Abstract

The lean blow-out performance of an engine and the ability to re-ignite the flame, especially at high-altitude conditions, are important aspects for the safe operability of airplanes. The operability margins of the engine could be extended if it was possible to predict the occurrence of flame blowout from in-flight measurements and take actions to dynamically control the flame behaviour before complete extinction. In this work, the use of Re-currence Quantification Analysis (RQA), an established tool for the analysis of non-linear dynamical systems, is explored to reconstruct and study the blow-off dynamics starting from pressure measurements taken from blow-off experiments of an engine rig. It is shown that the dynamics of the combustor exhibit chaotic characteristics far away from blow-off and that the dynamics become more coherent as the blow-off condition is approached. The degree of determinism and recurrence rate are studied during the entire combustor’s dynamics, from stable flame to flame extinction. It is shown that the flame extinction is anticipated by an increase of the degree of determinism and recurrence rate at all investigated conditions, which indicates intermittent behavior of the combustor before the blow-off condition is reached. Therefore, in the configuration investigated here, the determinism and the recurrence rate of the system could be good predictors of blow-off occurrence and could potentially enable control actions to avoid flame extinction. This study opens up new possibilities for engine control and operability. The development of real-time RQA should be addressed in future research.

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