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University of Virginia School of Engineering Offers Breakthrough in Laser Diagnostics, Advancing Supersonic Flight

1215 Days ago

Cutting-edge laser techniques enable more accurate, faster measurement of supersonic conditions

Charlottesville, Va., March 07, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The University of Virginia School of Engineering is at the forefront of high-speed flight performance and environmentally friendly engine design. Through the use of state-of-the-art laser spectroscopy and imaging diagnostics, UVA Engineering assistant professor Chloe Dedic can measure supersonic flight at a greater speed, with increased accuracy, and more time resolution than ever before.

“To characterize supersonic flight and combustion conditions, we need to make measurements with unprecedented speed and resolution,” said Dedic, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

“These new measurement techniques allow us to truly assess those conditions in the freestream and near aircraft surfaces, which in short, enable us to revolutionize aircraft design.”

In bridging the fields of mechanical and aerospace engineering, Dedic works to develop and improve transformative laser diagnostics capable of in situ measurements, such as femtosecond/picosecond coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering. By sampling gas molecules on the picosecond time scale, this spectroscopic technique can offer high-speed, high-resolution measurements of temperature, velocity, and pressure simultaneously.

These measurements then provide the field with comprehensive flow data that can be used to inform combustion, propulsion and fluid dynamics models; all of which are essential to improving aircraft design for supersonic and hypersonic flight.

Additionally, these laser measurements enable engineers to study the combustion process within aircraft engines and stationary power generation turbines, exploring opportunities to decrease fuel requirements and reduce harmful emissions. As a result, the aviation and power generation industries can use this data to transform gas turbine designs, paving the way for environmentally effective engines.

Dedic also brought her ideas and techniques to the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, in summer 2018, collaborating with nationally renowned research teams to investigate shock waves that emanate from supersonic vehicles. As a result of their collaboration, these measurement capabilities can be used to design future aircraft in a way that reduces sonic boom and mitigates costly damage.

“As the world population explodes, two of the biggest challenges facing our society today are managing limited fuel resources and minimizing the negative impact we have on our shared environment,” said Dedic.

“In using these cutting-edge laser techniques, we can develop aircrafts and combustion engines that reflect today’s environmental and energy needs--and make significant strides in addressing both of these worldwide challenges.”

Learn more about her transformative laser techniques, and its impact on aircraft and engine design, in the publication Optica.

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About UVA Engineering: As part of the top-ranked, comprehensive University of Virginia, UVA Engineering is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected engineering schools. Our mission is to make the world a better place by creating and disseminating knowledge and by preparing future engineering leaders. Outstanding students and faculty from around the world choose UVA Engineering because of our growing and internationally recognized education and research programs. UVA is the No. 1 public engineering school in the country for the percentage of women graduates, among schools with at least 75 degree earners; the No. 1 public engineering school in the United States for the four-year graduation rate of undergraduates students; and the top engineering school in the country for the rate of Ph.D. enrollment growth. Learn more at engineering.virginia.edu .

Wende Hope
University of Virginia School of Engineering

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