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Re: [TCML] Not coil related, but a HV question

Arcing is a much greater problem at high altitudes.  D.C. Generator output is reduced at altitudes above 15,000 feet due to arcing.   This is due to brush arcing. 

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> On Apr 12, 2016, at 5:04, "Jerry" <jerry@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> I imagine the exact nature of the discharge depends on the electrode shape and other factors, but fersure the 'Or nothing' option is not the correct one.  Aircraft electronic equipment that employ substantial voltages have a maximum altitude rating for that very reason. I remember some equipment from decades ago warning against operation above 50K feet.  In any case, you should be able to find reference materials that have interesting tables. If you're going to record the experiment with a camera, consider putting a micro-ammeter in the circuit to document the increasing leakage current with altitude. Put a couple of back-to-back diodes across the meter to protect it when the electrodes flash over.
>> On 04/11/2016 03:27 PM, Paul B. Thompson wrote:
>> Recently I've gotten involved with a group of high altitude balloon hobbyists. We're always looking for interesting experiments to try in the stratosphere, and I thought of one with HV application. I'd like to run it by everyone here as a thought-experiment first.
>> Air is a dielectric. Not a great one, but a sufficient air gap between two electrodes prevents arcing. (I may not be expressing this the best way, but you all know what I mean.) If you lower the air pressure greatly, would a high voltage spark leap across the same distance? I imagine something like a charged flash capacitor being lofted in a balloon. The poles of the cap are connected to electrodes separated by a gap sufficient to prevent discharge at normal air pressure. If the balloon lifts the apparatus to, say, 100,000 feet, will we see the apparatus arc over when the air is sufficiently attenuated? Or will we get a kind of corona glow? Or nothing?
>> A camera would be pointed at the gap to film the result.
>> Paul Thompson
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