Repetitive laser ignition by optical breakdown of a LOX/H2 rocket combustion chamber with multi-injector head configuration


This paper reports on the repetitive laser ignition by optical breakdown within an experimental rocket combustion chamber. Ignition was performed by focusing a laser pulse generated by a miniaturized diode-pumped Nd:YAG laser system. The system, which delivers 33.2 mJ in 2.3 ns, was mounted directly to the combustion chamber. The ignition process and flame stabilization was investigated using an optical probe system monitoring the flame attachment across the 15 coaxial injector configuration. 1195 successful ignitions were performed proving the reliability of this laser ignition system and its applicability to the propellant combination LOX/hydrogen at temperatures of \(T_{{{\text{H}}_{ 2} }}\) = 120–282 K and \(T_{{{\text{O}}_{ 2} }}\) = 110–281 K.

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The work and support of Markus Dengler, Johann Fröse, Manuel Hofmann, Stefan Gröning, Justin Hardi, Robert Stützer, Dmitry Suslov, and the DLR P8 test bench team is greatly acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Michael Börner.

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Börner, M., Manfletti, C., Kroupa, G. et al. Repetitive laser ignition by optical breakdown of a LOX/H2 rocket combustion chamber with multi-injector head configuration. CEAS Space J 9, 289–297 (2017).

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  • Igniter
  • Laser ignition
  • Laser plasma ignition
  • Ignition dynamics
  • Flame development
  • Flame anchoring