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Center Innovation Fund: LaRC CIF

Multi-Parameter Measurement in Unseeded Flows using Femtosecond Lasers

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Multi-Parameter Measurement in Unseeded Flows using Femtosecond Lasers
Our approach is to use new turn-key femtosecond laser technology along with new high-speed CMOS camera technology to build a multi-parameter measurement system based on the Princeton-discovered Femtosecond Laser Electronic Excitation and Tagging (FLEET) technique. Our partners at Princeton and others have recently begun using FLEET to study combustion environments and hypersonic flows. We at NASA realized that FLEET was ideally suited for transonic cryogenic facilities like Langley's National Transonic Facility (NTF) and we discovered that the signal intensity scales directly with density near atmospheric conditions, meaning that it works even better under cryo conditions than at room temperature. Another innovative aspect has been to use high-speed camera acquisition technology, allowing velocity, acceleration and pathlines to be measured from each laser excitation pulse. We have recently demonstrated such measurements in attached and separated airfoil flows in the Langley 0.3 meter cryo tunnel which is the pilot facility for NTF. One goal for this year is to analyze and evaluate this airfoil data. Another is to improve our ability to measure temperature with the technique, having demonstrated a rudimentary method this past year. Finally we will investigate how well the technique works in supersonic and hypersonic flows this year. Funding from another program (ARMD AETC) is being used to implement optical access into the NTF for future measurements. SBIR funding is supporting our partner company to investigate alternate versions of FLEET called STARFLEET, which uses less energy thereby perturbing the flow less, and PLEET which uses a picosecond laser which can operate at ~100 kHz (about 100x faster than FLEET). After this year we anticipate bringing the FLEET, STARFLEET and PLEET technologies to NTF to study the freestream and also flowfields around vehicles. More »

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