An optimal system for temperature measurements by coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy (CARS) in turbulent flames and flows is presented. In addition to a single-mode pump laser and a modeless dye laser, an echelle spectrometer with a cross disperser is used. This system permits simultaneous measurement of the N2 CARS spectrum and the broadband dye laser profile. A procedure is developed to use software to transform this profile into the excitation profile by which the spectrum is referenced. Simultaneous shot-to-shot referencing is compared to sequential averaged referencing for data obtained in flat flames and in room air. At flame temperatures, the resultant 1.5% imprecision is limited by flame fluctuations, indicating that the system may have a single-shot imprecision below 1%. At room temperature, the 3.8% single-shot imprecision is of the same order as the best values reported for dual-broadband pure-rotational CARS. Using the unique shot-to-shot excitation profiles, simultaneous referencing eliminates systematic errors. At 2000 and 300 K, the 95% confidence intervals are estimated to be ±20 and ±10 K, respectively.
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