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Operation of a relativistic backward-wave oscillator filled with a preionized high-density radially inhomogeneous plasma

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7 Author(s)
Shkvarunets, A.G. ; Inst. for Plasma Res., Maryland Univ., College Park, MD, USA ; Kobayashi, S. ; Carmel, Y. ; Rodgers, J.
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A modified relativistic (500 kV, 500 A) backward-wave oscillator (BWO) filled with a radially nonuniform preionized plasma of high-peak density (peak plasma frequency>operating frequency) is studied experimentally. The effects of high plasma density in the interaction region as well as the relativistic diode and the output horn regions were studied. By protecting both the diode and output regions against plasma penetration, the plasma effects on the BWO was studied up to a peak plasma density of 8·1012 cm-3. It was demonstrated that filling the BWO structure with high density radially nonuniform plasma leads to the following. 1) Suppression of high-order modes. This is a promising approach for implementing single mode operation of high-power large-diameter overmoded devices. 2) Frequency upshift of up to 30% (from 8.5 to 11 GHz). This demonstrates the possibility of electronic frequency tunability by controlling the plasma density. 3) Substantial increase in the measured microwave output power for np>1012 cm-3 over the corresponding vacuum value

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 3 )