Transient temperature measurement of unburned gas using optical heterodyne interferometry

Nobuyuki Kawahara, Eiji Tomita, Hiroshi Kamakura

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1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper demonstrates an application of the optical heterodyne interferometry, a laser-based technique for measuring the temperature history of gas in combustion devices, such as internal combustion engines. The technique is based on refractive index measurements using laser interferometry along a line of sight. The temperature history of gas can be determined from the pressure history in the combustion chamber, the gas composition, and the laser interference intensity. A polarization-preserving fiber was used to deliver the test beam to and from the test section to improve the feasibility of the system as a sensor probe. The temperature of the unburned mixture in the end-gas region of a constant volume combustion chamber and in an engine cylinder were measured during flame propagation. The accuracy of the measurement and the feasibility of this system are discussed. The measurement accuracy of our system was sufficient to be applied to temperature history measurement of an unburned gas compressed by flame propagation in an engine cylinder. The uncertainty of this method is within ± 10 K. The resolution of the temperature measurement was approximately 0.5 K, and was dependent upon both the sampling clock speed of the A/D converter and the length of the test section. This optical heterodyne interferometry system may also be used for other applications that require a fast response time to measure the density and pressure of a gas, and thereby obtain a transient temperature record.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-235
Number of pages7
JournalNippon Kikai Gakkai Ronbunshu, B Hen/Transactions of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Part B
Issue number677
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2003


  • Heterodyne interferometry
  • Laser-aided diagnostics
  • Optical fiber
  • Optical measurement
  • Transient temperature of gas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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