Near-infrared diode laser absorption sensor for rapid measurements of temperature and water vapor in a shock tube

H. Li*, Aamir Farooq, J. B. Jeffries, R. K. Hanson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


A fast-response (100 kHz) tunable diode laser absorption sensor is developed for measurements of temperature and H2O concentration in shock tubes, e.g. for studies of combustion chemistry. Gas temperature is determined from the ratio of fixed-wavelength laser absorption of two H 2O transitions near 7185.60 cm-1 and 7154.35 cm -1, which are selected using design rules for the target temperature range of 1000-2000 K and pressure range of 1-2 atm. Wavelength modulation spectroscopy is employed with second-harmonic detection (WMS-2f) to improve the sensor sensitivity and accuracy. Normalization of the second-harmonic signal by the first-harmonic signal is used to remove the need for calibration and minimize interference from emission, scattering, beam steering, and window fouling. The laser modulation depth for each H2O transition is optimized to maximize the WMS-2f signal for the target test conditions. The WMS-2f sensor is first validated in mixtures of H2O and Ar in a heated cell for the temperature range of 500-1200 K (P=1 atm), yielding an accuracy of 1.9% for temperature and 1.4% for H2O concentration measurements. Shock wave tests with non-reactive H2O-Ar mixtures are then conducted to demonstrate the sensor accuracy (1.5% for temperature and 1.4% for H2O concentration) and response time at higher temperatures (1200-1700 K, P=1.3-1.6 atm).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-416
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Physics B: Lasers and Optics
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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