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Appl Opt. 1993 Oct 20;32(30):6117-27. doi: 10.1364/AO.32.006117.

Laser-induced fluorescence diagnostic for temperature and velocity measurements in a hydrogen arcjet plume.


A diagnostic has been developed to measure velocity and translational temperature in the plume of a 1-kW-class arcjet thruster operating on hydrogen. Laser-induced fluorescence with a narrow-band cw laser is used to probe the Balmer α transition of excited atomic hydrogen. The velocity is determined from the Doppler shift of the fluorescence excitation spectrum, whereas the temperature is inferred from the lineshape. Analysis shows that although Doppler broadening is the only significant broadening mechanism, the fine structure of the transition must be taken into account. Near the exit plane, axial velocities vary from 4 to 14 km/s, radial velocities vary from 0 to 4 km/s, and swirl velocities are shown to be relatively small. Temperatures from 1000 to 5000 K indicate high dissociation fractions.

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