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Results of Work on Thermoemission Conversion,
ARMY FOREIGN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CENTER CHARLOTTESVILLE VA
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The paper reports that tests of the TOPAZ-3 thermionic reactor, similar in design to its 2 predecessors, began in 1972. By 1 March 1973, it had operated about 3000 hours at 5-7 kV, and efficiency was 30 higher than that of the first reactors. At the same time, tests of 1- and 5-element generating channels were conducted, with a 5-element channel operating for over 3000 hours at 1.7 Wsq cm. A single element with tungsten-rhenium emitter and niobium collector operated 2670 hours with initial power density of 7 Wsq cm dropping to nearly 3.5 Wsq cm by the end of the test. Unexpectedly great reduction in neutral component concentration was found in theoretical-experimental study of nonstationary cesium plasma. A triode thermionic converter, as a high-temperature thyratron, using a cesium-barium mixture at low pressure can close the circuit at up to 100 V, cathode temperature 1600C, current density up to 20 Asq cm and voltage drop of not over 5 V.
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