Theory, Modeling, and Measurements of Gas Plumes


Spectroscopic measurements of infrared CO2 transitions in gas plumes are reported, and evaluated for their potential to yield a reliable remote sensing technique for determination of plume temperature. Measurements were made on two types of plumes: a sideways-directed plume from a vehicle exhaust, and a stack plume from a propane-burning portable plume generator. Modeling of CO2 emission near 4.25 tm from the portable plume generator does not yield a temperature diagnostic due to heavy and unpredictable atmospheric absorption. The 4.25 jim band is optically thick in the vehicle exhaust plume measurements. For the vehicle plume, the blackbody Planck equation is used to derive temperatures that agree with results of thermocouple measurements. The ratio of optically thin signals obtained in the vicinity of the 4.25 im and 14.4 im transitions is related to temperature in accordance with Boltzmann statistics. For these experimental conditions, the ratio calculated from the Boltzmann distribution has similar temperature dependence to the ratio obtained from the blackbody Planck equation. Because the ratio of signals obtained at two optically thin wavelengths is independent of concentration, this technique has promise for field measurement of plume temperatures.

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