Using deconvolution for correction of non-ideal step response of lightning impulse digitizers and measurement systems
Lightning impulse measurements can be highly influenced by measurement arrangement, characteristics of high voltage divider, digitizer (transient recorder) performance, and algorithms used for parameter evaluation. The main sources of measurement errors are the non-ideal step responses of digitizer and voltage divider. This paper discusses the use of deconvolution to correct for the non-ideal step response of a digitizer, and of a large mixed divider. Correcting the step response of the complete measuring system by one part at a time is desirable because it allows to evaluate the effectiveness of the correction with trustworthy methods. Step response describes the output of a system as function of time when its input changes between two levels infinitely fast. Real life impulse digitizers and impulse voltage dividers have a finite rise time, and the response does not immediately settle to final value. Slow rise time is often the cause of error for front time parameter. Creeping response is often the cause of error for time to half-value parameter. Step response of an instrument can be determined by applying a stable, known direct voltage, which is then shorted to ground by a mercury-wetted relay. The mercury-wetted relay is assumed nearly an ideal switch, which creates almost an ideal voltage step for input of the instrument. Convolving the derivative of the measured step response with an ideal input gives a measure of distortion caused by the non-perfect step response, and conversely deconvolving the measured step response with the measured signal gives the original input signal. This paper presents an FFT-based method for step response correction using deconvolution. Deconvolution is a mathematical process, which is used to reverse the non-ideal effects of measuring instrument on recorded data. Effectiveness of the method is demonstrated by two examples. In the first example, the non-ideal step responses of the different ranges of an impulse digitizer are corrected. Functionality of the step response correction is evaluated by comparing the results against a calculable impulse voltage calibrator. Results showed that the step response correction reduced errors in lightning impulse parameters. Stability of the step response correction was analysed by studying several impulse calibration results that have been performed for the instrument within a year. The second example corrects the response of a 2400 kV impulse voltage divider. The effectiveness of the correction is evaluated by comparing its results to a 400 kV reference divider.
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