For the protection of the local air quality and the global atmosphere, the emissions of trace species including nitric oxides (NO and NO$_2$) from gas turbines are regulated by local governments and by the International Civil Aviation Organization. In-situ measurements of such species are needed not only for the development of advanced low-emission combustion concepts but also for providing emissions data required for the sound assessment of the effects of the emissions on environment. We have been developing a laser absorption system that has a capability of simultaneous determination of NO and NO$_2$concentrations in the exhaust jets from aero gas turbines. A diode laser operating near 1.8 micrometer is used for the detection of NO while a separated visible tunable diode laser operating near 676 nanometers is used for NO$_2$. The sensitivities at elevated temperature conditions were determined for simulated gas mixtures heated up to 500K in a heated cell of a straight 0.5 m optical path. Sensitivity limits estimated as were 30 ppmv-m and 3.7 ppmv-m for NO and NO$_2$, respectively, at a typical exhaust gas temperature of 800K. Experiments using the simulated exhaust flows have proven that $CO_2$ and $H_2O$ vapor - both major combustion products - do not show any interference in the NO or NO$_2$ measurements. The measurement system has been applied to the NO/NO$_2$ measurements in NO and NO$_2$ doped real combustion gas jets issuing from a rectangular nozzle having 0.4 m optical path. The lower detection limits of the system were considerably decreased by using a multipass optical cell. A pair of off-axis parabola mirrors successfully suppressed the beam steering in the combustion gas jets by centralizing the fluctuating beam in sensor area of the detectors.
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