Mid-infrared laser absorption sensors for gas turbine monitoring

The regulation of pollutant emissions from combustion systems has been increasingly tightened in recent years. Pollutants, such as CO, NOx and SOx, produced by combustion processes in gas turbines, cause serious problems concerning the global environment and human health. To realise cleaner and more environmentally friendly power generation, it is necessary to monitor combustion characteristics, such as temperature, multi-species concentrations, pressure and velocity. These data can be used as feedbacks to predict and actively adjust the operating conditions of practical combustors.

As a sensitive, fast-response and cost-effective optical sensing technique, laser absorption spectroscopy (LAS) is most promising to apply on combustion diagnosis of real engines in practical operating conditions, with the sensors embedded in the combustion chambers with minimal intrusion. Particularly, the superior absorption characteristics of most combustion species in the mid-infrared domain provides a more sensitive monitor with high fidelity.

The objectives of this PhD project are:

  1. Development of mid-infrared LAS techniques towards non-uniform combustion fields.
  2. Robust mid-infrared LAS sensor design in harsh environment (e.g. strong turbulence, high pressure/temperature).
  3. In situ measurement and machine learning aided diagnosis of model gas turbine chambers.

More specifically, the mathematics of mid-infrared LAS technique will be established by taking the nonuniformity of the target field into consideration. Opto-electronic hardware will be implemented to design sensors and systems suitable for the harsh operating conditions of the gas turbine. Advanced signal processing methods will be adopted in a later stage for real-time data analysis. Finally, the developed technique and sensors will be embedded in a model gas turbine chamber to obtain the in situ measurement data, which will be used for combustion diagnosis aided by machine learning. The successful candidate should also be confident with trouble shooting and collaborating with industrial partners during the experiments.

In addition, the candidate will have the opportunity to work closely with industrial and academic partners, to present innovative results in international conferences, to publish high-impact journal papers, and, therefore, to deliver advanced laser-based technology to gas turbine monitoring.

Closing Date: 

Friday, November 30, 2018
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Principal Supervisor: 


Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering discipline, possibly supported by an MSc Degree. Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.


Tuition fees and stipend are available for Home/EU students (International students can apply, but the funding only covers the Home/EU fee rate).

Further information and other funding options.

Informal Enquiries: