Optimization of a low jitter, 50 kV, 100 Hz triggered spark gap with high pressure gas mixtures

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Recent research efforts at Texas Tech University on impulse antenna phased array has needed to develop a reliable high voltage, high repetition rate switch that will operate with ultra low jitter. An ideal jitter of a small fraction of the risetime is required to accurately synchronize the array to steer and preserve the risetime of the radiated pulse. In [1], we showed the initial test system with sub-ns results for operations in different gases and gas mixtures. This paper discusses in detail 50 kV, 100 Hz switch operations with different gases. The effects of gases and gas mixtures have on switch performance which includes recovery rate and in particular jitter will be investigated. Gases tested include, dry air, H2, N2, and SF6, as well as H2-N2, and N2-SF6 gas mixtures. Switch jitter as a result of triggering conditions is discussed, also including a comprehensive evaluation of jitter as a function of formative delay in the various gases. The temperature of gas and its effects on switch jitter is also documented in this paper. A 50 , 1 nF pulse forming line is charged to 50 kV and provides the low inductance voltage source to test the different gases. Triggering is provided by a solid state opening switch voltage source that supplies ~150 kV, 10 ns risetime pulses at a rep rate up to 100 Hz in burst mode. A hermetically sealed spark gap with a Kel-F - PCTFE (PolyChloroTriFluoroEthylene) lining is used to house the switch and high pressure gas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5211842
Pages (from-to)971-978
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • And temperature.
  • Formative delay
  • High repetition rate switch
  • Impulse antenna
  • Low jitter
  • Phased array
  • Recovery rate
  • Risetime gas mixtures
  • Sub-ns


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