Purdue University Graduate School
Vishnu_Radhakrishna_Dissertation.pdf (26.06 MB)


Download (26.06 MB)
posted on 2024-04-23, 02:03 authored by Vishnu RadhakrishnaVishnu Radhakrishna

Laser absorption spectroscopy (LAS) is a widely used technique to acquire path-integrated measurements of gas properties such as temperature and mole fraction. Although extremely useful, the application of LAS to study heterogeneous combustion environments can be challenging. For example, beam steering can be one such challenge that arises during measurements in heterogeneous combustion environments such as metallized propellant flames or measurements at high-pressure conditions. The ability to only obtain path integrated measurements has been a major challenge of conventional LAS techniques, especially in characterizing combustion environments with a non-uniform thermo-chemical distribution along the line of sight (LOS). Additionally, simultaneous measurements of multiple species using LAS with narrow-bandwidth lasers often necessitates employing multiple light sources. Aerospace applications, such as characterizing hypersonic flows may require ultrashort time resolution to study fast-evolving chemistry. Similarly, atmospheric entry most often requires measurements of atoms and molecules that absorb at wavelengths ranging from ultraviolet to mid-infrared. The availability of appropriate light sources for such measurements has been limited. In the past, several researchers have come up with diagnostic techniques to overcome the above-mentioned challenges to a certain extent. Most often, these solutions have been need-based while compromising on other diagnostic capabilities. Therefore, LAS diagnostics capable of acquiring broadband measurements with ultrafast time resolution and the ability to acquire measurements at wavelengths in ultraviolet through mid-infrared is required to study advanced combustion systems and for the development of advanced aerospace systems for future space missions. Ultrafast laser absorption spectroscopy is one such technique that provides broadband measurements, enabling simultaneous multi-species and high-pressure measurements. The light source utilized for ULAS provides the ultrafast time resolution necessary for resolving fast-occurring chemistry and more importantly the ability to acquire measurements at a wide range of wavelengths ranging from ultraviolet to far-infrared. The development and application of ULAS for characterizing propellant flames and hypersonic flows under non-equilibrium conditions by overcoming the above-mentioned challenges is presented here.

This work describes the development of a single-shot ultrafast laser absorption spectroscopy (ULAS) diagnostic for simultaneous measurements of temperature and concentrations of CO, NO, and H2O in flames and aluminized fireballs of HMX (C4H8N8O8). Ultrashort (55 fs) pulses from a Ti:Sapphire oscillator emitting near 800 nm were amplified and converted into the mid-infrared through optical parametric amplification (OPA) at a repetition rate of 5 kHz. Ultimately, pulses with a spectral bandwidth of ≈600 cm-1 centered near 4.9 µm were utilized in combination with a mid-infrared spectrograph to measure absorbance spectra of CO, NO, and H2O across a 30 nm bandwidth with a spectral resolution of 0.3 nm. The gas temperature and species concentrations were determined by least-squares fitting simulated absorbance spectra to measured absorbance spectra. Measurements of temperature, CO, NO, and H2O were acquired in an HMX flame burning in air at atmospheric pressure and the measurements agree well with previously published results. Measurements were also acquired in fireballs of HMX with and without 16.7 wt% H-5 micro-aluminum. Time histories of temperature and column densities are reported with a 1-σ precision of 0.4% for temperature and 0.3% (CO), 0.6% (NO), and 0.5% (H2O), and 95% confidence intervals (C.I.) of 2.5% for temperature and 2.5% (CO), 11% (NO), and 7% (H2O), thereby demonstrating the ability of ULAS to provide high-fidelity, multi-parameter measurements in harsh combustion environments. The results indicate that the addition of the micron-aluminum increases the fireball peak temperature by ≈100 K and leads to larger concentrations of CO. The addition of aluminum also increases the duration fireballs remain at elevated temperatures above 2000 K.

Next, the application of ULAS for dual-zone temperature and multi-species (CO, NO, H2O, CO2, HCl, and HF) measurements in solid-propellant flames is presented. ULAS measurements were acquired at three different central wavelengths (5.121 µm, 4.18 µm, and 3.044 µm) for simultaneous measurements of temperature and: 1) CO, NO, and H2O, 2) CO2 and HCl, and 3) HF and H2O. Absorption measurements with a spectral resolution of 0.35 nm and bandwidth of 7 cm-1, 18 cm-1, and 35 cm-1, respectively were acquired. In some cases, a dual-zone absorption spectroscopy model was implemented to accurately determine the gas temperature in the hot flame core and cold flame boundary layer via broadband absorption measurements of CO2, thereby overcoming the impact of line-of-sight non-uniformities. Results illustrate that the hot-zone temperature of CO2 agrees well with the equilibrium flame temperature and single-zone thermometry of CO, the latter of which is insensitive to the cold boundary layer due to the corresponding oxidation of CO to CO2.

The initial development and implementation of an ultraviolet and broadband ultrafast-laser-absorption-imaging (UV-ULAI) diagnostic for one dimensional (1D) imaging of temperature and CN via its B2Σ+X2Σ+ absorption bands near 385 nm. The diagnostic was demonstrated by acquiring single-shot measurements of 1D temperature and CN profiles in HMX flames at a repetition rate of 25 Hz. Ultrashort pulses (55 fs) at 800 nm were generated using a Ti:Sapphire oscillator and then amplification and wavelength conversion to the ultraviolet was carried out utilizing an optical parametric amplifier and frequency doubling crystals. The broadband pulses were spectrally resolved using a 1200 l/mm grating and imaged on an EMCCD camera to obtain CN absorbance spectra with a resolution of ≈0.065 nm and a bandwidth of ≈4 nm (i.e. 260 cm-1). Simulated absorbance spectra of CN were fit to the measured absorbance spectra using non-linear curve fitting to determine the gas properties. The spatial evolution of gas temperature and CN concentration near the burning surface of an HMX flame was measured with a spatial resolution of ≈10 µm. 1D profiles of temperature and CN concentration were obtained with a 1-σ spatial precision of 49.3 K and 4 ppm. This work demonstrates the ability of UV-ULAI to acquire high-precision, spatially resolved absorption measurements with unprecedented temporal and spatial resolution. Further, this work lays the foundation for ultraviolet imaging of numerous atomic and molecular species with ultrafast time resolution.

Ultraviolet ULAS was applied to characterize the temporal evolution of non-Boltzmann CN (X2Σ+) formed behind strong shock waves in N2-CH4 mixtures at conditions relevant to entry into Titan's atmosphere. An ultrafast (femtosecond) light source was utilized to produce 55 fs pulses near 385 nm at a repetition rate of 5 kHz and a spectrometer with a 2400 lines/mm grating was utilized to spectrally resolve the pulses after passing through the Purdue High-Pressure Shock Tube. This enabled broadband single-shot absorption measurements of CN to be acquired with a spectral resolution and bandwidth of ≈0.02 nm and ≈6 nm (≈402 cm-1 at these wavelengths), respectively. A line-by-line absorption spectroscopy model for the B2Σ+X2Σ+ system of CN was developed and utilized to determine six internal temperatures (two vibrational temperatures, four rotational) of CN from the (0,0), (1,1), (2,2) and (3,3) absorption bands. Measurements were acquired behind reflected shock waves in 5.65% CH4 and 94.35% N2 with an initial pressure of 1.56 mbar and incident shock speed of ≈2.1 km/s. For this test condition, the chemically and vibrationally frozen temperature of the mixture behind the reflected shock was 5000 K and the pressure was 0.6 atm. The high repeatability of the shock-tube experiments (0.3% variation in shock speed across tests) enabled multi-shock time histories of CN mole fraction and six internal temperatures to be acquired with a single-shot time resolution of less than 1 ns. The measurements revealed that CN X2Σ+ is non-Boltzmann rotationally and vibrationally for greater than 200 µs, thereby strongly suggesting that chemical reactions are responsible for the non-Boltzmann population distributions.


Characterization of nanopropellant combustion and agglomerate-breakup physics via infrared laser-absorption imaging

United States Air Force

Find out more...

Wavelength-Modulation Absorption Spectroscopy for MHz Thermometry & Species Sensing in Optically Dense Fireballs

Defense Threat Reduction Agency

Find out more...


National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Find out more...


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Mechanical Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Christopher S. Goldenstein

Additional Committee Member 2

Robert P. Lucht

Additional Committee Member 3

Steven F. Son

Additional Committee Member 4

Timothée Pourpoint

Additional Committee Member 5

Aaron M. Brandis