Microwave breakdown studies of He - N2 mixtures in a pillbox cavity from 760 to 3040 torr

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Microwave breakdown of various He-N2 mixture combinations is investigated utilizing an S-band double window pillbox cavity. The objective is to determine the best combination of the two gases to maximize the mixture's ability to cool a dielectric surface while maintaining high breakdown thresholds. Helium is known to be an excellent source to dissipate heat from a dielectric, but it also has a low microwave breakdown threshold. Nitrogen does not transport heat as well, but has a much higher breakdown threshold. The studies focused on generating a series of E-field vs pressure curves for breakdown to help identify optimum He - N2 mixture ratios. The S-band double window pillbox has a 333 cm3 cavity with two ports to flow the gas mixture through. The pillbox is placed in a traveling wave resonant ring (TWRR) coupled to a 2.85 GHz, 4 MW, magnetron. This combination of double window pillbox and TWRR allows for testing power levels up to 40 MW. High speed diagnostics are used to measure the incident/reflected power and discharge luminosity. Coupled mass flow controllers maintain the gas mixture ratio and continuous gas flow through the cavity. Investigations can be conducted with single or multiple pulsed operations. Results ranged from a minimum of 5 MW for pure helium at 760 torr, to greater than 40 MW for pure nitrogen at 3040 torr.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-235
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Conference Record of Power Modulator Symposium
StatePublished - 2002
EventConference Record of the Twenty-Fifth International Power Modulator Symposium and 2002 High-Voltage Workshop - Hollywood, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 30 2002Jul 3 2002


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