Numerical analysis of high-power X-band sources, at low magnetic confinement, for use in a multi-source array

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High-power microwave sources are typically relativistic in nature, employing multi-kilo-ampere electron beams that require significant magnetic confinement for efficient operation. As the desired output power increases so does the complexity, and overall energy requirements, of the source. It can therefore be advantageous to consider the use of several, moderate-power, sources operating as a phased array; for an array of N sources the far-field peak intensity scales as N2, and the peak-of-field may be steered electronically by varying the relative phases of the different output signals. In this paper we present the numerical analysis of a short-pulse (∼1ns) X-band backward-wave
oscillator, driven by a 210keV, 1.4kA electron beam, suitable for use as the radiative element in such an array. Investigation of the required magnetic confinement showed two peaks in performance, with the highest efficiency, of
43%, predicted at the low magnetic confinement peak at 0.3T, corresponding to 125MW peak output power. The magnitude, and timing, of the peak in the output pulse were functions of the rise-time of the electron beam energy,
with longer rise-times resulting in delayed peak-of-field and lower peak output power. When operating in an array, to maintain effective output in the region of N2, it was determined that the beam rise-times, across all sources, should be ≤150ps with the adjustment of the relative timing between output’s being ±30ps.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-346
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number1
Early online date8 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2022


  • Backward-Wave Oscillators (BWOs)
  • high power microwave generation
  • microwave oscillators
  • Slow-Wave Structures (SWSs)
  • phased arrays


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