Combustor Exhaust Temperature Nonuniformity Sensing Using Diode Laser Absorption

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Palaghita, Tudor I.
Seitzman, Jerry M.
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This thesis describes the development of a sensing technique for temperature nonuniformity along the line of sight through combustion exhaust, geared for gas turbine applications. Tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy is used to measure three absorption lines and compute a variable to characterize the level of temperature nonuniformity along the laser path. Nonuniformity information is obtained from one line of sight sensor because the absorption has a nonlinear dependence on temperature. This dependence is analyzed to determine the behaviour, shape, and response of absorption lines measured through mediums with nonuniform temperature profiles. Based on this analysis a new line selection process for nonuniformity sensing is developed. A sensor for temperature nonuniformity is proposed and demonstrated through computer simulations and experiments in the exhaust of a laboratory-scale combustor. The nonuniformity variable, U, is shown to monotonically track the level of temperature nonuniformity along the laser path. The capabilities of this sensing technique are determined based on a comprehensive analysis of errors and their effect on sensor performance. Methods to mitigate these errors are described, and the overall sensor capability is determined based on the characteristics of state of the art diode laser and absorption sensor technology. Such a sensor is capable of measuring minimum temperature deviations of 17% or more, which is well within the needed capabilities for industrial applications. Furthermore, the results and knowledge presented in this thesis apply to other absorption based sensing techniques.
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