The feasibility of an innovative minimally intrusive sensor for monitoring the hot gas stream at the turbine inlet in high performance aircraft gas turbine engines was demonstrated. The sensor uses passive fiber-optical probes and a remote readout device to collect and analyze the spatially resolved spectral signature of the hot gas in the combustor/turbine flowpaths. Advanced information processing techniques are used to extract the average temperature, temperature pattern factor, and chemical composition on a sub-second time scale. Temperatures and flame composition were measured in a variety of combustion systems including a high pressure, high temperature combustion cell. Algorithms for real-time temperature measurements were developed and demonstrated. This approach should provide a real-time temperature profile, temperature pattern factor, and chemical species sensing capability for multi-point monitoring of high temperature and high pressure flow at the combustor exit with application as an engine development diagnostic tool, and ultimately, as a real-time active control component for high performance gas turbines.

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