The prospect of medium/high field superconducting magnets using second generation (2G) HTS tapes is approaching reality with continued enhancement in the performance of these conductors. While the cryogenic stability and quench propagation are fundamental issues for the design and safe operation of superconducting magnets, there is insufficient understanding and experimental data for 2G HTS conductors, in particular for the high field scenario at low temperature (<77 K) where the current sharing regime is much larger than in low temperature superconductors. The present work includes a systematic characterization of the relevant thermal-electrical properties used for both qualitative discussion and numerical analysis. Direct measurements of one dimensional adiabatic quench initiation and propagation of a stabilizer-free 2G conductor have been carried out with spatial-temporal recording of temperature and voltage following the deposition of varying local heat pulses to the conductor at different temperatures between 30 K and 77 K carrying different transport currents. The minimum quench energy, and the heat generation in the minimum propagation zone (MPZ) have been obtained as a function of temperature and transport current. The results show quench features unique to HTS such as an increasing MPZ with transport current and higher quench energies at lower temperatures. The experimental results are discussed in the context of current sharing over a large temperature range
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