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Self-Contained, Hand-Portable, and Repetitive Ultrawideband Radiation Source

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9 Author(s)
Baptiste Cadilhon ; Alternative Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), Le Barp, France ; Bruno Cassany ; Jean-Christophe Diot ; Patrick Modin
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This paper presents the design and experimental results of a hand-portable, self-contained, and repetitive radiation source of high-power ultrawideband (UWB) pulses. This source consists of a deployed UWB antenna driven by a high-pulsed power (HPP) generator and powered by a self-contained 50-kV rapid charger at repetition rates up to 100 Hz. By changing the HPP generator, two different electric wave shapes with two different frequency spectra can be generated. Each HPP generator is based on the use of a repetitive Marx generator. On the one hand, a 200-kV/1.4-J Marx generator is associated with a coaxial pulse-forming stage consisting of two highly pressurized spark gap switches and a Blumlein line, which produces bipolar pulses. Its main characteristics are an output voltage of +100 kV/-100 kV and a pulsewidth of 1.5 ns. On the other hand, we have developed a second eight-stage Marx generator, where the pulse-forming stage is the last stage of the structure. It delivers pulses in the 150-kV/1-J range, with a fall time of 300 ps and an 850-ps pulse duration. Electrical signals are radiated by a deployed Valentine antenna. It is a new traveling wave antenna that is designed to radiate high-voltage repetitive pulses with the challenge of high gain and low dispersion in an extremely restricted volume. The design of a rapid charging power supply is also presented, meeting stringent package constraints while still enabling high repetition rates. It has already demonstrated its capability of charging, from a dc power battery, a 5-nF capacitance up to 50 kV in 5 ms at a 100-Hz repetition rate for some bursts of thousand pulses. The autonomy is more than 35 000 shots (depending on the number of battery packs inside). Electric field measurements were performed on the whole package to determine the figure of merit (the maximum value of far-field peak electric field strength multiplied by the distance) of the UWB source in each configuration (bipolar and monopolar sets). The - - figure of merit measured is 200 kV for both.

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IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science  (Volume:39 ,  Issue: 6 )