Pulsejet engine thrust control module powered by an Arduino. This is a great project for those experimenting with pulsejet engines. Pulsejet engines have always grabbed my attention as a kid for their simplicity in operation and ease to make.
Pulsejet engines fall into two categories, valved and valveless. Valved pulsejets use a set of thin reed type valves that allow the fuel/air mixture to enter the combustion chamber. Valved pulsejet engines operate at roughly 43-45 cycles per second. The valveless design is without valves or any moving parts and uses pressure waves to control the intake cycles. The valved design typically produces more thrust than the valveless but weighs more and has a higher chance of failure.
The Argus is the most famous design which was used in the German V-1 during WW-2. The V1 had a in flight thrust of approximately 740 lbs. with a short life expectancy of 1hr. The V1 was a simple cheap and effective device.
My thrust control unit is powered by an Arduino. It also contains a SD card to store setting and sensor data on. It has a terminal block to accept sensor leads from the pulsejet engine. On top of the unit is a arrangement of safety flip switches. I chose this style of switch because every project should have cool switches like these. And I was able to use a lot of them. The right side has 4 switches to individually turn on up to 4 fuel pumps. The left side contains the master switches. The very bottom left is the absolute master switch for the unit. And the 3 remaining switches are for the starting sequence.
Starting a pulsejet engine
To start a pulsjet, you turn on the air then the ignitor then the fuel supply. Then if all goes well, it will roar up to life with a loud pop that will likely make you question your sanity for wanting to start one up in the first place.
Pulsejets are a fun hobby. Many small designs are available for use on small RC type aircraft. You can also find free plans online for making your own with basic shop tools. Take a look around and discover a new hobby. Have fun, be safe.