Electrostatic Detection System Prevents Injuries and Damage During Spacecraft Assembly

Remote Voltage Sensor
Quasar Federal Systems
San Diego, CA

Electrostatic charges impact the safety of both workers and spacecraft, and have been recognized as one of the main problems at the NASA spacecraft assembly facilities. Prevention currently depends on time-consuming, handheld electric-field devices scanning each individual worker’s clothing. Quasar Federal Systems has developed a new electrostatic detection system with support from NASA and the University of California Berkeley’s Space Science Laboratory.

QFS’ Remote Voltage Sensor (RVS) is the first compact, low-cost, solid-state sensor system to be mounted on the extremities of spacecraft or landers, measuring electric potential field and gradients throughout the entire assembly process. With optimized electric field sensor input noise and reduced sensor size, the RVS enables ultra-sensitive charge measurements in charge-sensitive facilities. The low-power, standalone RVS measures electric fields at low frequencies, and is capable of monitoring the electrostatic potential in facilities in real-time from remote distances.

ImageThe RVS is based on dime-size remote voltage sensors, a MSPP430 microprocessor, and a unique detection algorithm. It can monitor high static potentials at distances up to two to three meters. The RVS utilizes a simple yet practical calibration method whereby data is saved in RAM and can be downloaded to PCs. Other features include easy integration with other monitoring systems and three warning levels.

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