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Title: Fundamental studies on initiation and evolution of multi-channel discharges and their application to next generation pulsed power machines.

Future pulsed power systems may rely on linear transformer driver (LTD) technology. The LTD's will be the building blocks for a driver that can deliver higher current than the Z-Machine. The LTD's would require tens of thousands of low inductance ( %3C 85nH), high voltage (200 kV DC) switches with high reliability and long lifetime ( 10 4 shots). Sandia's Z-Machine employs 36 megavolt class switches that are laser triggered by a single channel discharge. This is feasible for tens of switches but the high inductance and short switch life- time associated with the single channel discharge are undesirable for future machines. Thus the fundamental problem is how to lower inductance and losses while increasing switch life- time and reliability. These goals can be achieved by increasing the number of current-carrying channels. The rail gap switch is ideal for this purpose. Although those switches have been extensively studied during the past decades, each effort has only characterized a particular switch. There is no comprehensive understanding of the underlying physics that would allow predictive capability for arbitrary switch geometry. We have studied rail gap switches via an extensive suite of advanced diagnostics in synergy with theoretical physics and advanced modeling capability.more » Design and topology of multichannel switches as they relate to discharge dynamics are investigated. This involves electrically and optically triggered rail gaps, as well as discrete multi-site switch concepts.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States