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Research Activities


The Lasers, Flames, and Aerosols (LFA) research group studies problems that include nearly any intersection of the three aspects in the LFA name. Sprays and spray combustion, laser measurements of soot aerosol formation and dynamics, laser ignition of methane hydrates, spectroscopic evauation of flames under the influence of electric fields and near surfaces, are just a few recent examples.

Research Approach


Simplified systems are developed that mimic a specific behavior of interest from a more complex  practical. Thedominant physical process in the realistic system are extracted from the fundamental understanding obtained from advanced diagnostics and analysis applies to the laboratory scale experiments. Examples include counterflow and coflow burners for nonpremixed flame study, small reciprocating engines, droplet stream flames, and high pressure chamber. In many cases, numerical simulations are developed in conjunction with the experiments to provide insight into influencing factors. Although our motivation is always an improved understanding of a practical systems, diagnostic tool implementations needed to meet these goals are concurrently being evaluated to prove flexibility and accuracy in non-ideal settings.

Optical Diagnostics

LDV, PIV, PCSV, PLIF, CARS, absorption, chemiluminescence, interferometry, thin fliament and soot pyrometry, schlerien, high speed videography, shadowgraphy, particle light scattering, holography, and ballistic imaging.


Preparations continue for a NASA microgravity experiment aboard the International Space Station to enhance our understanding of the role chemi-ions play in hydrocarbon flames. Tentative launch date is now late 2016.

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