Interferometric System for Parameter Measurement at Supersonic Velocities

Case ID: 011-0011-Bivolaru

­The device is a nonintrusive instrument capable of simultaneously measuring the (translational) temperature, bulk velocity and density of gas flows under a wide range of conditions including extremely high temperatures and velocities.  The instrument is capable simultaneously measuring the three variables (temperature, velocity and density) of turbulent supersonic and hypersonic gas flows (>Mach 5) at combustion temperatures.

The unprecedented ability to make these measurements simultaneously and under such extreme conditions will be of great value to designers and developers of futuristic, high speed aerospace engines, such as RAM jets and SCRAM jets, as well as the aircraft, such as Boeing’s X-51 “Waverider” that would use these engines.  It is likely that the instrument could also be configured to make these measurements in less demanding environments for the airframe and engines for supersonic and subsonic aircraft, which would constitute a larger market.   

The instrument has been tested on a combusting gas stream of a near-adiabatic H2-air Hencken burner flame at atmospheric pressure up to a temperature of 1600 K. The full range of the instrument is much greater:

• Gas temperatures that range from <120 K to 2500 K
• Gas densities that range from 0.1 kg/m3 to 2 kg/m3
• Gas velocities that range up to ±1500 m/s if the velocity direction is unknown or up to 3000 m/s if the velocity direction is known

The instrument is envisioned to be useful for simultaneous multi-property turbulence studies of subsonic, supersonic, and hypersonic non-reacting flows; and reacting flows of predictable composition in the range of temperatures, densities, and velocities described above.  It can make simultaneous measurements of temperature, velocity, and density at multiple points in a gas on a scale where spatial (hundreds of microns or less) and temporal (hundreds of nanoseconds or less) scales of turbulent fluctuations are resolved. 


  • Simultaneous measurement of gas temperature, velocity, and density for:
  • Non-reacting gas flows
  • Reactive gas flows
  • Improved turbulence modeling


  • Capable of three simultaneous parameter measurements (temperature, density & velocity).
  • Non-intrusive, capable of measuring flows over a wide angle of attack
  • Can handle severe conditions (temperature range of <120 K to 2500 K, velocities of 0-3000 m/sec, reactive or non-reactive gas flows, densities up to 2 kg/m3)

Patent Information:

Title App Type Country Patent No. File Date Issued Date Patent Status
Spatially-and Temporally-Resolved Multi-Parameter Interferometric Rayleigh Scattering US Utility United States 8,976,351 11/7/2012 3/10/2015 Issued

For Information, Contact:

Michael Harpen
Licensing Manager
George Washington University


Daniel Bivolaru
Andrew Cutler
Paul Danehy