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High-power, single-beam plasma wave tube

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4 Author(s)
Santoru, J. ; Hughes Res. Labs., Malibu, CA, USA ; Butler, J.M. ; Goebel, D.M. ; Schumacher, R.W.

Short-pulse, ultra-broadband sources of RF radiation are needed for a variety of new applications. To meet this demand, we have developed and optimized a single-beam Plasma Wave Tube (PWT), The PWT is a unique microwave/millimeter-wave source which utilizes the interaction between beamexcited electron plasma waves to generate kilowatt-power (~10 kW) radiation at microwave to millimeter-wave frequencies with a beam-to-radiation conversion efficiency of ⩾0.4%. In a single-beam PWT, an electron beam (⩽40 kV, ⩾200 A, 5-to-20-μs pulse width) is injected into a gas-filled (e,g., hydrogen) cylindrical waveguide. The beam first ionizes the gas to generate a plasma, and then nonlinearly interacts with the plasma to generate radiation from 6-to-60 GHz. Slew rates of up to 7 GHz/μs have been measured during a single beam pulse. The radiation has a wide instantaneous bandwidth, typically 10 GHz or wider. Electron-beam transport through the waveguide is accomplished with no externally applied magnetic fields because the beam space charge is cancelled by the background plasma

Published in:

Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 5 )