Laser Imaging of Turbine Engine Combustion Species (LITECS)

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


The ultimate ambition of the proposed research programme is reduced environmental impact of aviation and power generating gas turbine engines. Serious emissions reduction can only come from better understanding and modelling of the combustion and emissions generation processes and the roles of different fuels. Several disruptive chemical and particulate species measurement methods will be developed for detailed combustion zone and exhaust characterisation. These transformational new measurement capabilities will be applied to establishing, for the first, time the spatial and temporal evolution of combustion species and unwanted emissions within the engines. Such measurements will inform new understanding of the combustion and emissions generation processes and enable new technical strategies to ultimately deliver improved engine and fuel technologies for reduced emissions.

Planned Impact

The most significant long term impact for society as a whole will be reduced environmental damage arising from aviation and power generating gas turbine engines (GTEs) manufactured in the UK. This programme will be crucial to reducing emissions from aviation and industrial gas turbine engines (GTEs) and thus to meeting ever more stringent emissions targets. This in turn will help maintain and improve the competitiveness of UK GTE industries with significant impact on the supply chain and the UK economy as a whole. Impact will be ensured through the close involvement of our end user partners, Rolls-Royce and Siemens, both manufacturers of GTEs. Both have committed significant resources to enhance the measurement programmes and advance the technologies towards routine commercial application. In particular Rolls-Royce have committed to partnering the consortium in further funding applications to develop the innovations to higher technology readiness levels (TRL)
Academic impact will arise from the new measurement systems installed at the National Centre for Combustion Aero-thermal Technologies (NCCAT) and the Low Carbon Combustion Centre (LCCC) and measurement programmes carried out there will inform the understanding of of combustion and emissions generation processes. At a more fundamental level, successful spectroscopic measurements require knowledge of the fundamental spectral parameters of the target gases at temperatures experienced in the application. This knowledge does not exist at present and measurement of these parameters will be included in the programme. Our measurements will be submitted to the International HITRAN and HiTemp data bases for use by others far into the future. Furthermore, the novel measurement technologies will have other applications such as in fuel cells, chemical reactors and open flame combustion systems for power generation. Finally, there will be a significant skills legacy in the training of ten PDRAs and about 12 or more doctoral students in areas of advanced instrumentation and GTE combustion systems. There will be extensive engagement with at least two CDTs in Applied Photonics and Future Propulsion and Power.


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