A fast sensor for non-intrusive measurement of concentration and temperature in turbine exhaust

Rui Zhang, Jiangnan Xia, Ihab Ahmed, Andrew Gough, Ian Armstrong, Abhishek Upadhyay, Yalei Fu, Godwin Enemali, Michael Lengden, Walter Johnstone, Paul Wright, Krikor Ozanyan, Mohamed Pourkashanian, Hugh McCann, Chang Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Accurate and rapid measurement of water vapor concentration and temperature in the exhaust of gas turbine engines is critical for monitoring their health and operational performance. To monitor the two parameters simultaneously, a non-intrusive sensor based on tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy is developed using 8 laser beams targeting 3 transitions of water vapor. The sensor has in situ validated on a commercial auxiliary power unit. Seven parallel laser beams at 5000.2 cm-1 are 6.3 mm spaced at the plume boundary to characterize the edge effect between hot exhaust plume and cold surrounding flow. One beam, operating at the dual wavenumbers of 7185.6 cm-1 and 7444.4 cm-1 penetrates the plume through centerline to measure temperature via ratio thermometry and then use this temperature information to obtain the concentration of water vapor. A temporal resolution of 4 milliseconds is achieved for the 8-beam measurement, enabling high-speed and simultaneous quantification of the edge effects and the plume parameters. Results indicate water vapor concentration and temperature in the exhaust measured by the developed sensor are highly consistent with the traditional benchmarks, e.g., extractive sampling and thermocouples, with a difference of 0.02% and 3°C, respectively. Enabled by its continuous millisecond-level measurements, the sensor, for the first time, reveals hidden engine behaviors and combustion dynamics that are unable to be observed by the traditional methods, thus facilitating next-generation real-time gas turbine engine control towards low emissions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number134500
Number of pages15
JournalSensors and Actuators B: Chemical
Early online date23 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • gas turbine engine
  • exhaust plume
  • water vapor
  • temperature


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