FLITES: Fibre Laser Imaging of gas Turbine Exhaust Species

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Abstract

We propose to establish a world-leading capability in the measurement and imaging of molecular and particulate species in gas turbine aero-engine exhausts. The FLITES project proposed here will break new ground in the fundamental engineering knowledge base of measurement and imaging in the extreme environment of the turbine exhaust plume. It will enhance turbine-related R&D capacity in both academia and industry by opening up access to exhaust plume chemistry with penetrating spatio-temporal resolution. It will underpin a new phase of low-net-carbon development that is underway in aviation, based on bio-derived fuels, and which entails extensive R&D in turbine engineering, turbine combustion, and fuel product formulation.

There has never been a substantial investigation of the utility of emissions data to determine the condition and behaviour of internal engine components, especially the combustor. FLITES will open a new door to penetrate the complex phenomena that dictate the performance and limitations of advanced gas turbines, and will enable critical assessment of the performance of novel fuels. The project focuses on emissions of soot, unburned hydrocarbons (UHC) and NO, which are all regulated by certification authorities, and CO2, as a marker for assessment of individual fuel injection nozzle performance within the annular multi-nozzle combustor of an aero gas turbine.

FLITES builds upon the expertise of the UK's world-leading groups in fibre-lasers, gas-detection opto-electronics, and chemical species tomography (CST), allied to its industrial strengths in aero-engine manufacture and aviation fuel technology. High-power fibre-lasers, operating at wavelengths that give access to gaseous molecular species through vibrational-rotational absorption spectroscopy, offer radically new measurement architectures and sensitivity levels. FLITES will establish the new gas detection technology of Tunable Fibre-Laser Absorption Spectroscopy, TFLAS.

Soot will be imaged via the novel technique of near-IR continuous-wave laser-induced incandescence (CW-LII), in a planar tomographic set-up previously invented by the applicants for the fluorescence case. The high light output power available from the fibre-lasers to be demonstrated in FLITES will transform the logistics and sensitivity of CST with (relatively) large numbers of simultaneous measurement paths through the plume. Parallel threads of research will be facilitated by using near-IR diode lasers and existing mid-IR sources in single-path systems, which also mitigate against research risks. The techniques developed in the university laboratories will be implemented on a full-scale aero-engine mounted on a testbed at Rolls-Royce.

The consortium will work in intensive collaboration, directed by a management team that comprises the Principal Investigators of the three universities, two Rolls-Royce staff and one from Shell. Progress will be reviewed on a quarterly basis, and forward plans will be optimally adjusted on a half-yearly schedule.

FLITES will register strongly on all four of RCUK's major dimensions of impact:

- Knowledge economy: though stronger academic positions in fibre laser technology, gaseous measurement and imaging technology, and gas turbine diagnostics;

- Manufacturing economy: through improved gas turbine aero-engine technology, more incisive assessment of biofuel performance, development of commercial tomography and gas detection systems, and fibre lasers for gas sensing;

- Training: four PDRAs and two PhD students funded directly by FLITES, and further PhD students funded by the universities' DTA (or other) funds, and a number of staff in the partner companies;

- Society: by offering a radically new means to measure and characterise the emissions of low-level pollutants and CO2 from aero-engine turbines, making a substantial contribution towards achieving sustainable commercial aviation.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description 1. A validated instrumentation system and measurement procedure for determining path integrated chemical species (CO2 and NO) concentration and temperature along a single laser beam path across the exhaust plume of a gas turbine (aero) engine.

2. Construction, demonstration and validation, using phantoms, of a 126 beam tomographic system [each as in 1. above] to realise transverse (cross-section) images of chemical species concentration (CO2) in gas flows.
Exploitation Route Research ongoing
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Other

 
Description They have been used in a new H2020 Cleansky 2 Project to take the research findings from FLITES to Technology Readiness level 6 (TRL6) for further research and testing of Gas Turbine engines.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine
Impact Types Economic

 
Description CIDAR for CleanSky 2 (Combustion species Imaging Diagnostics for Aero-engine Research)
Amount £380,989 (GBP)
Funding ID 785539 - CIDAR 
Organisation European Commission H2020 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 03/2018 
End 08/2020
 
Description EPSRC Platform Grant
Amount £1,100,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/J002178/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2021
 
Description In-situ Chemical Measurement and Imaging Diagnostics for Energy Process Engineering
Amount £1,023,516 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P001661/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2021
 
Title Accurate Recovery of Absorption Line-Shapes Corrected for Laser Modulation Characteristics 
Description Data corresponds to the contents of this paper. The paper describes novel methods for recovery of absorption line-shapes using fist harmonic phase sensitive detection techniques.The effect of laser modulation parameters on the recovery of absolute absorption line-shapes using the phasor decomposition method(PDM) is discussed. The theory of laser modulation is discussed from the perspective of wavelength modulation spectroscopy. The paper also demonstrates how the PDM approach can be improved by removing the need to pre-set the orientation of the lock-in axis, making it more suitable for field applications. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Not recorded 
 
Title Demonstration of calibration-free WMS measurement of gas parameters with in-situ real-time characterization of laser parameters using cw-DFB-QCL, VCSEL and DFB lasers 
Description Experimental data showing the characterisation of a QCL laser used for the measurement of NO and a comparison of an experimentlly obtained NO signal with a wavelength modulation modelling methodology. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Not Applicable 
 
Title Measurement of CO2 Concentration and Temperature in an Aero Engine Exhaust Plume Using Wavelength Modulation Spectroscopy 
Description Resultant data of work carried out in preparation for measurement of carbon dioxide in an aero-engine exhaust plume and the results of a single channel measurement. Further details on the files can be found in the Read_me file provided. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Unknown 
 
Description Joint research with University of Manchester 
Organisation University of Manchester
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Strathclyde researchers worked on this project with researchers from University of Manchester
Start Year 2012
 
Description Joint research with University of Southampton 
Organisation University of Southampton
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Strathclyde researchers worked on this project with researchers from University of Southampton
Start Year 2012
 
Description Joint research with University of Southampton 
Organisation University of Southampton
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Strathclyde researchers worked on this project with researchers from University of Southampton
Start Year 2012
 
Description Project partnership with Optosci Ltd 
Organisation Optosci Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Optosci Ltd worked with the research team and assisted/contributed to the project outcomes
Start Year 2012
 
Description Project partnership with Rolls-Royce PLC 
Organisation Rolls Royce Group Plc
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Rolls-Royce PLC worked with the research team and assisted/contributed to the project outcomes
Start Year 2012
 
Description Project partnership with Shell UK 
Organisation Shell International Petroleum
Department Shell UK Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Shell UK worked with the research team and assisted/contributed to the project outcomes
Start Year 2012