Optical Detection Method for Partial Discharge of Printed Circuit Boards in Electrified Aircraft under Various Pressures and Voltages

Yiming Zang, Mohamad Ghaffarian Niasar*, Yong Qian, Xiaoli Zhou, Gehao Sheng, Xiuchen Jiang, Peter Vaessen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


Realization of an electrical aircraft demands a low-weight electric distribution and propulsion system. The use of high voltage and power electronics operated at high switching frequencies is essential to achieve this objective. However, printed circuit boards (PCBs) in electrified aircraft are in a harsh working environment, which can make PCBs more susceptible to generate partial discharges (PDs). The current PD detection technology has poor immunity to the electromagnetic interference and acoustic interference in the operating environment of aircraft. Therefore, this article proposes an optical-based PD detection method for PCBs, which is effectively immune to electromagnetic and acoustic interference. This method uses fluorescent fiber as a PD optical signal sensor and then collects the optical signal by the avalanche photodiode (APD). Experiments have verified that the detection sensitivity, sensing range, and anti-interference performance of this method are well satisfied with the PD detection. In addition, single PD pulse, optical phase resolved PD (PRPD) patterns, and PD inception voltage (PDIV) under different air pressure and voltage conditions are investigated. Finally, the relationship between the optical signal and PD amplitude is found to be proportional, which proves that the severity of the PD on PCBs can be effectively detected and evaluated by this method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9830775
Pages (from-to)4668-4677
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Transportation Electrification
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • partial discharge
  • printed circuit boards
  • optical detection
  • electrified aircraft
  • fluorescent fiber


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