This work highlights slab coupled optical sensors (SCOS) and their ability to measure high voltages. Although other high voltage measurement techniques exist, most of these techniques are electrical devices and are therefore more susceptible to stray ground currents and other electromagnetic interferences (EMI), which may cause signal distortion. Optical sensors are less susceptible to such interferences and these sensors, such as the Pockels cell, have been used in measuring high voltage. SCOS offer an alternative method of measuring high voltage optically. Consisting of an optical fiber and an electro-optic slab waveguide, SCOS have the advantage of being very small in size (0.2 mm x 0.3 mm cross-section), simpler composition, and potentially less coupling losses. Issues associated with high voltage measurements are addressed such as unwanted corona, arcing, and EMI. Solutions are also explored which include insolating materials, electrode geometries, Faraday cages, and using optical sensors such as SCOS. Although the SCOS has been traditionally used to measure electric field, the SCOS is able to measure high voltage through the use of an electrode structure. The SCOS' ability to measure high voltage is showcase through the construction and output measurements of several high voltage systems: an ignition coil-based circuit, a dual ignition coil circuit, a Marx generator, and a 200 kV generator used in a capacitor discharge configuration. These measurements show the SCOS' ability to measure at least 111 kV capacitor discharges with 6.6 ns rise times and other various high voltage waveforms.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Electrical and Computer Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





slab coupled optical sensors, optical sensing, high voltage measurements