Laser-based Sensor Design and Development


Project Description

The project involves design, development, and implementation of a laser-based optical sensor. The sensor will be used to monitor environmental pollutants (e.g., NOx, CO) or greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., N2O, CH4, CO2). The student will work on studying the electromagnetic spectrum of various molecules, choosing the candidate optical transitions, setting up the laser-based optical setup, and performinglaboratory measurements to detect species concentration in trace quantities. Advanced sensing strategies, such as wavelength modulation, cavity-enhancement and frequency combs will be utilized. The student will gain expertise in spectroscopy,statistical thermodynamics, machine learning, optical engineering, and mechanical design.​​​
Program - Mechanical Engineering
Division - Physical Sciences and Engineering
Center Affiliation - Clean Combustion Research Center
Field of Study - ​Physics, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering

About the

Aamir Farooq

Professor, Mechanical Engineering<br/>Chair, Mechanical Engineering Program

Aamir Farooq
Dr. Farooq’s research interests are in the areas of energy sciences, combustion chemistry, spectroscopy and laser-based sensors. He is the principal investigator of Chemical Kinetics and Laser Sensors Laboratory and is affiliated with the Clean Combustion Research Center. Professor Farooq’s group focuses on the development and use of advanced experimental techniques to understand fundamental processes in traditional and renewable energy-conversion devices. The laboratory carries out experimental research on chemical kinetics using shock tubes and rapid compression machine. These idealized reactors enable the study of reaction kinetics, fuel chemistry, ignition properties, and emissions under conditions suitable for future high-efficiency, low-emission engines and gas turbines.

Professor Farooq is interested in the development of new laser-based sensors and their application to a variety of energy systems. These sensors are used to make in-situ measurements of various parameters of interest such as species concentration, gas temperature, flow velocity, mass flux, and particle number density. Small-sized quantum-cascade lasers are used to design highly sensitive sensors that are portable and can be applied directly in industrial settings. Also, Professor Farooq is interested in developing laser-based sensors for biomedical and environment–monitoring applications.

Desired Project Deliverables

​Spectral line selection using state-of-the-art spectroscopicmodels Design of optical, electronic and mechanical components of thesensor Laboratory validations of the sensorperformance ​Field testing for trace gasdetection​