RF arc detection is a key operational and safety issue for ICRF systems. Dedicated measurements on a RF test-stand were made in order to characterize the optical signature of RF arcs (time and spectrum) to assess the potential of optical arc detection on ICRF systems. Time-resolved intensity measurements were carried out using high-speed Si photodetectors with different bandpass filters. The rise time of the arc emission, the light intensity and the time evolution of the arc under different pressure conditions are discussed. Spectral signature of the arcs was obtained using spectrometers in the visible and UV range. It is shown that the arc emission spectrum is independent of the gas pressure and that it is mainly dominated by the stainless steel components of the test bench. The results of the RF arc optical characterization is discussed with a view on the implementation of an optical arc detection system for an ICRF antenna on a fusion machine, both for sections viewing the plasma light as for private vacuum sections. © 2011 Pierre Dumortier Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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