Experimental studies of oxygen-hydrogen and oxygen-methane fuels laser ignition in the ignition device by a semiconductor laser

Thermal engines, electric propulsion and power plants for flying vehicles


Rebrov S. G.1*, Golubev V. A.2**, Golikov A. N.1***, Morgunov A. E.2****

1. ,
2. Keldysh Research Centre, 8, Onezhskaya str., Moscow, 125438, Russia

*e-mail: rebrov_sergey@mail.ru
**e-mail: golubev.va@mail.ru
***e-mail: andgolikov@mail.ru
****e-mail: morgunov.alex@inbox.ru


The article describes the results of experimental work on the laser ignition of oxygen-hydrogen and oxygen-methane fuels in the ignition device. In the course of the studies, a semiconductor laser with the fiber output of radiation, which main designation consisted in its utilization as a radiation source for solid-state laser pumping, based on active YAG: Nd medium, was employed as the ignition energy source. While experimenting, the fuel mixture ignition resulted from the optical breakdown spark when laser radiation was being focused near the target surface located in the ignition device reaction cavity.

The main task of the experimental work was determining the fundamental possibility of semiconductor lasers application for the studied fuel mixtures ignition. Positive results of the experiments on both oxygen-hydrogen and oxygen-methane mixtures ignition at the maximum output energy parameters of the laser employed allowed proceed to the second stage of the study on determining the impact of the laser source and the ignition device operating characteristics changes on the possibility of both fuel pairs ignition. As a result, the data was obtained on the operating ranges of the output energy and laser pulse-repetition frequency, as well as consumption and excess coefficient of the oxidizer for the studied fuels, determining stable laser ignition.

In the course of the work carried out, the possibility of rocket fuels laser ignition from a semiconductor laser with a fiber output was demonstrated, which application will reduce the requirements for thermal stabilization and facilitates the vibration isolation of the ignition system when placed on board a spacecraft.


laser ignition, laser diode, optical fiber, semiconductor laser, ignition device, oxygen-hydrogen, oxygen-methane


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