Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

James E. Smith.


There is a growing interest in improving engine versatility through the capacity to run on more than one fuel. To aid in this effort, ongoing research is being conducted to investigate a novel system using microwave plasma ignition designed with the goal of allowing spark ignited engines to run on multiple fuels. To accomplish the testing of this system, it was necessary to design and fabricate a test stand including an engine and instrumentation capable of measuring the performance of the ignition system within the environment of a running engine, and capable of testing this system on multiple fuels. It was also desired to produce data with repeatability within 4% to ensure that results indicated real trends. To achieve this goal it is necessary not only to measure the output of the engine but also to measure several pertinent operation variables as well. With this in mind, a comprehensive test stand and sensor system was designed and fabricated, and repeatability of output data was verified. Output data was also compared to manufacturer-supplied data under similar operating characteristics to validate the accuracy of the measurements. Comparison of this data shows that repeatable data that follows expected trends is produced, and is repeatable to within 1%. A detailed system outline is presented herein, as well as results and conclusions. Recommendations for further research are also suggested.