Fundamental Study of Atmospheric Rf Breakdown at 3.3 MHz

Ivan A. Aponte, Benedikt Esser, Zachary Shaw, James C. DIckens, John J. Mankowski, Andreas A. Neuber

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


RF breakdown at a frequency of particular relevance to ionospheric heating-3.3 MHz, close to the low end of the applicable frequency range-is studied at centimeter sized gap distances and compared to literature for small gaps. Paschen's famous DC breakdown study utilizing two brass spheres of radius 1 cm was recreated following the original procedure, from which the data was used to compare to a study of RF breakdown. Through testing it was found that brass as an electrode material exhibits a large standard deviation in breakdown voltage and as such stainless-steel Bruce profile uniform electric field electrodes were substituted. Steel's resistance to surface ablation provided for extremely low standard deviation of measurements and hence good repeatability. Additionally, unlike brass, steel is not contaminated through reaction with gaseous elements such as carbon, oxygen and nitrogen. Electrodes were polished to remove any field enhancements and cleaned of polishing compound such that dielectric inclusions were largely avoided.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICOPS 2018 - 45th IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781538645895
StatePublished - Jun 24 2018
Event45th IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science, ICOPS 2018 - Denver, United States
Duration: Jun 24 2018Jun 28 2018

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Plasma Science
ISSN (Print)0730-9244


Conference45th IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science, ICOPS 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States


Dive into the research topics of 'Fundamental Study of Atmospheric Rf Breakdown at 3.3 MHz'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this