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Plasma radiation technology

The department deals with the experimental analysis of thermal and non-thermal plasmas in electrical and process engineering by means of electrical, optical and spectroscopic diagnostics. Current topics are the study of welding arcs, of high-pressure wall-stabilized arcs and of vacuum arcs in circuit breakers and surge arrestors as well as of plasma phenomena in high-voltage insulation systems. The further development of methods of high-speed imaging linked with optical emission and absorption spectroscopy supports the improved accessibility of plasma properties and deeper understanding of basic mechanisms both in fundamental research and in applications.

An increase of sensitivity and special resolution for the regions near to the surface, the accessibility of spatially non-symmetric plasma phenomena with high dynamics or of short-term effects, the robustness against distortions in real applications and the mobile and flexible use are aimed. Beside quantification of local properties in the arc, the determination of surface temperatures and other properties for example of electrodes in different arc applications are of interest. In addition, application-specific non-invasive sensor and control systems are proposed based on the expertise in laboratory diagnostics. The department has the corresponding equipment of welding engineering, high-current and high-voltage engineering as well as vacuum equipment at one’s disposal, beside state-of-the-art diagnostic systems.


Technological equipment

  • Experimental setup for studies on high-current arcs using two impulse current generators
  • Vacuum chamber for studies on high-current vacuum arcs
  • Electrical and optical diagnostics
  • Experimental setup with fixed welding torch holders and moveable test work pieces, including gas supply, exhaust system and radiation protection
  • Power sources of various manufacturers, as well as a freely programmable source
  • Electrical and optical diagnostics
  • HV generators for AC up to 100 kV, DC up to 130 kV, pulsed voltage up to 135 kV
  • Partial discharge diagnostics
  • Continuous current test setup (max. 3000 A)
  • Climate Laboratory with climate chamber for cooling and warming cycles (-70 - +180°C), and programmable ovens (+250°C)
  • Test setups with suitable power generators for simulating of realistic lamp operation 
  • Integrating sphere (also known as an Ulbricht sphere) 
  • Compact spectrometer  
  • Luminance camera 

The following equipment for optical measurements is available to all laboratories:

  • Equipment for imaging optical emission and absorption spectroscopy
  • High speed camera, framing camera, streak camera
  • Technology for thermography/pyrometry
  • X-ray computer tomography for nondestructive diagnostics of electrodes or material samples
  • Test benches for absolute calibration of spectroscopic equipment
  • Equipment for photometric characterization of radiation sources
  • Test rigs with suitable power generators to simulate realistic operation
  • Measuring stations for optical investigations of small-scale thermal plasmas (sparks, micro arcs, lightning current discharges)
  • Optical calibration sources