Heat release rate responses to inlet fuel modulations, i.e., the flame transfer function (FTF), are measured for a turbulent, liquid-fueled, swirl-stabilized lean direct fuel injection combustor. Fuel modulations are achieved using a motor-driven rotary fuel valve designed specially for this purpose, which is capable of fuel modulations of up to 1 kHz. Small-amplitude fuel modulations, typically below 2.0% of the mean fuel, are applied in this study. There is almost no change in FTFs at different fuel-modulation amplitudes, implying that the derived FTFs are linear and that the induced heat release rate oscillations mainly respond to variations in the instantaneous fuel flow rate rather than in the droplet size and distribution. The gain and phases of the FTFs at different air flow rates and preheat temperatures are examined. The instantaneous fuel flow rate is determined from pressure measurements upstream of a fuel nozzle. Applications of the FTF to modeling and control of combustion instability and lean blowout are discussed.

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