The present paper aims at discussing the flow/flame interaction in a lean burn spark ignition engine. The mean velocity and cycle resolved turbulence are measured with laser Doppler velocimetry. The cylinder pressure is recorded and a one-zone heat release calculation performed. The very early part of flame propagation is measured using two orthogonal Schlieren systems, each capturing one image of the progressing flame at a given time after spark onset. The two resulting 2D images are then, after preprocessing, used to reconstruct the three-dimensional flame.
The volume of the true flame is estimated by simulating, using Markov Chain Monte Carlo techniques, a number of possible flames that are consistent with the projections on the images. The uncertainty of the estimated flame volume is given by the variation of the volume estimates. In the calculations, the volume of that part of the spark plug that is inside the flame is subtracted.
The results show a correlation between fluid flow and the modelled three-dimensional flame extracted from the two Schlieren images. A very strong correlation may also be found between the flame size at 5 crank angle degrees after spark and the duration of 0-0.5% heat released, extracted from the cylinder pressure. As expected there is also a correlation between flame location and mean velocity.