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Influence of G-jitter on the characteristics of a non-premixed flame: Experimental approach

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The combustion of a flat plate in a boundary layer under microgravity conditions, which was first described by Emmons, is studied using a gas burner. Magnitude of injection and blowing velocities are chosen to be characteristic of pyrolyzing velocity of solid fuels, and of ventilation systems in space stations. These velocities are about 0.1 m/s for oxidiser flow and 0.004m/s for fuel flow. In this configuration, flame layout results from a coupled interaction between oxidiser flow, fuel flow and thermal expansion. Influences of these parameters are studied experimentally by means of flame length and standoff distance measurements using CH* chemiluminescence’s and visible emission of the flame. Flow was also studied with Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). Inert flows, with and without injection, and reacting flow in a microgravity environment were considered to distinguish aerodynamic from thermal effect. Thermal expansion effects have been shown by means of the acceleration of oxidiser flow. Three-dimensional effects, which are strongly marked for high injection velocities were studied. Three-dimensional tools adaptability to parabolic flights particular conditions were of concern. Flame sensitivity to g-jitters was investigated according to g-jitters frequency and range involved by parabolic flights. It appears that flame location (standoff distance), flame characteristics (length, thickness, brightness) and the aerodynamic field of the low velocity reacting flow are very much affected by the fluctuation of the gravity level or g-jitter. The lower the g-jitter frequency is, the higher the perturbation. Consequently it is difficult to perform relevant experiments for a main flow velocity lower than 0.05m/s. DNS calculations confirm the present observations, but most of the results are presented elsewhere.

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Joulain, P., Cordeiro, P., Rouvreau, S. et al. Influence of G-jitter on the characteristics of a non-premixed flame: Experimental approach. Microgravity sci. Technol. 16, 328–332 (2005).

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