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Problèmes inverses pour le diagnostic de câbles électriques à partir de mesures de réflectométrie

Abstract : Electric cables are ubiquitous in many devices and systems where they are used for data or power transmission. These connection links are most often installed for long periods of operation during which they are subject to aging and sometimes exposed to harsh environments. While electric cables fulfill important and sometimes even critical functions, they might fail due to the hard constraints they have to endure. This motivates the need for monitoring tools, in order to detect early faults and to intervene as soon as possible, before they mutate into heavier damage whose consequences can be detrimental and expensive. EDF company is very affected by this problematic insofar as it operates significant lengths of cables for energy distribution, but also in power plant for power supply of the diverse apparatus, to route data and to transmit measurement. The company has been leading several studies regarding cable aging, cable faults, and wire diagnosis methods. The CAIMAN project (Cable AgIng MANagement), sponsored by the Engineering Department of Nuclear and Thermal Projects (SEPTEN), deals with these questions. The work presented in this dissertation were led in this context and results from a collaboration with Inria (French National Institute for Research in Applied Mathematics and Computer Sciences). Starting from the observation that existing cable diagnosis methods do not offer full satisfaction, we targeted the goal of developping new tools to improve the state of the art. Existing techniques rely on a range of tests, some of which are destructive or involve in-lab investigations, but these still cannot detect some kind of faults. Among major techniques, reflectometry has the most promising results. This technique consists in the same principle as a radar. One sends a wave down a cable from one end. Then the reflected signal is analysed searching for signs of faults. Yet, this method also suffers some limitations and soft faults remain hard to detect. Researchers and industries multiply the investigations in the domain of reflectometry-based techniques, and some get interesting results. Scientists from Inria developped algorithms for cable parameter estimation from reflectometry measurements, following an inverse-problem approach. The goal of our work was to extend these methods to meet the specific needs of EDF. One of the main challenges we coped with was to take into account electric losses in the resolution of the inverse problem. Our main contribution is a method to estimate the per unit length resistance profile of a cable. This estimation reveals resistive faults that most often only produce weak reflections in reflectometry measurements. Other contributions concerns the improvement of the method based on pre-processing of the data whose role is to erase the effect of impedance mismatches. This work breaks new grounds in the domain of reflectometry-based wire diagnosis techniques.
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Nassif Berrabah. Problèmes inverses pour le diagnostic de câbles électriques à partir de mesures de réflectométrie. Electronique. Université Rennes 1, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017REN1S140⟩. ⟨tel-01710510v2⟩

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