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Opt Express. 2013 Feb 11;21(3):3617-26. doi: 10.1364/OE.21.003617.

Large-aperture, tapered fiber-coupled, 10-kHz particle-image velocimetry.

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  • 1Spectral Energies, LLC, 5100 Springfield Street, Suite 301, Dayton, Ohio 45431, USA.


We demonstrate the design and implementation of a fiber-optic beam-delivery system using a large-aperture, tapered step-index fiber for high-speed particle-image velocimetry (PIV) in turbulent combustion flows. The tapered fiber in conjunction with a diffractive-optical-element (DOE) fiber-optic coupler significantly increases the damage threshold of the fiber, enabling fiber-optic beam delivery of sufficient nanosecond, 532-nm, laser pulse energy for high-speed PIV measurements. The fiber successfully transmits 1-kHz and 10-kHz laser pulses with energies of 5.3 mJ and 2 mJ, respectively, for more than 25 min without any indication of damage. It is experimentally demonstrated that the tapered fiber possesses the high coupling efficiency (~80%) and moderate beam quality for PIV. Additionally, the nearly uniform output-beam profile exiting the fiber is ideal for PIV applications. Comparative PIV measurements are made using a conventionally (bulk-optic) delivered light sheet, and a similar order of measurement accuracy is obtained with and without fiber coupling. Effective use of fiber-coupled, 10-kHz PIV is demonstrated for instantaneous 2D velocity-field measurements in turbulent reacting flows. Proof-of-concept measurements show significant promise for the performance of fiber-coupled, high-speed PIV using a tapered optical fiber in harsh laser-diagnostic environments such as those encountered in gas-turbine test beds and the cylinder of a combustion engine.

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