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Technical Paper

Experiments into the Flame Kernel Development in High Swirl Production Spark Ignition Engines

The early flame kernel development period has a strong influence on the ultimate performance and emission characteristics of spark ignition engines. The fibre-optic instrumented spark plug, FOSP, is a tool used to characterise the early flame kernel development period without the need to modify production engines. Simultaneous in-cylinder pressure, fibre-optic spark plug and secondary ignition system voltage measurements have been made in the GM 2.8 L and the high swirl 3.1 L production engines modified to run on a single cylinder. The secondary ignition system voltages indicate that restrikes are occurring and that spark anemometry is a promising tool to extract information about the flow near the spark plug at the time of ignition. Further development of the technique is, however, required.