Detailed measurements of mean drop size (SMD) and size distribution parameters have been made using a Fraunhofer diffraction particle sizing instrument in a series of sprays generated by an air assist swirl atomizer. Thirty-six different combinations of fuel and air mass flow rates were examined with liquid flow rates up to 14 lbm/hr and atomizing air flow rates up to 10 lbm/hr. Linear relationships were found between SMD and liquid to air mass flow rate ratios. SMD increased with distance downstream along the center line and also with radial distance from the axis. Increase in obscuration with distance downstream was due to an increase in number density of particles as the result of deceleration of drops and an increase in the exposed path length of the laser beam. Velocity components of the atomizing air flow field measured by a laser anemometer show swirling jet air flow fields with solid body rotation in the core and free vortex flow in the outer regions.

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