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RAP opportunity at Air Force Science and Technology Fellowship Program     AF STFP

Fundamental Combustion Kinetics Using Advanced Laser Diagnostics


US Air Force Academy, Aeronautical Research Center

opportunity location
13.04.01.C0497 US Air Force Academy, CO 808406200


name email phone
Mitchell D Hageman 515.451.7425


Liquid fuel hydrocarbon combustion dominates the transportation space, particularly within the US Air Force and in many aerospace applications. There is considerable cost, regulatory, and environmental pressure toward reducing liquid fuel consumption and converting to sustainable and alternative fuels. Combustion in practical propulsion systems involves interactions between fluid dynamics, heat transfer, thermodynamics and chemical kinetics in heterogeneous fuel-oxidizer mixtures of multicomponent hydrocarbon fuels at short timescales. Experimental needs in combustion kinetics include quantifying fuel ignition properties, identifying rate-limiting intermediate reactions, and providing rate coefficients required for computational modelling.

The US Air Force Academy operates a 60 atm maximum test pressure shock tube for fundamental combustion kinetics. The shock tube is a resource to the USAF, as well as a center for collaborations in combustion research across the Colorado front range and nationwide. The tube is instrumented for fuel and intermediate hydrocarbon sensing using absorption spectroscopy, and ignition delay via chemiluminescence and pressure. Additional experimental facilities include two full-scale jet engines, a detonation combustor, and a liquid fuel spray burner The suite of laser-based chemistry diagnostics available in the laboratory also includes Laser-Induced Fluorescence and a fourier transform infrared spectrometer.  

Complementary computational efforts through the high performance computing research center (HPCRC) augment experimental investigations.  Current computational combustion research includes scramjet and shock tube modeling.

Applicants interested in advanced laser diagnostics, combustion CFD, kinetic mechanism development, or experimental kinetics using shock tubes are encouraged to apply. 

key words
Chemical kinetics; laser diagnostics; Air-breathing propulsion; Gas turbine; Internal combustion engine; detonation; hypersonics; combustion modelling


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$95,000.00 $5,000.00

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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