Evaluation of a triggered 50 kV, 100 Hz, sub-ns jitter high pressure gas switch with pressure, trigger magnitude and gas temperature

Y. Chen, J. Dickens, J. Mankowski, M. Kristiansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Research efforts at Texas Tech University on impulse antenna phased array has resulted in the development of a dependable high voltage, high repetition rate switch that can minimize jitter into the ps range. To accurately synchronize a phased array to steer and preserve the risetime of a radiated pulse, the jitter can only be a fraction of this risetime. Initial testing with a similar system in [1] produced sub-ns jitter results for operations in different gases and gas mixtures. This paper discusses in detail 50 kV, 100 Hz switch operations using different testing parameters. The switch jitter as a function of triggering conditions is discussed, including a comprehensive evaluation of jitter as a function of operation pressure as well as trigger magnitude. Several phenomenon were observed and discussed to quantify the switch jitter with respect to operation pressure and trigger magnitude. The temperature of gas and its effects on switch jitter is also documented in this paper, with a jitter improvement of ∼25% recorded. An empirical formula was determined as a function of the gas density, electric field of the main gap, and electric field for the trigger for the experiments conducted in this manuscript. A 50Ω, 1 nF pulse forming line is charged to 50 kV and provides the low inductance voltage source to test the switch. The hermetically sealed spark gap, with a modular design composed of copper tungsten electrodes, gas feeds, Kel-F lining, as a well as a G-10 shell is used to house the high pressure gases for the experiments. Trigatron-type triggering is provided by a solid state opening switch voltage source that supplies 75-150 kV, 10 ns risetime pulses at a rep rate up to 100 Hz in burst mode.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5976084
Pages (from-to)975-982
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Impulse antenna
  • formative delay
  • gas mixtures
  • gas temperature
  • high repetition rate switch
  • low jitter
  • phased array
  • recovery rate
  • sub-ns


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