Monitoring strand burner combustion products using emission spectroscopy Conference Paper uri icon


  • Emission spectroscopy can be used to monitor the combustion products of solid rocket propellant to look for the existence of certain species within the flame zone, to provide details on the behavior of novel propellant mixtures, and to determine the flame temperature. The current study details the implementation of a compact spectrometer to investigate the visible and near IR emission generated from AP/HTPB propellant samples with and without aluminum. The grating was blazed for a wavelength range from 200 to 800 nm, and the spectrometer system provides a time resolution of 1 ms. Each propellant sample was burned in a strand burner at elevated pressures (20 - 150 atm). AU spectra showed a broad, parabolic emission as a function of wavelength between about 400 and 850 nm along with lines from some common pollutants, namely Na, K, and Ca. Through a separate characterization of the spectrometer response and application of basic theory, it was determined that the broadband emission feature must be due to thermal radiation from the condensed species in the propellant flame. The shape and intensity of this emission feature are temperature dependent, so the spectrometer diagnostic can be utilized to monitor the average flame temperature with an estimated accuracy of 50-100 K.

author list (cited authors)

  • Petersen, E., Arvanetes, J., LePage, A., Carro, R., & Powell, A.

publication date

  • December 2007