Short pulse high power microwave surface flashover

J. Krile, L. McQuage, J. Walter, A. Neuber

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

1 Scopus citations


High Power Microwave (HPM) induced surface flashover is investigated in order to gain a better understanding of this phenomenon and reduce the limitations it imposes on transmitted power levels. This work builds on previous testing using a magnetron producing 5 MW for 4 μs at 2.85 GHz. Both the previous and current experimental setups are designed to produce a flashover on the high pressure side of a transmission window without the influence of a triple point. Limitations of the previous experiment included a maximum power of 5 MW and a pulse rise time of 50 ns. The current HPM source is an experimental virtual cathode oscillator (vircator), the output of which has been extensively characterized. The vircator is capable of producing 50 MW peak for 100 ns with an adjustable frequency from 3 to 5 GHz and a rise time of < 4 ns. The dominant modes of the vircator and magnetron are the circular TE11 and rectangular TE10 modes respectively, with the major electric field component in both setups normal to the direction of propagation, yielding comparable field geometries at the transmission window. The experimental setup permits the study of factors including gas pressure, composition, temperature, and air speed. Diagnostic equipment allows the analysis of power levels and flashover luminosity with sub-nanosecond resolution.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPPC2009 - 17th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2009
Event17th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, PPC2009 - Washington, DC, United States
Duration: Jun 28 2009Jul 2 2009

Publication series

NamePPC2009 - 17th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference


Conference17th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, PPC2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington, DC


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