We describe the development of a room-temperature diode sensor for in situ monitoring of combustion-generated NO. The sensor is based on a near-IR diode laser operating near 1.8 µm, which probes isolated transitions in the second overtone (3,0) absorption band of NO. Based on absorption cell data, the sensitivity for ambient atmospheric pressure conditions is of the order of 30 parts in 106 by volume for a meter path (ppmv–m), assuming a minimum measurable absorbance of 10-5. Initial H2 –air flame measurements are complicated by strong water vapor absorption features that constrain the available gain and dynamic range of the present detection system. Preliminary results suggest that detection limits in this environment of the order of 140 ppmv–m could be achieved with optimum baseline correction.
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