Abstract

Sodium fluorescence induced by a narrow-bandwidth tunable laser has been used to measure temperature, pressure, axial velocity, and species concentrations in wind tunnels, rocket engine exhausts, and the upper atmosphere. Optical pumping of the ground states of the sodium, however, can radically alter the shape of the laser-induced fluorescence excitation spectrum, complicating such measurements. Here a straightforward extension of rate equations originally proposed to account for the features of the pumped spectrum is used to make temperature measurements from spectra taken in pumped vapor. Also determined from the spectrum is the relative fluorescence cycle number, which has application to measurement of diffusion rate and transverse flow velocity. The accuracy of both the temperature and the cycle-number measurements is comparable with that of temperature measurements made in the absence of pumping.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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