Observations of Voltage Breakdown In Ultra-Low Pressure Environments Under Varied Voltage and Frequency Conditions

Ben Oni*
* Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering ,Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama.
Periodicity:April - June'2019
DOI : https://doi.org/10.26634/jee.12.4.14866


Weight is a critical factor in the design of deep space vehicles. Space bound electrical systems can be constructed to weigh less if designed as high voltage, high frequency AC power system. However, high voltage and high frequency power distribution systems have severe limitations in space exploration due to voltage breakdown and electrical discharge phenomena. Paschen law gives the breakdown voltage necessary to start a discharge between two electrodes in gas medium as a function of pressure and gap length. In the traditional experiment to verify Paschen law, pressure in a controlled vacuum chamber is set while a DC voltage across two electrodes is varied. This paper takes the reverse procedure, i.e., AC voltage across electrode gap is set and pressure in the vacuum chamber varied. The intention for this experimental approach is to allow for observation of changes in the voltage across the electrode gap before, during and after voltage breakdown. At Nyquist sampling rate, the result recorded in the experiments is a near continuous graphical chronology of changes and oscillations in voltage across the electrode gap due to electron collision activities between the electrodes.


Electrical Discharge, Voltage Breakdown, Space Power Distribution, High Frequency Space Power.

How to Cite this Article?

Oni, B. (2019). Observations of Voltage Breakdown In Ultra-Low Pressure Environments Under Varied Voltage and Frequency Conditions. i-manager’s Journal on Electrical Engineering, 12(4), 10-19. https://doi.org/10.26634/jee.12.4.14866


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