Pulse Modulator Behavior of the Liquid Metal Plasma Valve (LMPV).
HUGHES RESEARCH LABS MALIBU CALIF
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The LMPV is a mercury-cathode, triggered, closing switch which employs a small area mercury pool and a cooled -30 C condensing surface to maintain the conditions for vacuum arc operation. These conditions result in high-voltage capability, fast recovery and high current operation with negligible cathode wear. Therefore, the LMPV was considered to have potential as a high average power closing switch for modulator applications. An LMPV closing switch LMPVCS was built at Hughes Research Laboratories and evaluated at ERADCOM at voltages up to 150 kV, currents up to 8 kA peak and 7.5 A average, pulse lengths up to 50 microseconds, and repetition rates up to 250 Hz. The device failed as a result of excessive anode dissipation caused by a long anode fall time on the order of 5 microseconds. Subsequent experimentation has indicated that the fall time is reduced at increased mercury vapor pressures, however, experiments are required to define the relation between the fall time and voltage hold-off capability. Author
- Electrical and Electronic Equipment
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics