An ultra-sensitive optical MEMS sensor for partial discharge detection

Xiaodong Wang, Baoqing Li, Zhixiong Xiao, Sang Hwui Lee, Harry Roman, Onofrio L. Russo, Ken K. Chin, Kenneth R. Farmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


A diaphragm-based interferometric fiber optical microelectromechanical system sensor with high sensitivity is designed and tested for on-line detection of the acoustic waves generated by partial discharges (PD) inside high-voltage power transformers. In principle, the sensor is made according to Fabry Perot interference, which is placed on a micro-machined rectangular silicon membrane as a pressure-sensitive element. A fiber-optic readout scheme has been used to monitor sensor membrane deflection. Sensor design, fabrication, characterization, and application in PD acoustic detection are described. Test results indicate that the fiber optical sensor is capable of detecting PD acoustic signals propagating inside transformer oil with high sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-527
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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