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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 48, Iss. 4 — Feb. 1, 2009
  • pp: B137–B144

Ultrafast time-gated ballistic-photon imaging and shadowgraphy in optically dense rocket sprays

Jacob B. Schmidt, Zane D. Schaefer, Terrence R. Meyer, Sukesh Roy, Stephen A. Danczyk, and James R. Gord  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 48, Issue 4, pp. B137-B144 (2009)

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Time-gated ballistic-photon imaging is a form of shadowgraphy in which an ultrashort, optical-Kerr- effect (order 2 ps ) time gate is used to enhance the relative intensity of ballistic versus multiply scattered photons. In the current work, this technique is adapted for what is believed to be the first time for use in the moderately dense environment (optical density 1.5 to 2) of a high-speed 5 to 15 mm diameter rocket spray to improve image contrast and observe liquid-breakup phenomena. Unlike coherence gating, which is another form of ballistic imaging, the time-gating approach allows sufficient signal levels from ballistic and near-ballistic photons to enable time-resolved single-shot imaging. Direct comparisons with non-time-gated shadowgraphy indicate that the two techniques are sensitive to different features of the flowfield, with regions composed of a dense field of droplets being highly attenuated in conventional shadowgrams but appearing transparent to ballistic photons. This enables significant image contrast enhancement ( 6.6 1 ) of liquid-core structures and facilitates improved understanding of the primary and secondary breakup processes in sprays of moderate optical density.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(190.3270) Nonlinear optics : Kerr effect
(280.1740) Remote sensing and sensors : Combustion diagnostics
(280.2490) Remote sensing and sensors : Flow diagnostics
(290.7050) Scattering : Turbid media

Original Manuscript: August 1, 2008
Revised Manuscript: November 20, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: November 20, 2008
Published: December 24, 2008

Jacob B. Schmidt, Zane D. Schaefer, Terrence R. Meyer, Sukesh Roy, Stephen A. Danczyk, and James R. Gord, "Ultrafast time-gated ballistic-photon imaging and shadowgraphy in optically dense rocket sprays," Appl. Opt. 48, B137-B144 (2009)

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