Form 9.B Project Summary



Proposal Number:


Project Title:

Tunable UV Light Source for

Quantitative Microgravity Combustion


Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words)

Combustion studies in microgravity are critical to

ensuring the safety of personnel onboard space

craft as well as for improving our knowledge of

combustion phenomena. Under microgravity

conditions, flame ignition, propagation and

extinction become simplified due to the lack of

buoyancy. Quantitative monitoring of combustion

radicals, which control combustion kinetics although

present in trace quantities, is critical to

understanding of combustion and provides tests for

flame modeling. Many currently available

laboratory-based combustion diagnostics cannot be

adapted for microgravity experiments due to unique

space and power constraints. We propose

developing a near-UV laser source for quantitative

combustion radical diagnostics. The instrument will

measure absolute concentration distributions in

laminar and turbulent flames and will be compatible

with NASA Lewis drop tower rigs. Our approach

uses nonlinear upconversion of diode laser light to

measure simultaneously line-of-sight optical

absorbance and laser induced fluorescence images.

We target quantitative monitoring of CH and C2

radicals with 10 Hz (or better) time resolution per

two-dimensional LIF image. With the continued

development of high power diode lasers especially

at visible wavelengths, we envision this technique to

be readily extended to deeper UV wavelengths to

access other species including OH.

Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

The proposed technology could be used as a new

combustion diagnostic tool in wind tunnel

combustion facilities, development of new

generations of rocket and jet engines, and turbine

development. In environmental monitoring

applications, many important trace molecular and

atomic species can be probed by accessing strong

electronic transitions using tunable UV and blue

radiation generated by diode laser up conversion.

Such applications include continuous emissions

monitoring of stationary power plants and municipal

incinerators, and perimeter monitoring of chemical

plants and oil refineries.

Name and Address of Principal Investigator (Name,

Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Daniel B. Oh

Southwest Sciences, Inc.

1570 Pacheco St., Suite E-11

Santa Fe , NM 87505

Name and Address of Offeror (Firm Name, Mail Address,


Alan C. Stanton

Southwest Sciences, Inc.

1570 Pacheco St., Suite E-11

Santa Fe , NM 87505