A high power microwave triggered RF opening switch

S. Beeson, J. Dickens, A. Neuber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A 4-port S-band waveguide structure was designed and fabricated such that a signal of any amplitude (less than 1 MW) can be switched from a normally closed state, <0.5 dB insertion loss (IL), to an open state >30 dB IL by initiating plasma in a gas cell situated at the junction of this waveguide and one propagating a megawatt level magnetron pulse. The 90/10 switching time is as low as 20 ns with a delay of ∼30 ns between the onset of the high power microwave pulse and the initial drop of the signal. Two ports of this device are for the high power triggering pulse while the other two ports are for the triggered signal in a Moreno-like coupler configuration. In order to maintain high isolation, these two sets of waveguides are rotated 90° from each other with a TE111 resonator/plasma cell located at the intersection. This manuscript describes the design and optimization of this structure using COMSOL 4.4 at the design frequency of 2.85 GHz, comparison of simulated scattering parameters with measured "cold tests" (testing without plasma), and finally the temporal waveforms of this device being used to successfully switch a low power CW signal from 2 W to <5 mW on a sub-microsecond timescale.

Original languageEnglish
Article number034704
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2015


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