A great deal of interest lies in detonative combustion due to its destructive potential and the theoretical thermodynamic advantages over traditional deflagration devices used for propulsion and energy. High energy materials and explosives combustion products and temperature must be characterized to gain greater insight into the energy release mechanisms, allowing for more tailored deployment. Predictive models for detonations employ various types of state equations, and temperature can be used as a check on the equation validity. However, the extreme environment of explosives is incredibly challenging to evaluate temperature. Additionally, these reactions are extremely fast, taking place over microseconds, and have an extremely large dynamic range, with pressures and temperatures exceeding 30 bar and 3000 K, respectively. For harnessing detonations for energy and propulsion, rotating detonation engines (RDEs) have received much attention due to their simple design and ability to be fed continuously. Many of the same challenges faced in characterizing explosive detonation are encountered in the flowfield of RDEs. These devices require fast measurements (MHz) in extreme environments, which allow the development of better models. The work discussed in this dissertation presents the development and demonstration of laser absorption spectroscopy (LAS) sensors for the characterization of detonative flows in an RDE and high-explosive material's fireballs. The development cycle is discussed, including selecting the target gases, line selection, system design, validation, and demonstration. Temperature and H2O measurements within the detonation channel of a CH4/Air fired RDE are presented, which show incomplete detonation combustion and a secondary combustion mode from unreacted products.
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Vasu Sumathi, Subith
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Thurmond, Kyle, "Applied Laser Absorption Spectroscopy for Sensing in Detonative Flows" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 816.