Progress is reported in the use of room-temperature, wavelength-tunable, solid-state mid-infrared (mid-IR) laser sensors for combustion and propulsion applications. Two such laser technologies have recently become commercially available: DFB tunable diode lasers near 2.7 μm and difference frequency generation (DFG) lasers near 3.3 μm. These lasers access the strong transitions in the fundamental O-H and C-H stretching vibrations as well as the ν13 and 2ν23 combination bands of CO2. These new laser sources provide the potential for sensitive detection of hydrocarbon fuels and combustion products H2O and CO2 in a wide variety of environments. Recent results in pulse detonation engines, laboratory flames, and shock-heated ignition experiments illustrate the potential of these tunable mid-IR laser sources for a wide variety of practical combustion applications.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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