Lean flame blowout is investigated experimentally within a high-speed combustor to analyze the temporal extinction dynamics of turbulent premixed bluff body stabilized flames. The lean blowout process is induced through fuel flow reduction and captured temporally using simultaneous high-speed particle imaging velocimetry (PIV) and CH* chemiluminescence. The evolution of the flame structure, flow field, and the resulting strain rate along the flame are analyzed throughout extinction to distinguish the physical mechanisms of blowout. Flame-vortex dynamics are found to be the main driving mechanism of flame extinction; namely, a reduction of flame-generated vorticity coupled with an increase of downstream shear layer vorticity. The vorticity dynamics are linked to hydrodynamic instabilities that vary as a function of the decreasing equivalence ratio. Frequency analysis is performed to characterize the dynamical changes of the hydrodynamic instability modes during flame extinction. Additionally, various bluff body inflow velocity regimes are investigated to further characterize the extinction instability modes. Both equivalence ratio and flow-driven instabilities are captured through a universal definition of the Strouhal number for the reacting bluff body flow. Finally, a Karlovitz number-based criterion is developed to consistently predict the onset of global extinction for different inflow velocity regimes.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Ahmed, Kareem


Bachelor Science in Aerospace Engineering (B.S.A.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Orlando (Main) Campus



Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Release Date

August 2023