Enhancements to the short pulse high intensity nanosecond X-radiator (SPHINX) pulsed power system

Nathan R. Joseph, Mark E. Savage, Jacob C. Stephens, John A. Lott, Barbara A. Lewis, Rayburn D. Thomas, Matthew A. Torres, Edward G. Holman

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

7 Scopus citations


The Sandia National Laboratories SPHINX accelerator is used to study the response of electronics to pulsed x-ray and electron environments. The system consists of a Marx generator and an oil-insulated pulse-forming line with self-closing oil switches. SPHINX has a peak load voltage of 2 MV and an adjustable pulse width ranging from 3 to 10 ns. The previous pulsed-power system had reliability and triggering issues with the Marx generator and subsequent undesired variations in voltage output. SPHINX was upgraded to a new Marx-generator system that has solved many of the voltage-output fluctuation and timing issues. The new Marx generator uses recently developed low-inductance 100-kV capacitors and 200-kV spark-gap switches. This paper provides an overview of SPHINX while capturing in detail the design, characterization, and comparative performance of the new Marx generator.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2015 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, PPC 2015
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781479984039
StatePublished - Oct 12 2015
EventIEEE Pulsed Power Conference, PPC 2015 - Austin, United States
Duration: May 31 2015Jun 4 2015

Publication series

NameDigest of Technical Papers-IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference


ConferenceIEEE Pulsed Power Conference, PPC 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Attenuators
  • Capacitance
  • Capacitors
  • Generators
  • Monitoring
  • Sulfur hexafluoride
  • Timing jitter


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