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Experimental study of a plasma-filled backward wave oscillator

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5 Author(s)
Xiaoling Zhai ; Dept. of Phys., California Univ., Irvine, CA, USA ; Garate, Eusebio ; Prohaska, R. ; Benford, G.
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Experimental studies of a plasma-filled X-band backward-wave oscillator (BWO) are presented. Depending on the background gas pressure, microwave frequency upshifts of up to 1 GHz appeared along with an enhancement by a factor of 7 in the total microwave power emission. The bandwidth of the microwave emission increased from ⩽0.5 GHz to 2 GHz when the BWO was working at the RF power enhancement pressure region. The RF power enhancement appeared over a much wider pressure range in a high beam current case (10-100 mT for 3 kA) than in a lower beam case (80-115 mT for 1.6 kA). The plasma-filled BWO has higher power output than the vacuum BWO over a broader region of magnetic guide field strength. Trivelpiece-Gould modes (T-G modes) are observed with frequencies up to the background plasma frequency in a plasma-filled BWO. Mode competition between the T-G modes and the X-band Tm01 mode prevailed when the background plasma density was below 6×1011 cm-3 . At a critical background plasma density of ≃8×1011 cm-3 power enhancement appeared in both X-band and the T-G modes. Power enhancement of the S-band in this mode collaboration region reached up to 8 dB. Electric fields measured by the Stark-effect method were as high as 34 kV/cm while the BWO power level was 80 MW. These electric fields lasted throughout the high-power microwave pulse

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 1 )