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High-Performance Combustion Engines

a digital rendering showing combustion inside an engine
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In the Hanson Group, we work in close collaboration with industry partners to develop laser sensors for use in high-performance internal combustion engines.

Laser sensors are advantageous for studying the dynamic conditions found in engines due to their high measurement rates, which can be orders of magnitude faster than commercially available sensors. For example, the temperature sensor we developed for this work has a measurement rate approximately 100 times greater than a bare thermocouple. In addition to temperature, our group has developed sensors that measure pressure, humidity, and fuel vapor in the intake of an engine. These sensors use advanced measurement techniques to overcome challenges such as vibration and fuel spray and produce a wealth of high-quality data.

measurements taken while running an engine for 31 cycles
Laser-measured temperature, pressure, and water mole fraction in the intake of a high-performance engine averaged over 31 engine cycles. Shaded areas show ±1σ cycle-to-cycle variation. Adapted from [1].

To learn more, check out some of our publications:

[1] Cassady, S. J., Cha, D. H., Pinkowski, N. H., Strand, C. L., Hanson, R. K., Ferlet, X., French, B., Mernone, B. J., Gilmour, A., and Stitt, J. M.,  “An in situ laser-absorption sensor for crank angle-resolved temperature, pressure, and humidity in intake-runner flows,” SAE International Journal of Engines, Vol. 14, No. 4 (2021) pp. 551–567. DOI: 10.4271/03-14-04-0034