Detonation-based combustion devices have become the focus of significant research and development interest, globally, for high-speed propulsion. While recent progress has been significant, many technical challenges remain before these systems will be viable for flight systems. This seminar will cover our experimental investigation of detonation physics for propulsion applications, as well as our efforts to engineer combustion systems that control these processes. Specific attention will be given to the use of burst mode laser systems for 100 kHz – 1 MHz rate imaging diagnostics in both single-shot and continuously operating experiments. The use of active geometry variation in RDEs to control detonation mode selection, as well as the concomitant effects on performance, will also be discussed. From the laboratory to the engine, complementary basic and applied research activities are needed to realize the benefits long promised from this combustion technology.