Simultaneous sensing of temperature, CO, and CO2 in a scramjet combustor using quantum cascade laser absorption spectroscopy
A mid-infrared laser absorption sensor was developed for gas temperature and carbon oxide (CO, CO2) concentrations in high-enthalpy, hydrocarbon combustion flows. This diagnostic enables non-intrusive, in situ measurements in harsh environments produced by hypersonic propulsion ground test facilities. The sensing system utilizes tunable quantum cascade lasers capable of probing the fundamental mid-infrared absorption bands of CO and CO2 in the 4–5 µm wavelength domain. A scanned-wavelength direct absorption technique was employed with two lasers, one dedicated to each species, free-space fiber-coupled using a bifurcated hollow-core fiber for remote light delivery on a single line of sight. Scanned-wavelength modulation spectroscopy with second-harmonic detection was utilized to extend the dynamic range of the CO measurement. The diagnostic was field-tested on a direct-connect scramjet combustor for ethylene–air combustion. Simultaneous, laser-based measurements of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide provide a basis for evaluating combustion completion or efficiency with temporal and spatial resolution in practical hydrocarbon-fueled engines.
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