Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Richard D. Branam, PhD


The AFIT combustion optimization and analysis laser (COAL) lab is now completely operational and is state-of-the-art in combustion diagnostics. The objective of this research is to perform a validation of a laser diagnostic system and to begin the characterization of a small-scale model of an ultra-compact combustor (UCC). Validation of the laser system was accomplished by using planar laser induced fluorescence (PLIF) on a laminar premixed hydrogen-air flame produced by a Hencken burner. OH species concentrations are measured. Flame temperatures are determined with a two line fluorescence technique using different transitions in the (1,0) band of the OH (A-X) electronic transition system. Comparisons are made to existing research to prove accuracy. Characterization of the UCC began by developing an operational procedure. A proper starting condition and operating regime has been established. Pressures, temperature, and emissions data have been recorded for a range of equivalence ratios. Comparisons are made to previous computational fluid dynamic (CFD) research. Combustion efficiencies of over 99% have been recorded when operating the small-scale UCC. Future work will involve using PLIF to take non-intrusive measurements inside the combustor through optically clear quartz windows to study cavity-vane interactions.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number