Phosphor Thermometry on Surfaces - A Study of its Methodology and its Practical Applications

Sammanfattning: Phosphor Thermometry is a term describing an optical measurement technique for remote temperature sensing. Its working principle is based on the temperature-sensitive emission characteristics of certain ceramic substances termed thermographic phosphors. These inorganic materials can either be coated on objects for surface thermometry or be seeded into the gas phase or into liquid flows as solid particles. After optical excitation, often achieved using pulsed laser systems, the phosphor emits an extended and typically red-shifted afterglow referred to as phosphorescence. As the temperature changes, either the temporal or the spectral composition of the phosphorescence emission can be used to determine temperatures through comparison with the results of temperature calibration, carried out earlier. In many applications, temperatures both at various points and in two-dimensional fields have been characterised with a high degree of temporal and spatial resolution by use of thermographic phosphors. The combined sensitivities of different phosphors span a temperature range extending from cryogenic temperatures up to approximately 2000 K. In the present study, the reader is introduced to the physical basis of phosphor luminescence and to utilization of the optical properties involved for temperature measurement. The thesis also examines various means of reducing measurement uncertainty in surface phosphor thermometry. This is done in a series of experimental studies concerned with the characterization and treatment of various error sources during temperature calibration, signal detection and data evaluation. A major factor considered here is that of the coating thickness. It appears to have an intrusive effect on surface temperatures in applications involving both high local and temporal thermal gradients. The effects of instrumentation on signal detection are also investigated. The measurement accuracy was found to depend very much upon the consistency, achieved in the reproduction of the operating conditions from the temperature calibrations carried out to the experiments. This can be attributed to non-linear signal transformations that occur during detection. Even two detectors nominally identical were shown to exhibit large differences in the linearity of the signal response. Unfortunately, the linear workspace of many detectors is confined to very low signal values, the measurement precision being comparably poor due to the low signal-to-noise ratios involved. In order to improve the measurement precision without reducing the accuracy of the results, higher signal levels could be accessed through measures to compensate for detector-specific non-linearities. The signal responses to variations in operating conditions of several different point detectors and imaging devices were characterized, providing a basis for effective means of signal correction. Interest in uncertainty reduction here also led to the investigation of means of signal processing enhancement. Temperature sensitivity was found to be a quantity which is not determined exclusively by the phosphor itself, it is also depending on the operator's choice of conditions for detection and evaluation. For evaluation schemes based on temporal decay transients, the proper choice of a time window for evaluation was found to play an important role. Finally, the versatility of phosphor thermometry as applied to surfaces was demonstrated in several industry-relevant applications, including a car engine, an aircraft turbine and a large-bore two-stroke diesel engine for marine vessels.