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Published April 1992 | Reprint
Book Section - Chapter Open

Combustion noise and combustion instabilities in propulsion systems


This paper is concerned with some aspects of non-linear behavior of unsteady motions in combustion chambers. The emphasis is on conditions under which organized oscillations having discrete frequencies may exist in the presence of random motions. In order to treat the two types of motions together, and particularly to investigate coupling between noise and combustion instabilities, the unsteady field is represented as a synthesis of acoustic modes having time-varying amplitudes. Each of the amplitudes are written as the sum of two parts, one associated with the random field and the remainder representing the organized oscillations. After spatial averaging, the general problem is reduced to solution of a set of second-order ordinary differential equations whose structure depends on the sorts of nonlinear processes accounted for. This formulation accommodates any physical process; in particular, terms are included to represent noise sources, although only limited modeling is discussed. Our results suggest that random sources of noise have only small effects on combustion instabilities and seem not to be a cause of unstable motions. However, the coupling between the two sorts of unsteady motions may be important as an essential process in a proposed scheme for noise control. It is now a familiar observation that many nonlinear deterministic systems are capable of exhibiting apparently random motions called 'chaos.' This is a particularly interesting possibility for systems which also executed non-deterministic random motions. In combustion chambers, a nonlinear deterministic system (acoustical motions) exists in the presence of noise produced by flow separation, turbulent motions, and energy released by combustion processes. The last part of the paper is directed to the matter of discovering whether or not chaotic motions exist in combustion systems. Analysis has not progressed sufficiently far to answer the question. We report here recent results of processing data taken in one combustor to determine the dimensions of any attractors in the motions. No evidence has been found for chaos in the strict sense, but the method seems to be an important means of investigating the nonlinear behavior of combustion systems.

Additional Information

© 1992, AGARD. This work has been supported partly by the California Institute of Technology; by the Office of Naval Research; by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research; and by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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