A Tesla-pulse forming line-plasma opening switch pulsed power generator

Novac, B. M.; Kumar, R.; Smith, I. R.
October 2010
Review of Scientific Instruments;Oct2010, Vol. 81 Issue 10, p104704
Academic Journal
A pulsed power generator based on a high-voltage Tesla transformer which charges a 3.85 Ω/55 ns water-filled pulse forming line to 300 kV has been developed at Loughborough University as a training tool for pulsed power students. The generator uses all forms of insulation specific to pulsed power technology, liquid (oil and water), gas (SF6), and magnetic insulation in vacuum, and a number of fast voltage and current sensors are implemented for diagnostic purposes. A miniature (centimeter-size) plasma opening switch has recently been coupled to the output of the pulse forming line, with the overall system comprising the first phase of a program aimed at the development of a novel repetitive, table-top generator capable of producing 15 GW pulses for high power microwave loads. Technical details of all the generator components and the main experimental results obtained during the program and demonstrations of their performance are presented in the paper, together with a description of the various diagnostic tools involved. In particular, it is shown that the miniature plasma opening switch is capable of reducing the rise time of the input current while significantly increasing the load power. Future plans are outlined in the conclusions.


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