Combustion Dynamics, Forced Flames, Acoustic Impedance, Non-Premixed Flames, Swirl Stabilized Flames


The prevalence of gas turbines operating in primarily lean premixed modes is predicated on the need for lower emissions and increased efficiency. An enhancement in the mixing process through the introduction of swirl in the combustion reactants is also necessary for flame stabilization. The resulting lean swirling flames are often characterized by a susceptibility to feedback between velocity, pressure and heat release perturbations with a potential for unstable self-amplifying dynamics. The existing literature on combustion dynamics is predominantly dedicated to premixed flame configurations motivated by power generation and propulsive gas turbine applications. In the present research effort, an investigation into the response of atmospheric, non-premixed swirling flames to acoustic perturbations at various frequencies (fp = 0-315Hz) and swirl intensities (S=0.09 and S=0.34) is carried out. The primary objective of the research effort is to broaden the scope of fundamental understanding in flame dynamics in the literature to include non-premixed swirling flames. Applications of the research effort include control strategies to mitigate the occurrence of thermoacoustic instabilities in future power generation gas turbines. Flame heat release is quantitatively measured using a photomultiplier with a 430nm bandpass filter for observing CH* chemiluminescence which is simultaneously imaged with a phase-locked CCD camera. Acoustic perturbations are generated with a loudspeaker at the base of an atmospheric co-flow burner with resulting velocity oscillation amplitudes, u'/Uavg in the 0.03-0.30 range. The dependence of flame dynamics on the relative richness of the flame is investigated by studying various constant fuel flow rate flame configurations. The effect of varying fuel flow rates on the flame response is also examined using with dynamic time-dependent fuel supply rates over the data acquisition period. The Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) method is used to study the isothermal flow field associated with acoustic pulsing. The acoustic impedance, wavelet analysis, Rayleigh criteria and phase conditioning methods are used to identify fundamental mechanisms common to highly responsive flame configurations.


If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at

Graduation Date



Basu, Saptarshi


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering








Release Date

August 2010

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)