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Electrostatic Discharge and Secondary Arcing on Solar Array—Flashover Effect on Arc Occurrence

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7 Author(s)
Inguimbert, V. ; Space Environ. Dept., ONERA, Toulouse ; Sarrail, D. ; Mateo-Velez, J.-C. ; Reulet, R.
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A good representativeness of the test setup used for the qualification of solar arrays is fundamental. We know now that the flashover current involved in the electrostatic discharge is related with the total dielectric surface neutralized during the electrostatic discharge. This paper presents experiments on samples of different sizes, performed in a large vacuum chamber, JONAS, installed in ONERA/DESP, Toulouse, France. The samples are tested in the inverted voltage gradient configuration obtained with electrons. We observed that secondary arcs obtained on a large sample (i.e., with a long flashover) had much longer durations than those on a small sample, i.e., the flashover is a critical parameter for secondary arc initiation and sustainment.

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:36 ,  Issue: 5 )