Ultraviolet (UV) Laser Implementation, Signal Model, and Measurement Sensitivities in Filtered Rayleigh Scattering for Aerodynamic Flows

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Virginia Tech


Filtered Rayleigh scattering (FRS) is a non-intrusive, optical measurement technique that can currently provide time-averaged, simultaneous planar measurements of three-component velocity, static temperature, and static density of aerodynamic flows. Development of the FRS technique has typically employed 532 nm Nd:YAG lasers coupled with the use of iodine vapor cells as the molecular filter. One method to improve the effective signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and therefore the performance of an FRS system, is to use shorter wavelengths. This takes advantage of the dependence of the Rayleigh scattering signal on the inverse of the wavelength of the incident laser light to the fourth power: even small shifts to shorter wavelengths can offer significant gains in SNR as a result. This study explores the implementation of an ultraviolet (UV) FRS system nominally at 387 nm with the use cesium vapor as the molecular filter. The cesium absorption lineshapes (corresponding to the 62S1/2 → 82P3/2 atomic transitions around 387 nm) are considered along with camera specifications to simulate an ultraviolet filtered Rayleigh scattering (UV FRS) measurement of aerodynamic flows. A signal model is developed using numerical functions for the cesium vapor cell transmission, camera specifications, signal-dependent shot noise, and signal-independent electronic detector read noise. Using this noise-inclusive model (over a 2.4 GHz scan bandwidth with a 7.5 cm long cesium vapor cell corresponding to current Virginia Tech FRS capabilities) velocity, static temperature, and static density measurement sensitivities for this proposed configuration are analyzed by evaluating and deriving the Cramér-Rao lower bound (CRLB) for each quantity. The effects of different flow conditions, Mie and geometric scattering levels, cesium vapor cell temperature, and spectral resolution are demonstrated. It is found that the best possible theoretical measurement results are obtained for high-speed wind tunnel flow conditions with high spectral resolution, and that the CRLB for velocity, static temperature, and static density for a 387 nm system approaches or exceeds that of a 532 nm system for a given signal-to-noise ratio (SNR).



Filtered Rayleigh Scattering, Optical Diagnostics, Lasers, Ultraviolet, Aerodynamic Flows