COMSED 2 - Recent advances to an explosively driven high power microwave pulsed power system

Mohamed A. Elsayed, Andreas A. Neuber, John W. Walter, Andrew J. Young, Charlie S. Anderson, Shad L. Holt, James Dickens, Magne Kristiansen, Larry L. Altgilbers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Continued efforts at the Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics at Texas Tech University have led to improvements to the design, testing, and performance of a high power microwave (HPM) system, which is sourced by Lithium-ion Polymer batteries, a polypropylene capacitor, and high energetics. An indirectly seeded two-stage helical flux compression generator (HFCG) produces electrical energies in the kilo-Joule regime into a low impedance inductive load, varying from 2 μH to 3 μH. This high current output of the explosively driven generator is conditioned with a pure silver-wire-based electro-explosive opening switch, which reaches voltage levels in excess of 300 kV into a 18 Ohm load. Upon reaching levels high enough to close an integrated peaking switch, this high voltage is sufficient to drive a reflex triode virtual cathode oscillator, also known as a Vircator, into radiation. The Vircator employed in the system has reached microwave radiation levels well over 100 Megawatts from a cavity volume of less than 5 Liters at a microwave frequency of a few GHz. The complete system is governed through a microcontroller that regulates seed and detonator charging levels as well as discharge times using built-in feedback diagnostics. The complete system aforementioned is constrained to 15 centimeter diameter and measures 183 centimeter in length with an overall volume of less than 34 Liters. No external power or vacuum pumping for the HPM tube is required. This report will discuss recent design advancements and improvements on the HPM system and its sub-components that include the compact seed source, HFCG, and the power conditioning system. Improved safety features implemented as well as novel diagnostic integration will be discussed as well.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE Conference Record - PPC 2011, Pulsed Power Conference 2011
Subtitle of host publicationThe 18th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2011
Event18th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, PPC 2011 - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: Jun 19 2011Jun 23 2011

Publication series

NameDigest of Technical Papers-IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference


Conference18th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, PPC 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityChicago, IL


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