Physical Modeling of Secondary Arcing at Environmental Pressures in the Range from Atmospheric to Vacuum

A. V. Batrakov, E. L. Dubrovskaya, K. V. Karlik, V. S. Kim, S. G. Kochura, V. A. Lavrinovich, S. B. Suntsov, A. V. Shnaider

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    An electrical breakdown in the onboard equipment of orbital space vehicles is a consequence of multifactor physical process related to vacuum electronics, low-temperature plasma physics, and gas discharge. The problem becomes especially urgent in connection with the application of an onboard electrical network voltage of 100 V and higher that exceeds the arcing threshold. The given problem is being actively investigated for more than 10 years; as a result, a number of standards regulating measures on prevention of secondary arcing as a consequence of electrostatic breakdown are currently in force in the world. However, arcing caused by internal processes in onboard equipment without high-voltage initiation has not yet practically been studied, despite the existence of such problem that makes these investigations urgent. The present work contains results of experiments on registration of the threshold parameters, first of all, the pressure that determines the risk of secondary arcing in the presence of the plasma imitating the primary discharge plasma and caused by wire evaporation. Results of experiments confirm the expected decrease of the threshold breakdown voltage below the minima of the Paschen curve. Experimental approaches used in this work are of methodological interest for imitation of arcing conditions and testing of stability of the equipment against arcing in orbital space.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1459-1463
    Number of pages5
    JournalRussian Physics Journal
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


    • gas discharge
    • vacuum discharge

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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