A Novel Technique Applying Spectral Estimation to Johnson Noise Thermometry

by N. Diane Bull Ezell, Chuck Britton, Nance Ericson, David Holcomb, M. J. Roberts, Seddik Djouadi, Richard Wood


Johnson noise thermometry is one of many important measurement techniques used to monitor the safety levels and stability in a nuclear reactor. However, this measurement is very dependent on the minimal electromagnetic environment. Properly removing unwanted electromagnetic interference (EMI) is critical for accurate drift-free temperature measurements. The two techniques developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to remove transient and periodic EMI are briefly discussed in this paper. Spectral estimation is a key component in the signal processing algorithm used for EMI removal and temperature calculation. The cross-power spectral density is a key component in the Johnson noise temperature computation. Applying either technique requires the simple addition of electronics and signal processing to existing resistive thermometers. With minimal installation changes, the system discussed here can be installed on existing nuclear power plants. The Johnson noise system developed is tested at three locations: ORNL, Sandia National Laboratory, and the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston Fossil Plant. Each of these locations enabled improvement on the EMI removal algorithm. The conclusions made from the results at each of these locations is discussed, as well as possible future work.

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Publication Citation

Nuclear Technology 2018 April 19, 2018
DOI: DOI 10.1080/00295450.2018.1452498