Periodic GW level microwave pulses in X-band from a combination of a relativistic backward wave oscillator and a helical waveguide compressor

P. Macinnes, V. L. Bratman, L. Zhang, G. G. Denisov, W. He, N. G. Kolganov, M. Mcstravick, S. V. Mishakin, C. W. Robertson, S. V. Samsonov, C. G. Whyte, A. R. Young, K. Ronald, A. D.R. Phelps, A. W. Cross

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Backward Wave Oscillators (BWO's) utilizing moderately relativistic (550kV), high-current (10 kA) electron beams are capable of producing hundreds of MWs of pulsed radiation in the centimeter wavelength range. Such relativistic BWOs (RBWOs) allow for broadband, smooth, frequency-tuning via adjustment of the accelerating potential; making them an attractive source for use in frequency-swept pulse compression. This paper presents results of a 2.86m long 5-fold helically corrugated, dispersive pulse compressor where a maximum power compression ratio of 25 was achieved by compressing an input microwave pulse of 80 ns duration swept from 9.65 GHz to 9.05 GHz into a 1.6ns Gaussian-envelope pulse. For an average input power of 5.8 kW generated by a conventional traveling wave tube amplifier, a peak pulse output power of 145 kW was measured corresponding to an energy efficiency of 66%. An X-band relativistic BWO, designed to drive a 0.97m long 5-fold compressor, was built and tested using the accelerating potential generated by a SINUS-6 highcurrent accelerator. The experimental RBWO operated close to the predicted power of 700MW with its oscillation frequency varied from 10 to 9.6GHz via the falling edge of the voltage pulse. It was demonstrated that the 15ns duration frequency-swept part of the RBWO pulse was effectively compressed resulting in a 4.5-fold peak power increase with a maximum power of 3.2 GW generated. The potential for a 5-fold helical waveguide to compress longer duration pulses generated by a RBWO is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 IEEE 21st International Conference on Pulsed Power, PPC
Place of PublicationPiscataway, N.J.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781509057481
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2018
Event21st IEEE International Conference on Pulsed Power - the Hilton Metropole Hotel, Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 18 Jun 201722 Jun 2017
Conference number: 21


Conference21st IEEE International Conference on Pulsed Power
Abbreviated titlePPC 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • high power microwave
  • BWO
  • Relativistic Backward Wave Oscillator
  • pulse compression


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