Abstract

Optical measurements in propellant flames are necessary to understand the combustion physics, yet these conditions provide challenges in probing the flame and may introduce uncertainty into the measurement. This work reports the use of simulations of an ammonium perchlorate propellant flame with finite rate chemistry to understand the role of ammonium perchlorate particle size and pressure on the uncertainty of imaging-based measurements on propellant flames. A two-dimensional ray tracing code was developed to incorporate the effects of the species concentration and temperature gradients on ray refraction within propellant flames. It was determined that the effects of the flame structure based upon pressure and oxidizer particle size increases the amount of ray deflection particularly at high pressures explaining a cause for challenges of aluminum agglomerate measurements at elevated pressure. This framework shows promise for understanding limitations and uncertainties of optical measurements for reacting and turbulent flows.

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