Highly accurate ignition delay apparatus for hypergolic fuel research

Alfano, Angelo J.; Mills, Jeffrey D.; Vaghjiani, Ghanshyam L.
April 2006
Review of Scientific Instruments;Apr2006, Vol. 77 Issue 4, p045109
Academic Journal
The efficient development of hypergolic fuels requires an interdisciplinary approach involving ab initio modeling, synthesis, and experimental physical chemistry. Candidate molecules must exhibit hypergolic ignition delay times that are fast enough to warrant further testing for safety and performance criteria. Hypergolic ignition delay apparatus has been mentioned in the open literature for six decades, but accurate, detailed, modern ignition delay hardware that uses inexpensive laboratory building blocks and a minimum of custom circuitry is still needed. This article details line-of-sight electro-optical circuitry with direct digital readout and additional oscilloscope recording that can be used to measure total ignition and chemical delay times for screening candidate fuels. We also illustrate the value of high speed video and quantum chemical calculations to supplement the ignition delay measurements for a comprehensive approach to hypergolic fuel research.


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