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Title: Ultrafast gas switching experiments

Abstract

We describe recent experiments which studied the physics of ultrafast gas breakdown under the extreme overvoltages which occur when a high pressure gas switch is pulse charged to hundreds of kV in 1 ns or less. The highly overvolted peaking gaps produce powerful electromagnetic pulses with risetimes < 100 ps which can be used for ultrawideband radar systems, particle accelerators, laser drivers, bioelectromagnetic studies, electromagnetic effects testing, and for basic studies of gas breakdown physics. We have produced and accurately measured pulses with 50 to 100 ps risetimes to peak levels of 75 to 160 kV at pulse repetition frequencies (PRF) to I kHz. A unique gas switch was developed to hold off hundreds of kV with parasitic inductance less than I nH. An advanced diagnostic system using Fourier compensation was developed to measure single-shot risetimes below 35 ps. The complete apparatus is described and wave forms are presented. The measured data are compared with a theoretical model which predicts key features including dependence on gas species and pressure. We have applied this technology to practical systems driving ultrawideband radiating antennas and bounded wave simulators. For example, we have developed a thyristor/pulse transformer based system using a highly overvolted cablemore » switch. This pulser driving a Sandia- designed TEM cell, provides an ultra wideband impulse with < 200 ps risetime to the test object at a PRF > 1 kHz at > 100 kV/m E field.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE, Washington, DC (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
405757
Report Number(s):
SAND-93-0114
ON: DE97001334
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: Nov 1996
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING NOT INCLUDED IN OTHER CATEGORIES; PLASMA SWITCHES; BREAKDOWN; PULSE RISE TIME; ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSES; THYRISTORS; OSCILLATION MODES; TIME RESOLUTION

Citation Formats

Frost, C A, Martin, T H, Patterson, P E, Rinehart, L F, Rohwein, G J, Roose, L D, Aurand, J F, and Buttram, M T. Ultrafast gas switching experiments. United States: N. p., 1996. Web. doi:10.2172/405757.
Frost, C A, Martin, T H, Patterson, P E, Rinehart, L F, Rohwein, G J, Roose, L D, Aurand, J F, & Buttram, M T. Ultrafast gas switching experiments. United States. doi:10.2172/405757.
Frost, C A, Martin, T H, Patterson, P E, Rinehart, L F, Rohwein, G J, Roose, L D, Aurand, J F, and Buttram, M T. Fri . "Ultrafast gas switching experiments". United States. doi:10.2172/405757. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/405757.
@article{osti_405757,
title = {Ultrafast gas switching experiments},
author = {Frost, C A and Martin, T H and Patterson, P E and Rinehart, L F and Rohwein, G J and Roose, L D and Aurand, J F and Buttram, M T},
abstractNote = {We describe recent experiments which studied the physics of ultrafast gas breakdown under the extreme overvoltages which occur when a high pressure gas switch is pulse charged to hundreds of kV in 1 ns or less. The highly overvolted peaking gaps produce powerful electromagnetic pulses with risetimes < 100 ps which can be used for ultrawideband radar systems, particle accelerators, laser drivers, bioelectromagnetic studies, electromagnetic effects testing, and for basic studies of gas breakdown physics. We have produced and accurately measured pulses with 50 to 100 ps risetimes to peak levels of 75 to 160 kV at pulse repetition frequencies (PRF) to I kHz. A unique gas switch was developed to hold off hundreds of kV with parasitic inductance less than I nH. An advanced diagnostic system using Fourier compensation was developed to measure single-shot risetimes below 35 ps. The complete apparatus is described and wave forms are presented. The measured data are compared with a theoretical model which predicts key features including dependence on gas species and pressure. We have applied this technology to practical systems driving ultrawideband radiating antennas and bounded wave simulators. For example, we have developed a thyristor/pulse transformer based system using a highly overvolted cable switch. This pulser driving a Sandia- designed TEM cell, provides an ultra wideband impulse with < 200 ps risetime to the test object at a PRF > 1 kHz at > 100 kV/m E field.},
doi = {10.2172/405757},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1996},
month = {11}
}