Modelling of post-breakdown characteristics of a plasma closing switch in air

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Gas-filled plasma closing switches (PCSs) are essential components of different high energy density pulsed power systems, used to generate short, high-power (10s MW to several GW) impulses. In multiple practical applications, PCSs are required to operate in high current (10s kA), high voltage (10s-100s kV) regimes, to produce fast rising (ns and sub-ns) HV impulses. The transient resistance of a PCS significantly affects the power delivered to the load and the rise time of the generated pulses.
This paper investigates the time-dependent resistance of the plasma channel formed between the electrodes of the PCS. Experimentally-obtained current waveforms were used to calculate the transient plasma resistance and channel radius formed in the PCS when filled with dry air. The channel resistance drops rapidly from a few hundreds of ohms to a few hundreds of milliohms due to the Joule heating of the channel. The resistance was obtained for different gas pressures, from 0 bar to 6 bar (gauge). The analytically-obtained transient plasma resistance was used to model current waveforms which have been compared with the experimental results. The developed model will help to optimise the operational performance of gas-filled PCSs.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2018
EventEAPPC & BEAMS 2018: 7th Euro-Asian Pulsed Power Conference (EAPPC) and 22nd International Conference on High-Power Particle Beams (BEAMS) - Changsha, China
Duration: 16 Sept 201820 Sept 2018


ConferenceEAPPC & BEAMS 2018
Internet address


  • plasma closing switch (PCS)
  • pulsed power systems
  • high energy density


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