In-spark-plug Sensor for Analyzing the Initial Flame and Its Structure in an SI Engine 2005-01-0644
An in-spark-plug flame sensor was developed to measure local chemiluminescence near the spark gap in a practical spark-ignition (SI) engine in order to study the development of the initial flame kernel, flame front structure, transient phenomena, and the correlation between the initial flame kernel structure and cyclic variation in the flame front structure, which influences engine performance directly. The sensor consists of a commercial instrumented spark plug with small Cassegrain optics and an optical fiber. The small Cassegrain optics were developed to measure the local chemiluminescence intensity profile and temporal history of OH*, CH*, and C2* at the flame front formed in a turbulent premixed flame in an SI engine. A highresolution monochromator with an intensified chargecoupled device (ICCD) and spectroscopy using optical filters and photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) were used to measure the time-series of the three radicals, as well as the in-cylinder pressure. Measurements were made at different engine speeds in an unmodified 223-cc practical SI engine fueled with gasoline. Stable data were obtained over several hours with little noise, and were of the same quality as data from a small M5-type sensor installed instead of a pressure transducer. The relationships between the radical intensities and indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP) were examined and typical cyclic variation was measured at speeds over 7,000 rpm. The behavior of the initial flame was followed from its arrival at the measurement point. The arrival time was faster and IMEP was larger at stoichiometry than under other air/fuel (A/F) conditions.