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Raman Thermometry check on health of power lines


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Raman Thermometry

Mains level : Discom issues

Researchers at IIT Madras have demonstrated that by using Raman thermometry on fibre optic cables, they can achieve the monitoring of power transmission cables.

What is Raman Thermometry?

  • Raman spectroscopy is well known as an analytical method for identifying chemical compounds and characterizing the chemical bonding and solid-state structure of materials.
  • Perhaps less well known is the fact that one can use Raman spectroscopy to determine the temperature of the material being analyzed.

For that, we need to get familiarized with Raman Effect

  • India’s first and so far only Nobel laureate in physics, C.V. Raman, won the prize for his discovery of the Raman Effect.
  • This consisted of experimental observations on the scattering of light.
  • In the Raman Effect, when light is scattered off an object, say a molecule, two bands are observed, with a higher and lower frequency than the original light, called the Stokes and anti-Stokes bands, respectively.
  • By studying the relative intensity of the two bands, it is possible to estimate the temperature of the object that scattered the light.
  • The anti-Stokes component of Raman scattering is strongly dependent on the temperature that the material is subjected to.

Thus, by measuring the intensity of the anti-Stokes scattered light we can estimate the temperature. This is Raman thermometry.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Which Indian astrophysicist and Nobel laureate predicted rapidly rotating stars emit polarized light?

(a) Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

(b) CV Raman

(c) Ramanujan

(d) Amartya Sen

What has IITM achieved?

  • The temperature measurement was performed in not just one location, but in a distributed manner using an optical fibre.
  • To achieve this, a pulse of light was launched into the optical fibre and the backscattered radiation was observed.
  • The time of flight of the backscattered radiation provided an estimate of the distance from which the light is backscattered.
  • This can go up to tens of kilometres. This technique is married to Raman thermometry to get the results for actual measurements over tens of kilometres.

What makes this experiment special?

  • The distribution Sector considered the weakest link in the entire power sector.
  • We are much aware of Transmission and Distribution loss that is incurred to our DISCOMS.
  • This IITM technology helps analyze transmission efficiencies in a better way.
  • The present method devised by the team is both economical and provides real-time information.
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