Repetitive operation of a megawatt class reflex-triode vircator

Jonathan M. Parson, Curtis F. Lynn, David H. Barnett, Shad L. Holt, Patrick M. Kelly, James C. Dickens, Andreas A. Neuber, John J. Mankowski

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

3 Scopus citations


Repetitive operation of high-power microwave (HPM) sources is primarily restricted by thermal properties of anode and cathode materials. Note that even in single shot operation, vircators generally inject undesired plasma from the anode/cathode surfaces under high current densities, leading to excessive heating of electrode materials, vacuum degradation and impedance collapse that may ultimately lead to cut-off of microwave power. Heating of the anode and cathode materials during repetitive operation intensifies these problems and will cause accelerated erosion and/or permanent damage of the anode and cathode surfaces, especially when metallic electrodes are used. Hence, the vircator herein utilizes a carbon fiber cathode and a pyrolytic graphite anode. This paper elucidates the heating of the anode and cathode, and their spectrally resolved black-body radiation properties during repetitive operation.

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
  • Electromagnetic heating
  • Graphite
  • Microwave oscillators
  • Temperature measurement


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