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PLASMA-INJECTION VACUUM ENERGY DIVERTER (CROWBAR).
Rept. no. 4 (Final), 1 Jul 64-30 Jun 65,
GENERAL ELECTRIC CO SCHENECTADY N Y MICROWAVE TUBE BUSINESS SECTION
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The purpose of this program was to conduct a theoretical and experimental study toward establishing design concepts for high-voltage energy diverters. The approach utilized the relatively new principle of plasmoid injection for triggering the breakdown of a high-vacuum multiple-section gap. After the metallic arc conduction period the gap returns to a high-vacuum state and voltage hold-off capability, ready for a subsequent controlled operation by the plasmoid trigger. Studies were made on the effects of electrode material, geometry, sputtering, vacuum conditions, external geometry, methods of generating the plasmoid, electron and ion densities and their rate of propagation through vacuum, the trigger geometrical arrangement and location with respect to the hold-off electrodes, use of multiple triggering elements, factors influencing operating range, use of variable spacing and triggering speed, power-handling capabilities and recovery characteristics. The principles studied were used to construct a model of a high-power triggered vacuum gap with an operation objective of 350,000 volts DC. The limited tests results on the model are presented and recommendations for further work. Author
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