Assistant Professor Chloe Dedic is advancing supersonic flight through the use of state-of-the-art laser spectroscopy and imaging diagnostics. Supersonic conditions require unprecedented speed and resolution, and Dedic’s novel laser techniques are a major breakthrough that allow measurements to be made faster, with more time resolution, and with significantly improved measurement accuracy. 

With these new method breakthroughs, Dedic bridges the fields of mechanical and aerospace engineering by delivering comprehensive measurement data that integrates combustion, propulsion and fluid dynamics; all are key for improved aircraft design. In particular, the new technique she developed is femtosecond/picosecond coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering. This novel diagnostic is able to simultaneously measure temperature, velocity, and pressure using a femtosecond (10-15 seconds) laser to successfully predict pressure-dependent chemical reactions at incredible speeds.

Because of the importance of these techniques, Dedic was invited to work this summer with researchers at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, to investigate shock waves emanating from supersonic vehicles to reduce sonic booms and avoid vehicle damage for future aircraft designs.

Additionally, Dedic is working to apply these laser measurements to study the combustion process within vehicle engines, which would improve future propulsion designs by decreasing fuel requirements and reducing emission pollutants in the environment. Dedic’s research is leading to the next stage in high-speed flight performance and environmentally friendly engine design.