Measurements of the radiant emission in the near infrared have been obtained in a spark-ignition engine over a wide range of operating conditions. The system includes an in-cylinder optical sensor and associated detector. Prior work has shown correlations between the measured radiance and pressure quantities such as maximum cylinder pressure, crank angle of maximum pressure, and Indicated Mean Effective Pressure. Here are presented comparisons between the radiant intensity and a simplified model of the radiation emission, which demonstrate that the measured intensity is a function of the mass-burn fraction, mean burned-gas temperature, and the exposed combustion-chamber surface area. Further simplification leads to the conclusion that the time of the maximum rate of change of radiant intensity is the same as for the maximum heat-release rate, leading to the possibility of feedback control of spark timing. In addition, the magnitudes of the maximum rate of change of radiant emission and maximum heat-release rate have a linear relationship over a range of different operating conditions.

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