’re watching, we’re gonna see the video again in a second, the one that we’re watching on that screen, what technology is showing us that image because it’s pitch black, it’s 11 o’clock at night, it’s dark out there, what system is being used to show that image on screen.

Jeremy Corbell  
Okay, so the way people will understand it is just like you’ve seen in the Tic Tac, the Gimbal, and the Go Fast. It’s a FLIR technology, which is a thermal technology. That’s why you’re seeing in black and white because it is pitch black, you’re out at sea. So it’s showing the differentials of thermal from how I understand it. It’s called a Sapphire system. And that’s something that I think people will start looking into now. But it’s made by FLIR, it’s the same type of system.

George Knapp
Let’s, let’s watch the video again. And we’ll stop at a couple of points to remark about some of what we’re hearing.

*** VIDEO ***

George Knapp
All right, we’re stopping it there, Jeremy. So you know, it’s out in the ocean. It’s at night. Winds are blowing at 35 knots, which is 1.15 times miles per hour, I think is how you calculate it. So roughly 40 miles per hour. And this thing is just sitting there traveling right along.

Jeremy Corbell 
Yeah, so that is interesting. You know, look, I did mention that these were sizable machines. And that’s something to take into consideration. You know, these aren’t commercial drones or even how we understand military drones to be. The gusts of wind were intense at the time. Great. But the big thing that gets me and this is evidence that will be provided at a later date, you know, these objects were in varying speeds from you know, 40, the objects themselves the UFOs, that, you know, from from 40 knots all the way up to 138 knots, like 150 miles an hour. You know, I know the drones we have, the thing that was most interesting to a lot of individuals involved with witnessing and recording and documenting and being part of this event series was the longevity, that the duration, the endurance, as they would say, of these objects. I mean, they lasted way over an hour out there. So to have high powered lights to be that brazen to make all the maneuvers to be fighting against the wind to be hitting speeds like that, and then slowing down. That takes battery power. So this is fascinating. And also they never found where these things came from or went to. So they don’t know where they’re launching from or going from. I mean, maybe it’s the water because that’s what we’re seeing one do. We know for sure one appears to go into the water? I don’t know. There’s more questions than there are answers. I would love for this to be US American technology that just somehow everybody’s miscommunicating on. However, I do see that if that is true, then it doesn’t matter whose they are. This represents a technology that is profound just on the energy conservation of propulsion. So that’s interesting to begin with.

George Knapp  
Also what we’re not seeing, we’re not seeing rotors, or exhaust, any evidence of any known propulsion system. That’s just the flying part. And then something else happens that we’re gonna see now we’ll just continue the video.

*** VIDEO ***

George Knapp 
Alright Jeremy, when they say splash, I don’t see a splash. So splash doesn’t mean literally splash, right?

Jeremy Corbell 
Yeah, correct. This is something just meaning it appears to have gone into the water. And that’s what they’re saying, like a splashdown, it’s just a term that has nothing to do with a splash. You notice that immediately, they want to find out, you know, maybe send out a helicopter, like find out how, you know, retrieve the parts, maybe. But again, I’ll tell you, I’ll stand firmly behind this, there was a sub that went and found nothing. So no destruction. And again, it was a sizable object. So splash means that’s when it appears to descend into the water, like a transmedium vehicle would, where something can go from air to sea to sky to space without resistance in a way, you know, I’m hoping that’s what it was.

George Knapp 
I mean we call it a drone. Or it might be called a UAV or UAS, whatever you want to call it. It’s flying along beside this ship for an hour or so. Then after it figures, it’s got enough close ups, it goes into the water, pretty dramatic little incident there. And then there were attempts to pursue it, to figure out what happened, to look for debris if it crashed, to see where it went. I mean, this is a surveillance ship, it’s packed with surveillance gear, it has other ships and assets around it. They went looking for this thing, did they find it?

Jeremy Corbell 
They did not find it. And really, let’s take a step back. We don’t know when these objects were appearing and disappearing, at one time 14 with this event series over the course of three days, that was the largest number on the screen. We don’t know if they were going in and out constantly of the water, we can’t make the assumption that we know. We’ve got one that appears to be going in the water, again, appears to be because there was no destruction, there was no craft, there was nothing they could find. That’s why people are thinking it’s transmedium. It was going in the water to be able to go. And we just don’t know. We do know that these things were illuminated. And that’s what’s so interesting. It’s so brazen, you know, these things were swarming, not just, you know, kind of like, far off. But there were many that were all around in different areas on the ship, you know, there might be footage from the deck of the ship, you know, filming up into inky darkness of lights, that gives you a reason or an understanding of why these would be designated drones. The people involved that I think would have been in a position to have influence or say on how these things were designated, the biggest comments that I’ve been getting is that drone was just this catch all phrase because of the maneuverability, because of this the size, not of any body that they saw, not have any rotors that they heard, but just of the ball of light that was observable. So this idea that it was a drone was really, some people said to me, that they felt that they had failed in their duties, that this should have been investigated better, that for some reason, it was as if they were more curious than they were threatened. And so this idea that these are drones, okay, cool. Well, the people that actually made that designation, aren’t saying they know they’re drones. So the idea is, who has the capabilities that these technologies represent? That’s what we want to know. Because we can figure out intent once we know who is behind it.

George Knapp   
Well, I mean, I think Chris Mellon, and maybe some others have said, if some foreign power has been able to take this kind of a technological leap, or it can create objects with no known propulsion system that can sneak up on a surveillance ship, a ship designed for surveillance, and then disappear and you can’t track it. You don’t know where it came from. It performs things that we can’t do, it can fly along, and then go into the ocean and just disappear. That’s technology we don’t have and it would represent a massive intelligence failure on our part, if that technology belongs to China or Russia or some other adversary.

Jeremy Corbell   
Yeah, look, if this one particular UFO, USO, UAP, whatever you want to call it if it did go into the water without destruction as it appears. I mean, this is huge. This is transmedium vehicles. We do not have that. So everything is identified. Well, I mean, we have that but not in the capabilities we’re seeing. So everything is unidentified until identified. So even in the UAPTF reports that we have been exposed to, to some degree, the world has, they don’t know what these things are. But we do know what they’re not. And that’s important. These are not conventional drones as we know them, if they are transmedium, just the flight power alone to be out there. It’s very interesting when we start looking at different cases, like the Tic Tac case, the Gimbal case, and you start putting these in that mosaic. Man, this becomes really interesting, because the question is, we can defend against drones, we have that capability. Drones are not a problem for the United States. This is something Lue (Elizondo) has said, this is not me saying it. So with that said, what’s going on here that spans so many ships over the course of so many days, that everybody’s recording and documenting, we have everything from pyramidal shaped objects to these spherical, lit up, transmedium, it appears, vehicles that drop into the water. This is astounding. Whoever has this technology, we got to find out who it is.

George Knapp   
We are jointly releasing this material, you on extraodinarybeliefs.com, and us on Mystery Wire high noon, and the world can look at it and debate. And hopefully, in the days ahead, we’ll get a statement from the Pentagon of whether or not they acknowledge this video as being also recorded by the Navy and whether or not maybe the UAP Task Force is now taking a look at the same images that we have shared with the world.

Jeremy Corbell  
Yeah, look, if we can have a positive influence on the process that is underway right now to inform the American and global public about the nature of the presence of UFOs on planet Earth. If we can provide more information that then has to be included in the UAP Task Force mission in what they’re doing. They can get a full time staff for this and we can get a great report in the summer. Man, that would be so cool. But all we’re doing, you and I are presenting information that we know to be accurate, and that it is real Navy footage that these events happened as we described, it is now up to the public, to analyze, to look, to ask questions, to knock on doors. We’re just providing some information saying we don’t know these are unidentified, but they’re really cool.

George Knapp  
Yeah. All right. And suffice to say, we’ll have further details about this image. There may be some other things coming real soon.

Jeremy Corbell  
Yes, there is.

George Knapp  
Thanks Jeremy.

World first: Oblique wave detonation engine may unlock Mach 17 aircraft

#NASA #SPACE #Hypersonic

UCF researchers have successfully fired up a new hypersonic detonation engine that harnesses the raw power of a sustained, trapped explosion. The new engine could power aircraft up to 17 times the speed of sound.

UCF researchers have successfully fired up a new hypersonic detonation engine that harnesses the raw power of a sustained, trapped explosion. The new engine could power aircraft up to 17 times the speed of sound. Background image credit: NASA. Aircraft and composite image credit: Daniel Rosato, UCFVIEW 4 IMAGES

UCF researchers say they’ve trapped a sustained explosive detonation, fixed in place, for the first time, channeling its enormous power into thrust in a new oblique wave detonation engine that could propel an aircraft up to 17 times the speed of sound, potentially beating the scramjet as a hypersonic propulsion method.

Deflagration – the high-temperature burning of fuel with oxygen – is a relatively slow, safe and controlled way to release chemical energy and turn it into motion, that’s why this nice, peaceful form of combustion underpins so much of our transport technology. But if you want to release the maximum possible energy from a unit of fuel, you get far better bang for your buck from … well, a bang.


Detonation is fast, chaotic and frequently destructive. It doesn’t necessarily require oxygen, just a single explosive material and some kind of energetic poke big enough to break the chemical bonds holding an already-unstable molecule together. It creates exothermic shockwaves that accelerate outwards at supersonic speeds, releasing enormous amounts of energy.

People have been trying to harness the raw power of detonation – the most powerful form of combustion – for more than 60 years, but putting a bridle on a bomb has proven extremely difficult. Pulse detonation engines create a series of repeated explosions in a manner similar to a pulse jet, and these have already been tested in aircraft – notably in the Scaled Composites Long-EZ “Borealis” project built by the US Air Force Research Laboratory and Innovative Scientific Solutions Incorporated back in 2008.

Rotating detonation engines, in which the shockwaves from one detonation are tuned to trigger further detonations within a ring-shaped channel, were thought of as impossible to build right up until researchers at the University of Central Florida (UCF) went ahead and demonstrated a prototype last year in sustained operation. Due for testing in a rocket launch by around 2025, rotating detonation engines should be more efficient than pulse detonation engines simply because the combustion chamber doesn’t need to be cleared out between detonations.

Now, another team from UCF, including some of the same researchers that built the rotating detonation engine last year, says it’s managed a world-first demonstration of an elusive third type of detonation engine that could out-punch them all, theoretically opening up a pathway to aircraft flying at speeds up to 13,000 mph (21,000 km/h), or 17 times the speed of sound.

The standing wave, or oblique wave detonation engine (OWDE), aims to produce a continuous detonation that’s stable and fixed in space, making for a ruthlessly efficient and controllable propulsion system generating significantly more power and using less fuel than current technology allows.https://9a9046486c0d3edb6d1cd88e21862dd6.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

The UCF team claims it has successfully stabilized a detonation wave under hypersonic flow conditions, keeping it in place rather than having it move upstream (where it could cause the fuel source to explode) or downstream (where it would lose its explosive advantage and fizzle out into a deflagration).

A schematic diagram of the experimental HyperReact prototype
A schematic diagram of the experimental HyperReact prototype

To do so, the team built an experimental prototype that it called the High-Enthalpy Hypersonic Reacting Facility – or HyperReact, for short. Less than a meter (3.3 ft) long, the HyperReact can loosely be described as a hollow tube, divided into three sections, each with a precisely shaped interior.

The first section is a 350-mm (13.8-in) mixing chamber – a square-section channel with 45-mm (1.8-in) sides. Here, a pre-burner ignites a jet of hydrogen fuel, pre-mixed with air. Four more air channels around the pre-burner jet accelerate the flow to the appropriate speeds.

The second section is a converging-diverging (CD) nozzle, with an axisymmetric square cross-section all the way down. The main fuel injector adds 99.99 percent ultra-high-purity hydrogen fuel to the hot, fast, high-pressure air coming down the tube just before it enters the CD nozzle, which rapidly tapers down to a 9-mm-high (0.35-in) throat before diverging back out to a 45-mm square again. This shape is designed to accelerate the mix up to Mach 5.0 before heading into the final “test section,” where the detonation takes place.

The test section takes in that hypersonic air/fuel mix and runs it up a ramp with a 30-degree angle on the bottom side of the square tube. Tuning the flow speed and air/fuel mix, the team was able to find parameters that manipulated the pressure wave interactions in the chamber to produce the unthinkable: a stable, continuous explosion that stayed almost still, fluctuating slightly in a cyclical pattern, over the front lip of the ramp.

Overlaid shadowgraph-chemiluminescence images show conditions in the test chamber in a non-reacting Mach 5 airflow, and then with fuel added to create the oblique detonation wave
Overlaid shadowgraph-chemiluminescence images show conditions in the test chamber in a non-reacting Mach 5 airflow, and then with fuel added to create the oblique detonation wave

Compared to conditions measured with the main fuel injector turned off, peak pressure was 2.7 times higher behind the ramp, and the nozzle exit pressure was 10.5 times higher. The flow velocity was calculated at 99.7 percent of the theoretical detonation wave speed for a freely propagating, normal explosion in the given mixture.

“This is the first time a detonation has been shown to be stabilized experimentally,” says Kareem Ahmed, an associate professor in UCF’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and one of the authors on the new research paper. “We are finally able to hold the detonation in space in oblique detonation form. It’s almost like freezing an intense explosion in physical space.”

Where a detonation typically lasts only a matter of micro- or milliseconds, the UCF team managed to sustain this one experimentally until the fuel was turned off after around three seconds. That’s long enough to prove the device works, Ahmed told LiveScience, and if the team kept the fuel flowing any longer it would’ve destroyed the quartz windows on the sides of the test section, which were there to allow optical imaging of the tests. Replacing the test section with something entirely metal-sided would allow the detonation to be sustained much longer.

According to Ahmed, the prototype design is reasonably close to what a full-scale production OWDE would look like. The challenge now will be learning how to dynamically alter the fuel mix, flow speed and ramp angle to keep a detonation stable, reliable and controllable over a wide range of operating conditions and control inputs.

Top: the detonation structure for three phases during the test run. Bottom: the static pressure in the test chamber leaps up and is sustained for the duration of the fuel flow
Top: the detonation structure for three phases during the test run. Bottom: the static pressure in the test chamber leaps up and is sustained for the duration of the fuel flow

The OWDE has been spoken of theoretically for some time, as a potentially superior form of hypersonic propulsion to the scramjet. Scramjets tend to lose efficiency as airspeed rises, potentially topping out around Mach 14. The experimental results released by UCF point toward a “Sodramjet” (standing oblique detonation ramjet) aircraft capable of flying between Mach 6 and Mach 17.

What does it all mean? Well, hypersonic air travel at speeds up to Mach 17 won’t just open the door to potential sub-30 minute flights between New York and Los Angeles. It’ll also enable spaceplanes to efficiently fly themselves right up into orbit without strapping themselves to rocket boosters. And there could of course be some significant implications for national security and the global nuclear balance of power.

As our own David Szondy pointed out in this terrific hypersonic flight explainer from 2017, there’s not a radar or missile defense system in the world that could cope with a hypersonic missile at this point. What’s more, you wouldn’t even need a warhead on it to cause levels of devastation rivaling that of a nuclear bomb. “All that speed and all that inertia turns any research platform, recon unit, or passenger aircraft into a potential kinetic weapon,” writes Szondy. “They don’t need high explosives to destroy a target. All they have to do is hit it. In other words, any hypersonic vehicle is an intrinsic weapon given the proper modifications.”

Indeed, the research was funded not only by the National Science Foundation and the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium, but by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. So these bottled explosion engines are clearly a matter of military interest.