The Young Researcher Award (YRA) in Optical Technologies is awarded annually to an outstanding young scientist in the field of optics and photonics to pursue research in collaboration with scientists from the Graduate School in Advanced Optical Technologies (SAOT) at the the Friedrich-Alexander Erlangen-Nürnberg University. One of the key concepts of SAOT is the integration of distinguished international guest scientists in both research and education. The award is remunerated with 100.000€ to be used either for the personal salary of the laureate or for travel expenses or consumables or equipment related to the research. The award winner obtains the formal status of a guest professor and is expected to conduct research in Erlangen, starting within one year after the award winner has been announced.
The proposed project consists in using novel laser imaging techniques based on Structured Illumination for the detail characterization of internal combustion engine fuel sprays. More specifically, these sprays would be investigated at high pressure and temperature conditions in a chamber with optical access. The unique spray facilities at LTT Erlangen will be used, where both Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) and Diesel sprays can be investigated in realistic operating conditions.
The data generated would be of great importance to validate modern Computational Fluid Dynamics models. It will provide fundamental insights and information which are still missing for reliable predictions of spray behaviors. To this respect, the research project has potential to influence new findings on fuel injection strategies, leading to significant reduction in pollutant emission for internal combustion engines. Finally, even though this work will mostly focus on fuel sprays used in combustion, the developed knowledge in optical technology could directly be transferred to a large number of medical, environmental and/or industrial applications involving the imaging through optically dense media and the characterization of scattering particles.