Chemical Species and Temperature Tomography for Aerospace Combustion Diagnostics

Applications are invited for a postgraduate research position leading to a PhD degree in Electrical Engineering in the Institute for Digital Communications within the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh.

Chemical Species Tomography (CST) is a diagnostic modality for gases and other optically transparent fluids. Using measurements and models of spectroscopic absorption and laser attenuation it is considered as an effective solution for in-situ imaging of the con- centration of chemical species such as pollutants in the exhaust plumes of gas turbines, aviation engines and power generators. Its application in the aerospace sector is motivated by the need to provide combustion diagnostics for jet engines in order to prevent malfunction and failure. At the same time, CST provides an adjunct tool for assessing the performance and environmental footprint of alternative, cleaner aviation fuels.

The aim of this project is develop robust image reconstruction algorithms, inclusive of software coding and algorithmic analysis, for simultaneous, quantitative imaging of the Carbon dioxide concentration and temperature of a turbulent gas plume from a limited number of broadband modulation spectroscopy measurements. These data are linked to the sought concentration and temperature profiles through a nonlinear light transport equation that needs to be analysed and modelled so that to gauge what features of the two images are feasible to reconstruct. Some initial work on the topic involves regularisation methods for ill-posed inverse problems, but desirable alternative avenues may include statistical Bayesian inversion and image uncertainty quantification.

Further Information: 

The project will benefit from the collaboration with other members of the agile tomography group as well as several external academic and industrial collaborators in aviation and fuel sectors. Some relevant information can be found in our two recent publications:

  • [1] N. Polydorides et al., An efficient approach for limited-data chemical species tomography and its error bounds, Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 2017
  • [2] N. Polydorides et al., Optical absorption tomography for Carbon Dioxide concentration imaging, International conference on inverse problems in engineering, 2017
  • [3] R. K. Hanson et al., Spectroscopy and optical diagnostics for gases, Springer, 2016

Closing Date: 

Sunday, December 31, 2017
Chemical Species and Temperature Tomography for Aerospace Combustion Diagnostics
Chemical Species and Temperature Tomography for Aerospace Combustion Diagnostics

Principal Supervisor: 


Eligibility: A first class Honours degree (or International equivalent) in engineering, physics, informatics or applied mathematics, ideally supplemented by an MSc Degree. 

Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.


Competitive funding subject to availability. 

Further information and other funding options.

Informal Enquiries: 

Nick Polydorides, Agile Tomography Group Leader,