Unburned gas temperature measurement in a spark-ignition engine using fibre-optic heterodyne interferometry

N. Kawahara, Eiji Tomita, H. Kamakura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


A fibre-optic heterodyne interferometry system was developed to obtain the temperature histories of an unburned mixture with high temporal resolution non-intrusively. In laser interferometry, the effective optical path length of the test beam changes with the gas density and corresponding changes of the refractive index. Therefore, the temperature history of an unburned gas can be determined from the pressure and phase shift of the heterodyne signal. A polarization-preserving fibre is 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 was measured during flame propagation. The accuracy of the measurements 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 a constant-volume combustion chamber. The uncertainty of this method is within 10 K. The resolution of the temperature measurement is approximately ‡ 0.5 K, and is dependent on both the sampling clock speed of the A/D converter and the length of the test section. This fibre-optic heterodyne interferometry system can also be used for other applications that require a transient temperature with a fast response time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-131
Number of pages7
JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2002


  • Fibre-optic heterodyne interferometry
  • Measurement accuracy
  • Spark-ignition engine
  • Temperature measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Mathematics


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