Advanced imaging of pulsed atmospheric surface flashover

A. Fierro, G. Laity, L. Hatfield, J. Dickens, A. Neuber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Vacuum Ultraviolet (VUV) radiation is commonly thought to enhance streamer formation, as it is energetic enough to cause photoionization in the gaseous volume. Light with wavelengths below 180 nm, i.e. VUV, is highly absorbed in the atmosphere which increases the difficulty of measuring any VUV emission from gaseous breakdown at atmospheric pressure. Nevertheless, VUV emission from pulsed surface flashover at atmospheric conditions was previously recorded at Texas Tech. A second generation system was designed to image VUV and visible emission directly while also preserving the spatial profile. The visible emission is imaged through an air-side focused ICCD, while VUV emission is imaged through a vacuum spectrograph. The variable length gap was excited with a pulser designed for a 100 ns rise time and 50 kV peak output. Captured images of visible light emission from streamers produced in oxygen are diffuse whereas nitrogen produces streamers that are segmented. VUV spatial images taken in oxygen reveal stronger emission closer to the cathode region, while nitrogen produces a more distributed intensity profile across the gap. While MgF 2 enabled transmission and measurement of VUV, streamer characteristics recorded in the visible light spectrum of surface flashover on BK7 dielectric windows were also investigated. In this paper, the observed streamer images in both visible and VUV wavelength range will be discussed as it relates to surface flashover at atmospheric pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE Conference Record - PPC 2011, Pulsed Power Conference 2011
Subtitle of host publicationThe 18th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2011
Event18th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, PPC 2011 - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: Jun 19 2011Jun 23 2011

Publication series

NameDigest of Technical Papers-IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference


Conference18th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, PPC 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityChicago, IL


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