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Diode-laser absorption sensor for line-of-sight gas temperature distributions

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Abstract

Line-of-sight diode-laser absorption techniques have been extended to enable temperature measurements in nonuniform-property flows. The sensing strategy for such flows exploits the broad wavelength-scanning abilities (>1.7 nm ≈ 30 cm-1) of a vertical cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) to interrogate multiple absorption transitions along a single line of sight. To demonstrate the strategy, a VCSEL-based sensor for oxygen gas temperature distributions was developed. A VCSEL beam was directed through paths containing atmospheric-pressure air with known (and relatively simple) temperature distributions in the 200–700 K range. The VCSEL was scanned over ten transitions in the R branch of the oxygen A band near 760 nm and optionally over six transitions in the P branch. Temperature distribution information can be inferred from these scans because the line strength of each probed transition has a unique temperature dependence; the measurement accuracy and resolution depend on the details of this temperature dependence and on the total number of lines scanned. The performance of the sensing strategy can be optimized and predicted theoretically. Because the sensor exhibits a fast time response (∼30 ms) and can be adapted to probe a variety of species over a range of temperatures and pressures, it shows promise for industrial application.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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