Recent advances in high power ignitron development

D. L. Loree, M. Giesselmann, M. Kristiansen, A. Shulski, R. Kihara

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The development of high-power ignitrons with peak current ratings of up to 1000 kA and simultaneous charge transfer rates of 250-500 C is described. The authors discuss the advances made in high-power ignitron switching capabilities in a comparison study between conventional Size D and Size E tubes, demountable experimental tubes and the new NL-9000. The differences in tube design are shown together with the associated peak current and charge transfer capabilities and lifetime expectancies. The critical design criteria are the anode shape and placement in order to control the plasma and prevent prefires. Tube failure modes and recent studies on alternate ignitor schemes are presented. In addition, results of plasma diagnostics performed on a demountable ignitron with optical access to the discharge plasma are shown. Time-resolved images of the interference patterns from an optical Mach-Zehnder interferometer were recorded with a mechanical high-speed camera and evaluated with the help of image processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-276
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Conference Record of Power Modulator Symposium
StatePublished - Jun 1990
Event1990 Nineteenth Power Modulator Symposium - San Diego, CA, USA
Duration: Jun 26 1990Jun 28 1990


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