Waveguide Arc Detector
An Arc Detector is used to protect expensive RF power source and high-power waveguide devices from the Arcing process, which can occur in waveguide systems. Power breakdown in waveguides can occur as a result of an excessive voltage gradient at some point where there is a discontinuity in the wall surface. A minor imperfection, a junction where the coupling flanges do not meet properly, or improper positioning of tuning elements in waveguide device cavities can all contribute to the problem. In any event, such a breakdown is accompanied by arcing, i.e. an electrical discharge producing visible light, as well as a change in the transmission characteristics of the waveguide which reflects a corresponding change in the loading on the microwave power source. The breakdown may be progressive, with the arc being small at first, then rapidly becoming larger as the air or other gas in the vicinity become ionized. If the resulting load change becomes large enough, the power source will be damaged in response to a visible arc in the waveguide facing the detector device, the Arc detector produces a signal (“Alarm”) which may be used to shut down the system. The Arc detectors are normally mounted in the 90-degree E-plane or H-plane bends of waveguide transmission lines. Other configurations are available upon request, including a configuration for a straight waveguide unit, used when a system might not have space for a more traditional bend. Arc Detectors for Rigid Coaxial Transmission Lines are also available.
The Arc Detector can be incorporated into one assembly with other waveguide devices such as waveguide directional couplers, magic tees, circulators, waveguide combiners, hybrid, waveguide filters, diplexers, power source’s waveguide launcher, etc. Integration of the Arc Detector and Components for Rigid Coaxial Transmission Lines is also available. Please call us to discuss your needs with one of our design engineers.