Global model for total delay time distribution of high-power microwave surface flashover

Sterling R. Beeson, James C. Dickens, Andreas A. Neuber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A global model of high-power microwave (HPM) window breakdown is elucidated. The model provides a practical approach for estimating the maximum microwave power and pulse length that can be transmitted for a given window geometry at varying background gas pressure. Based on recent experimental and modeling progress, the formative and statistical breakdown delay time contributions are included in the model. The provided details are intended to give the reader a starting point in designing an HPM system for which surface breakdown along the output window is a major concern. Spanning five orders of magnitude in power, four microwave bands, three orders of magnitude in pulsewidth, three orders of magnitude in pressure, and three different gas types, the model serves to determine the probability of breakdown for a given set of input parameters with the modest computational effort. Examples of how to use the model are given, and the results are compared with actual systems and measured experimental delay times.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6923463
Pages (from-to)3450-3457
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Breakdown
  • formative delay time
  • high-power microwaves
  • statistical delay time
  • surface flashover.


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