Conference Paper: Partial Discharge Localization Based on Received Signal Strength
Sep 2017, IEEE International Conference for Students on Applied Engineering (ICSAE)

Partial Discharge (PD) occurs when insulation containing defects or voids is subject to high voltages. If left untreated PD can degrade insulation until, eventually, catastrophic insulation failure occurs. The detection of PD current pulses, however, can allow incipient insulation faults to be identified, located and repaired prior to plant failure. Wireless technology has paved the path for PD detection and monitoring. Software Defined Radio (SDR) is a promising technology. Signals from two PD sources are received at six outdoors locations using an SDR USRP N200 which is connected to a laptop. PD sources, thereafter, are localized based on received signal strengths.


Conference Paper: Partial Discharge detection using Software Defined Radio
Oct 2016, IEEE International Conference for Students on Applied Engineering (ICSAE)

Partial discharge (PD) is an electrical discharge that occurs within part of the dielectric separating two HV (High Voltage) conductors. PD causes damage to the dielectric which typically deteriorates with time. If left untreated, PD may result in catastrophic insulation failure, destruction of HV equipment, and disruption of power supply. The emergence of wireless network technology and software defined radio has opened new opportunities in PD monitoring and early detection of failures. This paper proposes the use of Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) technology for PD detection.


Conference Paper: Partial Discharge Detection Using Low Cost RTL-SDR Model for Wideband Spectrum Sensing
Apr 2016, IEEE International Conference on Telecommunications (ICT)

Partial discharge (PD) is one of the predominant factors to be controlled to ensure reliability and undisrupted functions of power generators, motors, Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) and grid connected power distribution equipment, especially in the future smart grid. The emergence of wireless technology has provided numerous opportunities to optimise remote monitoring and control facilities that can play a significant role in ensuring swift control and restoration of HV plant equipment. In order to monitor PD, several approaches have been employed, however, the existing schemes do not provide an optimal approach for PD signal analysis, and are very costly. In this paper an RTLSDR (Software Defined Radio) based spectrum analyser has been proposed in order to provide a potentially low cost solution for PD detection and monitoring. Initially, a portable spectrum analyser has been used for PD detection that was later replaced by an RTL-SDR device. The proposed schemes exhibit promising results for spectral detection within the VHF and UHF band.


Book: Software Defined Radio using MATLAB & Simulink and the RTL-SDR
Sep 2015, Strathclyde Academic Media

book_coverThe availability of the RTL-SDR for less than $20 brings SDR to the home and work desktops of EE students, professional engineers and the maker community. The RTL-SDR device can be used to acquire and sample RF (radio frequency) signals transmitted in the frequency range 25MHz to 1.75GHz, and using some official software add-ons, these samples can be brought into the MATLAB and Simulink environment for users to develop receivers using first principles DSP algorithms. Signals that the RTL-SDR hardware can receive include: FM radio, UHF band signals, ISM signals, GSM, 3G and LTE mobile radio, GPS and satellite signals, and any that the reader can (legally) transmit of course!

In this free book we introduce readers to SDR methods by viewing and analysing downconverted RF signals in the time and frequency domains, and then provide extensive DSP enabled SDR design exercises which the reader can learn from. The hands-on examples begin with simple AM and FM receivers, and move on to the more challenging aspects of PHY layer DSP, where receive filter chains, real-time channelisers, and advanced concepts such as carrier synchronisers, digital PLL designs and QPSK timing and phase synchronisers are implemented. Towards the end of the book, we demonstrate how the RTL-SDR can be used with SDR transmitters to develop a more complete communications system, capable of transmitting text strings and images across the desktop.

You can download a copy of the book from:


Journal Article: A low-cost desktop software defined radio design environment using MATLAB, simulink, and the RTL-SDR
Sep 2015, IEEE Communications Magazine, Special Edition on Software Defined Radio: 20 Years Later

In the last 5 years, the availability of powerful DSP and Communications design software, and the emergence of relatively affordable devices that receive and digitize RF signals, has brought Software Defined Radio (SDR) to the desktops of many communications engineers. However, the more recent availability of very low cost SDR devices such as the RTL-SDR, costing less than $20, brings SDR to the home desktop of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as both professional engineers and the maker communities. Since the release of the various open source drivers for the RTL-SDR, many in the digital communications community have used this device to scan the RF spectrum and digitise I/Q signals that are being transmitted in the range 25MHz to 1.75GHz. This wide bandwidth enables the sampling of frequency bands containing signals such as FM radio, ISM signals, GSM, 3G and LTE mobile radio, GPS and so on. In this paper we will describe the opportunity and operation of the RTL-SDR, and the development of a hands-on, open-course for SDR. These educational materials can be integrated into core curriculum undergraduate and graduate courses, and will greatly enhance the teaching of DSP and communications theory, principles and applications. The lab and teaching materials have recently been used in Senior (4th year Undergraduate) courses and are available as open course materials for all to access, use and evolve.

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