Skip to Main Content
Summary form only given, as follows. Experiments are being conducted on the HAWK inductive storage generator at the Naval Research Laboratory using a plasma opening switch (POS) to drive an electron-beam (e-beam) diode load. Utilizing a suite of current, voltage, and radiation diagnostics to measure power flow out of the POS as it opens into an e-beam diode, these experiments aim to elucidate the switch-load coupling, a phenomenon which is not currently well understood. Localized, shielded B-dot pickup coils located in the cathode and anode are used as current monitors to measure generator and load currents, to determine magnitude and location of current losses, and to determine the partitioning between electron-flow and cathode currents. The radiation diagnostics include a time resolved bremsstrahlung spectrometer, a Compton-Hall voltmeter, a scintillator photodiode, two pinhole cameras, and thermoluminescent dosimeters. The spectrometer is used to measure the high-energy tail of the bremsstrahlung spectrum, from which the electron energy may be inferred. This is compared with a direct load-voltage measurement using a vacuum voltmeter. By comparing the measured currents, load voltage, and spectrometer data, the effect of electron-flow current on the bremsstrahlung spectrum may be investigated. The effects of varying the POS conduction time, the anode-cathode gap, and the POS-to-load distance on POS-diode coupling will be reported.