Researchers in the Department of Physics have developed a method for detecting localized electrical breakdowns in high power RF networks.
Electrical power failures are present in a variety of systems, from transmission lines to aircraft wings, and their early detection avoids damaging breakdowns. Power breakdowns in waveguides, which transmit waves between system components with minimal energy loss, are accompanied by arcing, an electrical discharge producing visible light. Current waveguide arc detectors have aided in the localization of these breakdown events. However, existing technologies cannot perform in situ measurements or locate arcs in complex-shaped waveguides.
Researchers at UCLA have developed a method for detecting localized electrical breakdowns in a high power RF network. This method simplifies early arc detection in waveguides while reducing costs by not breaking the vacuum and adding components. This approach can also distinguish between longitudinal and transverse sound waves, allowing arc detection in a waveguide that includes bends and other elements (e.g. gaskets).
RF power, electrical breakdown, RF waveguide, electric arc, arc locator, sound waves