Initial testing of a reflex triode vircator with adjustable A-K gap and cavity reflector

C. F. Lynn, J. M. Parson, P. Kelly, D. H. Barnett, A. A. Neuber, J. C. Dickens, J. Mankowski

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

2 Scopus citations


Virtual cathode oscillators (vircators) can be easily tuned by altering the current density of the electron beam. This can be accomplished by changing the voltage applied to the a-k gap, or by physically changing the gap separation. Previous results with an adjustable a-k gap vircator achieved discrete tuning at frequencies of 1.5 GHz, 2.1 GHz, 4.1 GHz, 4.6 GHz, and 5.9 GHz. To achieve better tunability an adjustable cavity reflector was incorporated into the vircator design. Initial testing of the new vircator design has shown increased output power, as well as the ability to greatly increase the number of frequencies that can be tuned. Sweeping the A-K gap with the cavity reflector in two positions yielded 10 different frequencies of operation. Also sweeping the cavity reflector with the a-k gap set at 8.0mm yielded another unique frequency. Currently 11 unique frequencies have been identified, and the peak field measured from this vircator increased from ∼40 kV/m to ∼69 kV/m (> 70% increase in field). This paper illustrates the design of the vircator and presents some of the microwave data obtained. Additionally, a summary of all of the frequencies obtained and the peak field measured are included.

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


  • Anodes
  • Cathodes
  • Cavity resonators
  • Frequency measurement
  • Generators
  • Microwave measurement
  • Testing


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