NASA Facilities Use UL101 and PowerBeam for Electrical Inspection
CTRL Systems, Inc. is well known for its work with NASA in design and provision of ultrasound technology to meet NASA's strict standards. The UL101 is used on the International Space Station and was standard equipment on all Space Shuttles as the result of CTRL's capability to deliver the highest quality product as a "space hardened" version.
But CTRL's work with NASA did not stop with product delivery to space. The UL101 is being used by several laboratories and facilities throughout the NASA organization. One facility uses the UL101 together with the PowerBeam 300 for routine preventive maintenance of the medium and high voltage overhead power lines and transformers for which it is responsible. They are able to quickly inspect by listening for any arcing or buzzing sounds. No sound is expected from the insulators. Any ultrasound noise is an indication of partial discharge in the form of arcing, tracking, or corona. Such electrostatic discharge is the result of dirt or carbon deposits that, if ignored, could lead to arc flashover and insulator failure.
Inspection of the electrical system provides early indication, before catastrophic failure. Once a noise is discovered, the insulators are cleaned with an industrial wax. The UL101 is used to determine that the sound is no longer present, an indication that the insulators have returned to optimum, safe operating condition. There has been no catastrophic failure or accidents since the UL101 and PowerBeam 300 has been used.