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Operation and empirical modeling of the plasma opening switch

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5 Author(s)
Rix, W. ; Maxwell Labs. Inc., San Diego, CA, USA ; Parks, Donald ; Shannon, John ; Thompson, J.
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Experiments on the performance of plasma opening switches (POS) were conducted on two pulsed power generators, the BLACK-JACK 5 and ACE 1 accelerators. The results demonstrate the capability of the POS as a final switching stage in an inductive energy storage system. The rate of delivery of current to an e-beam load on BLACKJACK 5 is multiplied by as much as a factor of five over the rate obtained without the switch. Experiments with a range of switch conduction times from 50 ns to 2 μs were designed to determine the scaling laws relating plasma density and geometry to the current that can be conducted by the switch and the peak voltage generated during opening into an inductively short-circuited load. The data, though moderately well correlated by a snowplow model of plasma dynamics, indicate that the physical processes governing switch behavior are not thoroughly understood

Published in:

Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

Apr 1991

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