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Steve Taranovich

How do electronic systems react at high altitudes?

Steve Taranovich
steve.taranovich
steve.taranovich
10/3/2018 11:11:02 AM
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Re: pressure vs insulation
@anon---You are correct--- In high-altitude regions, the combined effects of low air pressure, atmospheric icing and, sometimes, pollution considerably reduce the withstand voltage of insulators---see this article:

Effects of High Altitude and Atmospheric Icing on the Performance of Outdoor Insulators M. Farzaneh, Senior Member, IEEE, J. Zhang, M. Fréchette, Senior Member, IEEE, T. Sakakibara, Member, IEEE, and E. Da Silva, Senior Member, IEEE

I think that Dave Norton was just commenting on something he saw in a reader comment in an EDN article

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anon
anon
10/3/2018 9:18:58 AM
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pressure vs insulation
It's counterintuitive, but lower pressure does not provide better insulation. In fact, the breakdown voltage decreases _two orders of magnitude_ between atmospheric pressure and 1 torr, and increases to the infinite vacuum value only below that (Paschen's law: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paschen%27s_law

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steve.taranovich
steve.taranovich
10/1/2018 1:08:10 PM
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Re: Neat post, good question and good insight
Hi Jonathan---this is an excellent and informative addition for our readers---thanks!

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jonharris0
jonharris0
10/1/2018 10:14:37 AM
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Neat post, good question and good insight
Thanks for sharing this question and the information in this post. It is very interesting what considerations have to be made the higher in altitude that you go.  As you've noted Steve by pointing on my different blogs, radiation becomes a bigger issue the more you adventure into space.  One thing that is interesting since the effects of neutrons were discussed is that even on Earth using New York City as a reference altitude there are 14 neutrons/cm^2/hour.  This increases by a factor of 1.3x with every 1000ft increase in altitude. At the 35000 feet mentionedin the article that means there would be over 136,000 neutrons/cm^2/hour if I've done my math properly.  That is a LOT! 

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