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Measurements and Theory of Signal-to-Noise Ratio of FT-IR Emission Spectrometry Applied to High-Pressure Solid Propellant Combustion

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Solid propellant combustion studies at high pressures (500-50,000 psi) must be conducted with a high spatial resolution in order to resolve the species concentration and flame temperature profiles. Such studies are often performed in specifically designed experimental facilities, including chimney-type strand burners. To successfully carry out FT-IR emission spectrometry of products from the combustion of small propellant strands, one is required to perform a critical assessment of the achievable signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). In this work, an analytical expression for the SNR of FT-IR emission spectrometry limited to detector noise has been derived. The expression is specifically applied for the v 3 fundamental band of CO2 and in the optically thick limit verified by experiments. The results from the application of the theory show that a spatial resolution on the order of 200 μm should yield SNRs of 100 or larger at the center of the considered band for the anticipated temperatures of high-pressure solid propellant combustion. Measurements of emission spectra of combustion products of a homogeneous solid propellant, NOSOL-363, have also been performed at one atmosphere total pressure to show that an 800-μm spatial resolution may be sufficient to deduce species concentration and temperature profiles.

Keywords: Analytical methods; Fourier transform infrared emission spectroscopy; High pressure

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802

Publication date: July 1, 1992

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