Galvanic isolated monitoring of voltages for launch vehicle, missiles, and space-deployed systems can be very challenging. Radiation exposure makes use of optics-based sensors difficult, as they can latch-up and become corrupted by the radiation environment; such devices can moreover be thermally challenged. Magnetic transformer-based methods of isolated voltage measurement require shielding to prevent stray magnetic interference from degrading or corrupting the readings; moreover, magnetic-based solutions are unable to measure voltages down to DC levels.

A new fully analog voltage sensor can provide accurate voltage monitoring to DC level with near constant gain in a subcompact package. These voltage monitors have very high galvanic isolation while avoiding many issues related to optical or magnetic transformer voltage sensors presently used in NASA missions.

The innovative design is based on an analog ceramic circuit that eliminates all need for magnetic transformer, optics, or digital (processor) components.

The sensor is designed for missions systems that may be operating under extreme conditions, especially at elevated temperature levels from 200 to 300°C, and radiation environments up to 2 Mrad.

This work was done by Gareth Knowles, Ross Bird, and William Bradley of QorTek, Inc. for Glenn Research Center.

Inquiries concerning rights for the commercial use of this invention should be addressed to

NASA Glenn Research Center
Innovative Partnerships Office
Attn: Steven Fedor
Mail Stop 4–8
21000 Brookpark Road
Cleveland
Ohio 44135.

Refer to LEW-19167-1.


NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the October, 2014 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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