Imaging of high-power microwave-induced surface flashover on a corrugated dielectric window

Gregory Ford Edmiston, John T. Krile, Andreas A. Neuber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Dielectric window flashover is a severe pulse-shortening phenomenon limiting the power levels radiated in high power microwave (HPM) systems. This type of flashover develops in regions under high field stress coinciding with the dielectric interfaces separating the vacuum and atmospheric pressure sections of a microwave system. The formation of plasma at the exit aperture of a transmitting system can have several detrimental effects, including premature termination of the radiated pulse and/or the reflection of potentially damaging levels of radiation back toward the microwave source. Experimental studies of HPM surface flashover have been conducted under a variety of conditions in the S-band at power levels up to 5 MW with the aim of quantifying the relative impact of parameters such as gas pressure, type, and window geometry. One particular geometry variant designed with grooves perpendicular to the major electric field component at the window surface exhibited superior flashover suppression characteristics when compared with smooth window geometries. Images of HPM surface flashover evolution on this corrugated dielectric window geometry are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)946-947
Number of pages2
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number4 PART 1
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Dielectric breakdown
  • Dielectrics
  • Electric breakdown
  • Flashover
  • Microwave imaging
  • Microwave technology
  • Rough surfaces
  • Surface discharges
  • Surface roughness
  • Surface waves
  • Waveguides


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