Abstract

The development and demonstration of a four-color single-ended mid-infrared tunable laser-absorption sensor for simultaneous measurements of H2O, CO2, CO, and temperature in combustion flows is described. This sensor operates by transmitting laser light through a single optical port and measuring the backscattered radiation from within the combustion device. Scanned-wavelength-modulation spectroscopy with second-harmonic detection and first-harmonic normalization (scanned-WMS-2f/1f) was used to account for variable signal collection and nonabsorption losses in the harsh environment. Two tunable diode lasers operating near 2551 and 2482 nm were utilized to measure H2O concentration and temperature, while an interband cascade laser near 4176 nm and a quantum cascade laser near 4865 nm were used for measuring CO2 and CO, respectively. The lasers were modulated at either 90 or 112 kHz and scanned across the peaks of their respective absorption features at 1 kHz, leading to a measurement rate of 2 kHz. A hybrid demultiplexing strategy involving both spectral filtering and frequency-domain demodulation was used to decouple the backscattered radiation into its constituent signals. Demonstration measurements were made in the exhaust of a laboratory-scale laminar methane-air flat-flame burner at atmospheric pressure and equivalence ratios ranging from 0.7 to 1.2. A stainless steel reflective plate was placed 0.78 cm away from the sensor head within the combustion exhaust, leading to a total absorption path length of 1.56 cm. Detection limits of 1.4% H2O, 0.6% CO2, and 0.4% CO by mole were reported. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this work represents the first demonstration of a mid-infrared laser-absorption sensor using a single-ended architecture in combustion flows.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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