Conversion of Mercury (a 2-TW Inductive Voltage Adder) to Positive Polarity
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC PLASMA PHYSICS DIV
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After 616 shots in a negative polarity configuration, Mercury, a 6-MV and 300-kA inductive voltage adder IVA, has been converted to positive polarity in order to extract ion beams. Conversion to positive polarity was achieved by rotating all six of the adder cells by 180 . In principle, we could have chosen to instead insert the center conductor from the other end of the adder to change polarity, but rotating the cells minimized the time required to make the transition. Although most of the same pieces were used, the center conductor had to be reconfigured in order to align the transition pieces with the cell feed gaps. Because the electron flow was anticipated to be very different in positive polarity, a result of emission from surfaces of different potential, a simple blade diode was fielded for the initial shots to gain a better understanding of operation in positive polarity. The blade diode consisted of the same cathode used as a dummy load in the first negative polarity shots on Mercury, but with a different carbon anode that just covered the end of the center conductor. After a few short circuit and initializing shots, a series of shots were taken where only the blade diode AK gap was varied in order to characterize self-limited and load-limited operation and to compare measurements with theory and simulation.
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