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Short Pulsed Laser Methods for Velocimetry and Thermometry in High Enthalpy Facilities, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

A suite of laser-based diagnostics is proposed to measure velocity and temperature simultaneously using unseeded techniques in high enthalpy flows relevant to reentry flight. The two main types of regions that are found in a typical hypersonic flow field around a vehicle are addressed by developing separate diagnostics for each. In regions far from the body where the flow is mostly non-dissociated, femtosecond laser electronic excitation tagging (FLEET) is proposed for velocity combined with planar Rayleigh scattering to measure temperature via the imaging of an acoustic wave triggered by the FLEET pulse. In the highly dissociated region near the stagnation point of the reentry body, either backward air lasing or radar REMPI will be applied to spectrally resolve a transition of atomic oxygen. The latter two techniques use the same two-photon excitation scheme, but backward air lasing relies on a population inversion induced in the measurement volume, and radar REMPI relies on the microwave interrogation of an induced plasma. The goal of the Phase I study will be to determine which of these two techniques provides the best signal-to-noise ratios in the dissociated regions, and to establish the performance of the combined FLEET/Rayleigh scattering method in the non-dissociated regions. More »

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