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Recent Measurements of the Ferratron: A High-Voltage, Fast Risetime Gas Switch with a Ferroelectric Trigger

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Conference paper

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We provide here an update on the status of ferratron development. The ferratron is a high-voltage, fast risetime, gas switch with low-jitter and high repetition rate. It is triggered by the emission of electrons from a ferroelectric device. It may be suitable for phased arrays due to its low jitter. We have designed and built a test chamber for measuring the output of the ferratron. The test chamber is designed to launch a fast-risetime wave into an electrically large coaxial structure. The transition from gas to oil is accomplished with a polyethylene lens with one surface being a hyperbola of revolution. The goal of the transition is to preserve the risetime of the wave as it transitions from gas to an electrically large oil coax. We provide here preliminary data on the test chamber characteristics, in terms of both TDR time domain reflectometry and TDT time domain transmission. We have included in our test chamber a method of connecting the gap to a feed cable, in order to drive the gap with a known source for calibration. We demonstrate that the risetime of the test chamber in time domain transmission TDT mode is around 50 ps, which is sufficiently fast to measure the anticipated 100 ps risetime of the pulses to be generated by the ferratron. We also provide measurements of the switch in a hybrid trigatron ferratron mode.

Subject Categories:

  • Electrical and Electronic Equipment
  • Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods
  • Electricity and Magnetism

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