Spatial and temporal resolution requirements for quench detection in (RE)Ba2Cu3Ox magnets using Rayleigh-scattering- based fiber optic distributed sensing

W. K. Chan, G. Flanagan, J. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


One of the key remaining challenges to safe and reliable operation of large, high temperature superconductor (HTS)-based magnet systems is quench detection and protection. Due to the slow quench propagation in HTS systems, the conventional discrete voltage-tap approach developed for NbTi and Nb 3Sn magnets may not be sufficient. In contrast, a distributed temperature profile, generated by a distributed temperature sensor and facilitating continuous monitoring of the temperature at any monitored locations within a magnet with high spatial resolution, may be required. One such distributed temperature sensing option is the use of Rayleigh-based fiber optic sensors (FOS), which are immune to electromagnetic interference. The detection of a quench via Rayleigh-based FOS relies on converting the spectral shifts in the Rayleigh scattering spectra into temperature variations. As a result, the higher the spatial sampling resolution the larger the data processing volume, and thus the lower the temporal sampling resolution. So, for effective quench detection, which requires the quick and accurate identification of a hot spot, it is important to find a balance between the spatial and temporal resolutions executable on a given data acquisition and processing (DAQ) system. This paper discusses a method for finding an appropriate DAQ technology that matches the characteristic of a superconducting coil, and determining the acceptable resolutions for efficient and safe quench detection. A quench detection algorithm based on distributed temperature sensing is proposed and its implementation challenges are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105015
JournalSuperconductor Science and Technology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry

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