Applied Physics B

, 124:77 | Cite as

Wavelength modulation spectroscopy near 5 \(\upmu\)m for carbon monoxide sensing in a high-pressure kerosene-fueled liquid rocket combustor

  • Daniel D. Lee
  • Fabio A. Bendana
  • S. Alexander Schumaker
  • R. Mitchell Spearrin
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Mid-infrared and THz Laser Sources and Applications


A laser absorption sensor was developed for carbon monoxide (CO) sensing in high-pressure, fuel-rich combustion gases associated with the internal conditions of hydrocarbon-fueled liquid bipropellant rockets. An absorption feature near 4.98 \(\upmu\)m, comprised primarily of two rovibrational lines from the P-branch of the fundamental band, was selected to minimize temperature sensitivity and spectral interference with other combustion gas species at the extreme temperatures (> 3000 K) and pressures (> 50 atm) in the combustion chamber environment. A scanned wavelength modulation spectroscopy technique (1f-normalized 2f detection) is utilized to infer species concentration from CO absorption, and mitigate the influence of non-absorption transmission losses and noise associated with the harsh sooting combustor environment. To implement the sensing strategy, a continuous-wave distributed-feedback (DFB) quantum cascade laser (QCL) was coupled to a hollow-core optical fiber for remote mid-infrared light delivery to the test article, with high-bandwidth light detection by a direct-mounted photovoltaic detector. The method was demonstrated to measure time-resolved CO mole fraction over a range of oxidizer-to-fuel ratios and pressures (20–70 atm) in a single-element-injector RP-2-GOx rocket combustor.



This work was sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory in Edwards, CA under Award No. 16-EPA-RQ-09. The authors thank Dr. Ed Coy and Dr. Steve Danczyk of AFRL for their support in conducting field measurements.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel D. Lee
    • 1
  • Fabio A. Bendana
    • 1
  • S. Alexander Schumaker
    • 2
  • R. Mitchell Spearrin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.U.S. Air Force Research LaboratoryEdwards Air Force BaseKern CountyUSA

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