Digital, phase-sensitive detection for in situ diode-laser spectroscopy under rapidly changing transmission conditions
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A new harmonic detection scheme for fully digital, fast-scanning wavelength-modulation spectroscopy (DFS-WMS) is presented. DFS-WMS is specially suited for in situ absorption measurements in combustion environments under fast fluctuating transmission conditions and is demonstrated for the first time by open-path monitoring of ambient oxygen using a distributed-feedback diode laser, which is doubly modulated with a fast linear 1 kHz-scan and a sinusoidal 300 kHz-modulation. After an analog high-pass filter, the detector signal is digitized with a 5 megasample/s 12-bit AD-converter card plugged into a PC and subsequently – unlike standard lock-ins – filtered further by co-adding 100 scans, to generate a narrowband comb filter. All further filtering and the demodulation are performed completely digitally on a PC with the help of discrete Fourier transforms (DFT). Both 1f- and 2f-signals, are simultaneously extracted from the detector signal using one ADC input channel. For the 2f-signal, a linearity of 2% and a minimum detectable absorption of 10-4 could be verified experimentally, with the sensitivity to date being limited only by insufficient gain on the 2f-frequency channel. Using the offset in the 1f signal as a transmission ‘probe’, we could show that the 2f-signal can be transmission-corrected by a simple division by the 1f-background, proving that DFS-WMS provides the possibility of compensating for transmission fluctuations. With the inherent suppression of additive noise, DFS-WMS seems well suited for quantitative in situ absorption spectroscopy in large combustion systems. This assumption is supported by the first measurements of oxygen in a high-pressure combustor at 12 bar.
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