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Proceedings Paper

Remote triggering of high voltage systems by laser-induced plasmas
Author(s): N. J. West; I. R. Jandrell; A. Forbes
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Paper Abstract

The aim of this paper is to compare the electrical performance of an orthogonally with a coaxially laser-triggered spark gap. Each of these two gaps has its own advantages and disadvantages. At the same time, a Rogowski profile spark gap was investigated in terms of its orthogonally laser-triggered performance. It was found that the Nd:YAG laser used (1 064 nm, 800 mJ) was able to reduced the breakdown voltage of a 50 mm gap by 70% from 135 kV to about 40 kV. The position of the laser-induced plasma was found to play a significant role in the breakdown process - best results being obtained when the laser was focused in the centre of the gap. Finally, the shape of the laser-induced arc is dependant on the applied electric field. When the field is low, the arc tends to avoid the laser-induced plasma thus exhibiting a very anomalous behaviour. When the field is increased, the arc tends to attach itself to the plasma as expected.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 September 2008
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7070, Optical Technologies for Arming, Safing, Fuzing, and Firing IV, 70700I (3 September 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.794083
Show Author Affiliations
N. J. West, Univ. of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)
I. R. Jandrell, Univ. of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)
A. Forbes, CSIR/NLC (South Africa)
Univ. of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7070:
Optical Technologies for Arming, Safing, Fuzing, and Firing IV
Fred M. Dickey; Richard A. Beyer, Editor(s)

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