Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Four Corner Section Meeting of the American Physical Society


Salt Lake City, UT

Publication Date



A system has been developed and tested for real-time monitoring of environmentally-induced electrostatic discharge events to test spacecraft component and material survivability. Simultaneous detection by several parallel methods in coincidence, enhances event detection, minimizes false signals, and collects complementary information to determine arc location, intensity, and timing. This research focuses on four computer-interfaced video cameras which provide spatial and temporal detection of visual arcing from the surface of various elements. A real time processing solution was developed which can calculate integrated intensities, sensitively detect intensity threshold events, and store relevant video frames from these threshold events. Post processing of this data can generate activity maps and give detailed threshold event information. This selective approach not only saves vast amounts of disk space and post processing time, but it facilitates real-time monitoring of month long experiments. An experiment which induces arc on insulating dots on a conductive substrate using high-energy beta radiation from a Sr90 source in the Space Survivability Test vacuum chamber was performed to demonstrate the quality of captured data and the effectiveness of the analysis methods.

Additional Files

Dennison 2018 4Corners-Video Arc Detection Abst.pdf (28 kB)