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Efficiency enhancement in high power backward-wave oscillators

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6 Author(s)
Goebel, Dan M. ; Hughes Electron Dynamics, Torrance, CA, USA ; Adler, E.A. ; Ponti, E.S. ; Feicht, J.
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High power microwave (HPM) sources based on the backward-wave oscillator (BWO) have been investigated for the past two decades primarily because of their potential for very high efficiency (15 to 40%) operation. Several different effects have been proposed to explain this high efficiency compared to conventional BWOs. One of the major contributors to the high efficiency of the plasma-filled Pasotron HPM BWO source is the presence of optimally phased end reflections. The Pasotron uses a long-pulse (⩾100 μs) plasma-cathode electron-gun and plasma filled slow-wave structure to produce microwave pulses in the range of 1 to 10 MW without the use of externally produced magnetic fields. The efficiency of the Pasotron can be enhanced by up to a factor of two when the device is configured as a standing-wave oscillator in which properly phased reflections from the downstream collector end of the finite length SWS constructively interfere with the fundamental backward-wave modes and improve the coupling of the beam to the circuit. Operation in this configuration increases the efficiency up to 30% but causes the frequency to vary in discrete steps and the output power to change strongly with beam parameters and oscillation frequency

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 3 )