The National Jet Fuel Combustion Program (NJFCP) is an initiative, currently being led by the Office of Environment & Energy at the FAA, to streamline the ASTM jet fuels certification process for alternative aviation fuels. In order to accomplish this objective, the program has identified specific applied research tasks in several areas. The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is contributing to the NJFCP in the areas of sprays and atomization and high altitude engine performance. This paper describes work pertaining to atomization tests using a reference injection system. The work involves characterization of the injection nozzle, comparison of sprays and atomization quality of various conventional and alternative fuels, as well as use of the experimental data to validate spray correlations. The paper also briefly explores the application viability of a new spray diagnostic system that has potential to reduce test time in characterizing sprays. Measurements were made from ambient up to 10 bar pressures in NRC’s High Pressure Spray Facility using optical diagnostics including laser diffraction, phase Doppler anemometry (PDA), LIF/Mie Imaging and laser sheet imaging to assess differences in the atomization characteristics of the test fuels. A total of nine test fluids including six NJFCP fuels and three calibration fluids were used. The experimental data was then used to validate semi-empirical models, developed through years of experience by engine OEMs and modified under NJFCP, for predicting droplet size and distribution. The work offers effective tools for developing advanced fuel injectors, and generating data that can be used to significantly enhance multi-dimensional combustor simulation capabilities.

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