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High-Power Modulated Intense Relativistic Electron Sources with Applications to RF Generation and Controlled Thermonuclear Fusion

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4 Author(s)

Recent advances in the physics and technology of the modulated intense relativistic electron beams (IREB's) are reviewed in this paper. Bunched dense electron beams can be used to construct high-power RF sources, which may critically affect future progress in fusion technology. In this paper a system is described in which electrical energy can be converted from a single pulse of relatively long duration into a series of subpulses of short duration (nanosecond and subnanosecond) and of high power (~1010 W). This electrical system consists of an IREB propagating through passive structures. The mutual interaction between the electron beam and one passive structure modifies the IREB so that power compression and beam modulation occur. When the modified IREB interacts with the next passive structure, the kinetic energy of the electrons is converted into electrical energy or RF energy. The beam current modulation depends on the injected IREB and the structure parameters. A 100-percent modulation of the current has been achieved. A single-beam source may be used for exciting radiation in a frequency range of 60 MHz to 10 GHz. In the frequency range of 60-750 MHz a modulated beam with power ~1010 W has already been achieved. IREB modulation at a frequency of ~3 GHz was performed and RF energy was extracted from the bunched beam with power output of 5 × 108 W.

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 3 )