Compared to classical constant volume or constant pressure combustion, the detonation regime of combustion has the potential to increase the efficiency of engines and contribute to the reduction of carbon emission in the atmosphere. However, the development of efficient and reliable detonation engines is challenging and several issues need to be addressed. Compared to research on flames, quantitative optical diagnostics for concentration of chemical species and temperature measurements are currently not utilized on detonation waves.

This is mainly due to three difficulties:

  1. the required spatial and temporal resolutions of the measurement techniques
  2. the potential thermal non-equilibrium conditions behind the shock
  3. the lack of validated chemical kinetics and combined spectroscopic models, for detonation conditions.

The PAC group just started to work on these three topics.