Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics.
TTU Home Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering P3E Home Faculty

Dr. James Dickens, P.E.

Co-Director, Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics
C.B. Thornton Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Contact Information

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX 79409-3102

Phone: (806)742-1254
Fax: (806)742-1245
James.Dickens@ttu.edu

Education

Research Interests

Other Interests

Projects

Awards and Professional Societies

Publications


Journal

Publication Year:  2016
+ Characteristics of a Four Element Gyromagnetic Nonlinear Transmission Line Array High Power Microwave Source
  J. Johnson, D. Reale, J. Krile, R. Garcia, W. Cravey, A. Neuber, J. Dickens, and J. Mankowski, "Characteristics of a Four Element Gyromagnetic Nonlinear Transmission Line Array High Power Microwave Source," Review of Scientific Instruments 87, 034706 (2016)
Abstract:  In this paper, a solid-state four element array gyromagnetic nonlinear transmission line high power microwave system is presented as well as a detailed description of its subsystems and general output capabilities. This frequency agile S-band source is easily adjusted from 2-4 GHz by way of a DC driven biasing magnetic field and is capable of generating electric fields of 7.8 kV/m at 10 m correlating to 4.2 MW of RF power with pulse repetition frequencies up to 1 kHz. Beam steering of the array at angles of ±16.7° is also demonstrated, and the associated general radiation pattern is detailed.

[PDF]

+ Contact Extensions Over a High-k Dielectric Layer for Surface Electric Field Mitigation in High Power 4H-SiC Photoconductive Switches
  A. Chowdhury, D. Reale, R. P. Joshi, A. A. Neuber, and J. C. Dickens, "Contact Extensions Over a High-k Dielectric Layer for Surface Electric Field Mitigation in High Power 4H-SiC Photoconductive Switches." Accepted, 2016
Abstract:  We focus on a simulation study to probe the mitigation of electric fields, especially at the edges of metal contacts to SiC-based photoconductive switches. Field reduction becomes germane given that field-induced failures near contacts have been reported. A dual strategy of extending metal contacts to effectively spread the electric field over a larger distance and to employ HfO₂ as a high-k dielectric, is discussed. Simulation results show that peak electric fields can be lowered by up to ~67% relative to a standard design. Finally, our calculations predict that the internal temperature rise for a ~7-ns laser pulse and applied voltages around 20 kV (typical experimental values) would also be effectively controlled.

[PDF]

+ Discrete Photon Implementation for Plasma Simulations
  A. Fierro, J. Stephens, S. Beeson, J. Dickens, and A. Neuber, "Discrete Photon Implementation for Plasma Simulations," Phys. Plasmas 23, 03506 (2016)
Abstract:  The self-produced light emission from pulsed plasma discharges and its impact on plasma development are challenging to characterize through simulation and modeling, chiefly due to the large number of radiating species and limited computer memory. Often, photo-processes, such as photo-ionization or photo-emission of electrons, are implemented through over-simplifying approximations or neglected altogether. Here, a method applicable to plasma simulations is implemented in a Particle-in-Cell /Monte Carlo Collision model, which is capable of discretely tracking photons and their corresponding wavelengths. Combined with the appropriate cross sections or quantum yields, a wavelength dependent model for photo-ionization or photo-emission may be implemented. Additionally, by resolving the wavelengths of each photon, an emission spectrum for a region of interest may be generated. Simulations for a pure nitrogen environment reveal that the calculated emission profile of the second positive system agrees well with the experimental spectrum of a pulsed, nanosecond discharge in the same spectral region.

[PDF]

+ Investigation of a stripline transmission line structure for gyromagnetic nonlinear transmission line high power microwave sources
  D. V. Reale, J. M. Parson, A. A. Neuber, J. C. Dickens, and J. J. Mankowski, "Investigation of a stripline transmission line structure for gyromagnetic nonlinear transmission line high power microwave sources," Review of Scientific Instruments 87, 054704 (2016).
Abstract:  A stripline gyromagnetic nonlinear transmission line (NLTL) was constructed out of yttrium iron garnet ferrite and tested at charge voltages of 35 kV–55 kV with bias fields ranging from 10 kA/m to 20 kA/m. Typically, high power gyromagnetic NLTLs are constructed in a coaxial geometry. While this approach has many advantages, including a uniform transverse electromagnetic (TEM) mode, simple interconnection between components, and the ability to use oil or pressurized gas as an insulator, the coaxial implementation suffers from complexity of construction, especially when using a solid insulator. By moving to a simpler transmission line geometry, NLTLs can be constructed more easily and arrayed on a single substrate. This work represents a first step in exploring the suitability of various transmission line structures, such as microstrips and coplanar waveguides. The resulting high power microwave (HPM) source operates in ultra high frequency (UHF) band with an average bandwidth of 40.1% and peak rf power from 2 MW to 12.7 MW.

[PDF]

+ Photoionization Capable, Extreme and Vacuum Ultraviolet Emission in Developing Low Temperature Plasmas in Air
  J. Stephens, A. Fierro, S. Beeson, G. Laity, D. Trienekens, R. P. Joshi, J. C. Dickens, and A. A. Neuber, "Photoionization Capable, Extreme and Vacuum Ultraviolet Emission in Developing Low Temperature Plasmas in Air." Plasma Sources Sci. Technol. 25 (2016) 025024 (11pp)
Abstract:  Not Available

[PDF]

Publication Year:  2015
+ A Frequency Stable Vacuum-Sealed Tube High-Power Microwave Vircator Operated at 500 Hz
  J. M. Parson, C. F. Lynn, M. C. Scott, S. Calico, J. C. Dickens, A. A. Neuber, and J. J. Mankowski, "A Frequency Stable Vacuum-Sealed Tube High-Power Microwave Vircator Operated at 500 Hz," Electron Device Letters, (2015).
Abstract:  Operation of repetitive high-power microwave (HPM) sources is predominantly limited by thermal properties of anode and cathode materials. This paper presents a reflex-triode virtual cathode oscillator (vircator) capable of operating at 500 Hz at current densities between 100-200 A/cm2 for multiple burst durations of 1-2 seconds. Stable vircator operation under such a thermally punishing environment is facilitated by the use of a thin pyrolytic graphite anode. The results presented focus on two anode-cathode (A-K) gap spacings: 11 mm and 21 mm, which produce stable microwave radiation at 4.6 GHz and 1.6 GHz, respectively. Characteristic voltage, current and microwave waveforms in conjunction with short-time Fourier transforms (STFTs), frequency spectrographs and HPM power density data for 1,000 and 500 pulses at 1.6 GHz and 4.6 GHz, respectively, are presented.

[PDF]

+ A high power microwave triggered RF opening switch
  S. Beeson, J. Dickens, A. Neuber, "A high power microwave triggered RF opening switch", Rev. Sci. Instrum., (2015).
Abstract:  A 4-port S-band waveguide structure was designed and fabricated such that a signal of any amplitude (less than 1 MW) can be switched from a normally closed state, <0.5 dB insertion loss (IL), to an open state >30 dB IL by initiating plasma in a gas cell situated at the junction of this waveguide and one propagating a megawatt level magnetron pulse. The 90/10 switching time is as low as 20 ns with a delay of ∼30 ns between the onset of the high power microwave pulse and the initial drop of the signal. Two ports of this device are for the high power triggering pulse while the other two ports are for the triggered signal in a Moreno-like coupler configuration. In order to maintain high isolation, these two sets of waveguides are rotated 90° from each other with a TE111 resonator/plasma cell located at the intersection. This manuscript describes the design and optimization of this structure using COMSOL 4.4 at the design frequency of 2.85 GHz, comparison of simulated scattering parameters with measured "cold tests" (testing without plasma), and finally the temporal waveforms of this device being used to successfully switch a low power CW signal from 2 W to <5 mW on a sub-microsecond timescale.

[PDF]

+ A Model Study of the Role of Workfunction Variations in Cold Field Emission From Microstructures With Inclusion of Field Enhancements
  H. Qiu, R. P. Joshi, A. Neuber, and J. Dickens, "A Model Study of the Role of Workfunction Variations in Cold Field Emission From Microstructures With Inclusion of Field Enhancements," Semicond. Sci. Technol. 30, 105038 (2015).
Abstract:  An analytical study of field emission from microstructures is presented that includes position-dependent electric field enhancements, quantum corrections due to electron confinement and fluctuations of the workfunction. Our calculations, applied to a ridge microstructure, predict strong field enhancements. Though quantization lowers current densities as compared to the traditional Fowler–Nordheim process, strong field emission currents can nonetheless be expected for large emitter aspect ratios. Workfunction variations arising from changes in electric field penetration at the surface, or due to interface defects or localized screening, are shown to be important in enhancing the emission currents.

[PDF]

+ Analysis of high field effects on the steady-state current-voltage response of semi-insulating 4H-SiC for photoconductive switch applications
  R. Tiskumara, R. P. Joshi, D. Mauch, J. C. Dickens, and A. A. Neuber, "Analysis of high field effects on the steady-state current-voltage response of semi-insulating 4H-SiC for photoconductive switch applications," J. Appl. Phys. 118, 095701 (2015)
Abstract:  A model-based analysis of the steady-state, current-voltage response of semi-insulating 4H-SiC is carried out to probe the internal mechanisms, focusing on electric field driven effects. Relevant physical processes, such as multiple defects, repulsive potential barriers to electron trapping, band-to-trap impact ionization, and field-dependent detrapping, are comprehensively included. Results of our model match the available experimental data fairly well over orders of magnitude variation in the current density. A number of important parameters are also extracted in the process through comparisons with available data. Finally, based on our analysis, the possible presence of holes in the samples can be discounted up to applied fields as high as ∼275 kV/cm.

[PDF]

+ Anode Materials for High-Average-Power Operation in Vacuum at Gigawatt Instantaneous Power Levels
  Curtis F Lynn, Jonathan M. Parson, Michael C. Scott, Steve E. Calico, James C. Dickens, Andreas A. Neuber, and John J. Mankowski. "Anode Materials for High-Average-Power Operation in Vacuum at Gigawatt Instantaneous Power Levels." Electron Devices, IEEE Transactions on 62, no. 6 2044-2047 (2015)
Abstract:  The thermal behavior of several electrically conducting solids under high incident electron fluence in high vacuum was evaluated. At electron energies of up to ~200 keV, the depth-dose relationship for electron penetration into the materials was considered, and the resulting energy deposition profile from the surface was revealed to extend to a maximum of ~175 μm below the surface depending on the anode material. Black body radiation is considered as the major mechanism that balances the power deposited in the material on the timescales of interest. Comparing the radiated power density at the sublimation temperature for different materials, metallic/nonmetallic, revealed that pyrolytic graphite anodes may radiate over 20 times more power than metallic anodes before failure due to sublimation. In addition, transparent pyrolytic graphite anodes (with a thickness on the order of several tens of micrometer) potentially radiate up to 40 times that of metallic anodes, since heating by the electron beam is approximately uniform throughout the thickness of the material, thus radiation is emitted from both sides. Experimental results obtained from titanium and pyrolytic graphite anodes validate the thermal analysis.

[PDF]

+ Evaluating the Performance of a Carbon-Epoxy Capillary Cathode and Carbon Fiber Cathode in a Sealed-Tube Vircator Under UHV Conditions
  E. Rocha, P. M. Kelly, J. M. Parson, C. F. Lynn, J. C. Dickens, A. A. Neuber, J. J. Mankowski, T. Queller, J. Gleizer, and Y. E. Krasik. "Evaluating the Performance of a Carbon-Epoxy Capillary Cathode and Carbon Fiber Cathode in a Sealed-Tube Vircator Under UHV Conditions." IEEE Trans. on Plasma Sci. 43, 2670-2675 (2015)
Abstract:  This paper evaluates the performance of a bimodal carbon fiber cathode and a carbon-epoxy multicapillary cathode operating within a reflex-triode sealed-tube virtual cathode oscillator (vircator). The experimental results reveal that both cathodes exhibit similar emission behavior, although with some significant operational differences. An eight-stage 84-J pulseforming network-based Marx generator serves to drive both cathodes at 250 kV and 3-4 kA with a ~70-ns pulsewidth. Both cathodes undergo conditioning over 10000 pulses to determine gas evolution as well as electrical changes over time. Gas evolution of both cathodes is observed using a residual gas analyzer to determine individual gas constituents. A comparison of diode voltage, diode current, RF output, and outgassing data for both cathodes during vircator operation over 10000 pulses is presented to quantify cathode performance in a sealed-tube vircator. Changes in cathode surface morphology, from virgin to postmortem, are discussed. Data for various anode-cathode gap distances, from 3 to 15 mm, are presented. The evolution of voltage and current inputs to the vircator is discussed.

[PDF]

+ Evaluation of a Pulsed Ultraviolet Light-Emitting Diode for Triggering Photoconductive Semiconductor Switches
  D. Mauch, C. Hettler, W. W. Sullivan, A. A. Neuber, and J, Dickens, "Evaluation of a Pulsed Ultraviolet Light-Emitting Diode for Triggering Photoconductive Semiconductor Switches," IEEE Trans. Plasma Sci. 43, 2182-2186 (2015)
Abstract:  The power output, forward voltage, conversion efficiency, and spectral characteristics of a 365 nm ultraviolet light-emitting diode (LED) were measured for applications of triggering wide-bandgap photoconductive switches for pulsed power applications. Pulsed currents through the LED ranged from 125 mA up to 2.2 A at widths from 10 μs up to several seconds. Using time-resolved electroluminescence spectroscopy, peak emission was observed to occur at 368.5 nm for short pulses with a red-shift to 371.8 nm for pulses 8 s in duration. A peak light output of 4.1 W was measured for short pulses (<;50 μs) of 2.12 A, corresponding to six times the rated output specification. The LED was used to trigger a high-voltage photoconductive semiconductor switch (PCSS) at voltages up to 6 kV into a high-impedance load. The 365 nm LED is a promising candidate for optical triggering of PCSS devices.

[PDF]

+ Heating Based Model Analysis for Explosive Emission Initiation at Metal Cathodes
  A. Majzoobi, R. P. Joshi, A. A. Neuber, and J. C. Dickens, "Heating Based Model Analysis for Explosive Emission Initiation at Metal Cathodes," AIP Advances 5, 127237, 2015.
Abstract:  This contribution presents a model analysis for the initiation of explosive emission; a phenomena that is observed at cathodesurfaces under high current densities. Here, localized heating is quantitatively evaluated on ultrashort time scales as a potential mechanism that initiates explosive emission, based on a two-temperature, relaxation time model. Our calculations demonstrate a strong production of nonequilibrium phonons, ultimately leading to localized melting. Temperatures are predicted to reach the cathode melting point over nanosecond times within the first few monolayers of the protrusion. This result is in keeping with the temporal scales observed experimentally for the initiation of explosive emission.

[PDF]

+ High Power Lateral Silicon Carbide Photoconductive Semiconductor Switches and Investigation of Degradation Mechanisms
  D. Mauch, W. Sullivan III, A. Bullick, A. Neuber, J. Dickens, "High Power Lateral Silicon Carbide Photoconductive Semiconductor Switches and Investigation of Degradation Mechanisms," IEEE Trans. Plasma Sci. 43, 2021-2031, 2015.
Abstract:  Several generations of high power, lateral, linear mode, intrinsically triggered 4H-SiC photoconductive semiconductor switch designs and their performance are presented. These switches were fabricated from high purity semi-insulating 4H-SiC samples measuring 12.7 mm × 12.7 mm × 0.36 mm and were able to block dc electric fields up to 370 kV/cm with leakage currents less than 10 μA without failure. Switching voltages and current s up to 26 kV and 450 A were achieved with these devices and ON-state resistances of 2 Ω were achieved with 1 mJ of 355 nm laser energy (7 ns FWHM). After fewer than 100 high power switching cycles, these devices exhibited cracks near the metal/SiC interface. Experimental and simulation results investigating the root cause of this failure mechanism are also presented. These results strongly suggest that a transient spike in the magnitude of the electric field at the metal/SiC interface during both switch closing and opening is the dominant cause of the observed cracking.

[PDF]

+ Material selection of a ferrimagnetic loaded coaxial delay line for phasing gyromagnetic nonlinear transmission lines
  J. M. Johnson, D. V. Reale, W. H. Cravey, R. S. Garcia, D. H. Barnett, A. A. Neuber, J. C. Dickens, and J. J. Mankowski. "Material selection of a ferrimagnetic loaded coaxial delay line for phasing gyromagnetic nonlinear transmission lines." Review of Scientific Instruments 86, 8, 084702 (2015)
Abstract:  Implementing nonlinear transmission line (NLTL) technology in the design of a high power microwave source has the benefits of producing a comparatively small and lightweight solid-state system where the emission frequency is easily tuned. Usually, smaller in physical size, single NLTLs may produce significantly less power than its vacuum based counterparts. However, combining individual NLTL outputs electrically or in free-space is an attractive solution to achieve greater output power. This paper discusses a method for aligning a four element NLTL antenna array with coaxial geometry using easily adjustable temporal delay lines. These delay lines, sometimes referred to as pulse shock lines or pulse sharpening lines, are placed serially in front of the main NLTL line. The propagation velocity in each delay line is set by the voltage amplitude of an incident pulse as well as the magnetic field bias. Each is adjustable although for the system described in this paper, the voltage is held constant while the bias is changed through applying an external DC magnetic field of varying magnitude. Three different ferrimagnetic materials are placed in the temporal delay line to evaluate which yields the greatest range of electrical delay with the least amount of variability from consecutive shots.

[PDF]

+ Optically isolated, 2 kHz repetition rate, 4 kV solid-state pulse trigger generator
  D. H. Barnett, J. M. Parson, C. F. Lynn, P. M. Kelly, M. Taylor, S. Calico, M. C. Scott, J. C. Dickens, A. A. Neuber, and J. J. Mankowski, "Optically isolated, 2 kHz repetition rate, 4 kV solid-state pulse trigger generator," Rev. Sci. Instrum. 86, 034702 (2015).
Abstract:  This paper presents the design and operation characteristics of a solid-state high voltage pulse generator. Its primary utilization is aimed at triggering a gaseous spark gap with high repeatability. Specifically, the trigger generator is designed to achieve a risetime on the order of 0.1 kV/ns to trigger the first stage, trigatron spark gap of a 10-stage, 500 kV Marx generator. The major design components are comprised of a 60 W constant current DC-DC converter for high voltage charging, a single 4 kV thyristor, a step-up pulse transformer, and magnetic switch for pulse steepening. A risetime of <30 ns and pulse magnitude of 4 kV is achieved matching the simulated performance of the design.

[PDF]

+ Optimizing drive parameters of a nanosecond, repetitively pulsed microdischarge high power 121.6 nm source
  J. Stephens, A. Fierro, D. Trienekens, J. Dickens, and A. Neuber, "Optimizing drive parameters of a nanosecond, repetitively pulsed microdischarge high power 121.6 nm source," Plasma Sources Science and Technology 24, 015013 (6pp) (2015).
Abstract:  Utilizing nanosecond high voltage pulses to drive microdischarges (MDs) at repetition rates in the vicinity of 1 MHz previously enabled increased time-averaged power deposition, peak vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) power yield, as well as time-averaged VUV power yield. Here, various pulse widths (30-250 ns), and pulse repetition rates (100 kHz-5 MHz) are utilized, and the resulting VUV yield is reported. It was observed that the use of a 50 ns pulse width, at a repetition rate of 100 kHz, provided 62 W peak VUV power and 310 mW time-averaged VUV power, with a time-averaged VUV generation efficiency of ~1.1%. Optimization of the driving parameters resulted in 1-2 orders of magnitude increase in peak and time-averaged power when compared to low power, dc-driven MDs.

[PDF]

+ Particle-in-Cell Based Parameter Study of 12-Cavity, 12-Cathode Rising-Sun Relativistic Magnetrons for Improved Performance
  A. Majzoobi, R. P. Joshi, A. A. Neuber, and J. C. Dickens, "Particle-in-Cell Based Parameter Study of 12-Cavity, 12-Cathode Rising-Sun Relativistic Magnetrons for Improved Performance," AIP Advances 5, 107102 (2015).
Abstract:  Particle-in-cell simulations are performed to analyze the efficiency, output power and leakage currents in a 12-Cavity, 12-Cathode rising-sun magnetron with diffraction output (MDO). The central goal is to conduct a parameter study of a rising-sun magnetron that comprehensively incorporates performance enhancing features such as transparent cathodes, axial extraction, the use of endcaps, and cathode extensions. Our optimum results demonstrate peak output power of about 2.1 GW, with efficiencies of ∼70% and low leakage currents at a magnetic field of 0.45 Tesla, a 400 kV bias with a single endcap, for a range of cathode extensions between 3 and 6 centimeters.

[PDF]

+ Self-Induced Gaseous Plasma as HPM Opening Switch Medium
  S. Lin, S. Beeson, C. Liu, J. Dickens, A. Neuber, "Self-Induced Gaseous Plasma as HPM Opening Switch Medium," Phys. Plasmas 22, 043509 (2015)
Abstract:  Self-induced gaseous plasma is evaluated as active opening switch medium for pulsed high power microwave radiation. The self-induced plasma switch is investigated for N2 and Ar environments under pressure conditions ranging from 25 to 700 Torr. A multi-pass TE111 resonator is used to significantly reduce the delay time inherently associated with plasma generation. The plasma forms under the pulsed excitation of a 4 MW magnetron inside the central dielectric tube of the resonator, which isolates the inner atmospheric gas from the outer vacuum environment. The path from the power source to the load is designed such that the pulse passes through the plasma twice with a 35 ns delay between these two passes. In the first pass, initial plasma density is generated, while the second affects the transition to a highly reflective state with as much as 30 dB attenuation. Experimental data revealed that virtually zero delay time may be achieved for N2 at 25 Torr. A two-dimensional fluid model was developed to study the plasma formation times for comparison with experimental data. The delay time predicted from this model agrees well with the experimental values in the lower pressure regime (error < 25%), however, due to filamentary plasma formation at higher pressures, simulated delay times may be underestimated by as much as 50%.

[PDF]

+ Time-discretized Extreme and Vacuum Ultraviolet Spectroscopy of Spark Discharges in Air, N2 and O2
  D. Trienekens, J. Stephens, A. Fierro, J. Dickens, and A. Neuber "Time-discretized Extreme and Vacuum Ultraviolet Spectroscopy of Spark Discharges in Air, N2 and O2," Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 49, 3, (2015).
Abstract:  In this paper we present time-discretized spectra of spark discharges in air, N2 and O2. In previous work, a system for temporally resolved spectral analysis of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) emission from spark discharges was presented, along with some initial results. As was noted in this paper, statistical variances and the lacking of an apparatus sensitivity profile limited the usability of the data obtained. We have investigated the cause of these variances and improved the setup to reduce their effect. We also investigated the apparatus sensitivity profile to correct the intensity of measured lines. Newly obtained spectra in dry air, N2 and O2 are presented. Air and N2 show high emission in the vicinity of 100 nm, where direct photoionization of molecular oxygen is possible, in the first 250 ns of the discharge. We conclude this emission originates from nitrogen, which has several intense molecular transitions in this region. This finding is confirmed by our experimental results which show the emission in this region is much lower in oxygen.

[PDF]

Publication Year:  2014
+ 3-D Simulation of Low-Temperature Plasma Development Under Pulsed Conditions
  A. Fierro, J. Dickens, A. Neuber, "3-D Simulation of Low-Temperature Plasma Development Under Pulsed Conditions," IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science 42, 2864-2865, (2014).
Abstract:  The development of a low-temperature plasma in a needle-protrusion to plane gap is investigated utilizing a 3-D particle-in-cell/Monte Carlo collision method implemented to run on single NVIDIA graphics processing unit. In addition to electron collisions, the model includes field detachment, photon tracking, and a drift-diffusion approximation for positive ions. The simulated geometry tracks several million electrons with 15-μm spatial resolution.

[PDF]

+ A Passive Measurement of Dissociated Atom Densities in Atmospheric Pressure Air Discharge Plasmas using Vacuum Ultraviolet Self-Absorption Spectroscopy
  G. Laity, A. Fierro, J Dickens, A Neuber, "A Passive Measurement of Dissociated Atom Densities in Atmospheric Pressure Air Discharge Plasmas using Vacuum Ultraviolet Self-Absorption Spectroscopy," Journal of Applied Physics 115, 123302, (2014).
Abstract:  We demonstrate a method for determining the dissociation degree of atmospheric pressure air discharges by measuring the self-absorption characteristics of vacuum ultraviolet radiation from O and N atoms in the plasma. The atom densities are determined by modeling the amount of radiation trapping present in the discharge, without the use of typical optical absorption diagnostic techniques which require external sources of probing radiation into the experiment. For an 8.0 mm spark discharge between needle electrodes at atmospheric pressure, typical peak O atom densities of 8.5e17 1/cm3 and peak N atom densities of 9.9e17 1/cm are observed within the first ∼1.0 mm of plasma near the anode tip by analyzing the OI and NI transitions in the 130.0-132.0 nm band of the vacuum ultraviolet spectrum.

[PDF]

+ Bias-field controlled phasing and power combination of gyromagnetic nonlinear transmission lines
  D. V. Reale, J.-W. B. Bragg, N. R. Gonsalves, J. M. Johnson, A. A. Neuber, J. C. Dickens, and J. J. Mankowski, "Bias-field controlled phasing and power combination of gyromagnetic nonlinear transmission lines," Review of Scientific Instruments, 85, 054706 (2014).
Abstract:  Gyromagnetic Nonlinear Transmission Lines (NLTLs) generate microwaves through the damped gyromagnetic precession of the magnetic moments in ferrimagnetic material, and are thus utilized as compact, solid-state, frequency agile, high power microwave (HPM) sources. The output frequency of a NLTL can be adjusted by control of the externally applied bias field and incident voltage pulse without physical alteration to the structure of the device. This property provides a frequency tuning capability not seen in many conventional e-beam based HPM sources. The NLTLs developed and tested are mesoband sources capable of generating MW power levels in the L, S, and C bands of the microwave spectrum. For an individual NLTL the output power at a given frequency is determined by several factors including the intrinsic properties of the ferrimagnetic material and the transmission line structure. Hence, if higher power levels are to be achieved, it is necessary to combine the outputs of multiple NLTLs. This can be accomplished in free space using antennas or in a transmission line via a power combiner. Using a bias-field controlled delay, a transient, high voltage, coaxial, three port, power combiner was designed and tested. Experimental results are compared with the results of a transient COMSOL simulation to evaluate combiner performance.

[PDF]

+ Conditioning of carbon fiber cathodes in UHV-sealed tubes at 200 A/cm²
  J. Parson, C. Lynn, J. Mankowski, M. Kristiansen, A. Neuber, J. Dickens, "Conditioning of carbon fiber cathodes in UHV-sealed tubes at 200 A/cm²," IEEE Trans. On Plasma Sci. 42, 2007-2014 (2014).
Abstract:  This paper presents a study on outgassing and electrical conditioning for three carbon fiber cathode types in a vacuum-sealed, high-power microwave virtual-cathode-oscillator (vircator) that operates in the low 1e-9 torr pressure regime. The three cathode types consist of a bare bimodal fiber structure, a bare unimodal fiber structure, and a cesium-iodide coated bimodal fiber structure with identical fiber coverage of 2% by area with a surface area of ~20 cm2. The electrodes are cleaned by a 1.2 kW, argon/oxygen microwave plasma prior to complete vircator assembly, followed by a 300 °C bake-out for 72 h. Each cathode was pulsed in a single pulse operation by an 80 J, low inductance Marx generator with an approximate pulsewidth of 100 ns full-width at half-maximum for 10000 current pulses. The data presented includes individual gas constituents, high-speed intensified charge coupled device (ICCD) imaging, and voltage and current waveforms. The conditioning process resulted in a gas load reduction of ~80% overall, with the indication that the bare bimodal fiber structure performed the best as diode power increased throughout the experiment, while the power decreased for the other tested cathode types.

[PDF]

+ Emission Behavior of Three Conditioned Carbon Fiber Cathode Types in UHV-Sealed Tubes at 200 A/cm²
  J. Parson, C. Lynn, J. Mankowski, A. Neuber, and J. Dickens, "Emission Behavior of Three Conditioned Carbon Fiber Cathode Types in UHV-Sealed Tubes at 200 A/cm²," IEEE Trans. on Plasma Sci. 42, 3982 - 3988 (2014).
Abstract:  When subjected to high electric fields in vacuum, carbon fiber cathodes produce intense electron beams suitable for high-power microwave (HPM) generation at very high current densities. However, the production mechanisms of these intense electron beams are not fully understood. This paper presents the postmortem examination of three conditioned carbon fiber cathode types. The three cathode types consist of an uncoated, bare unimodal fiber structure, a bare bimodal fiber structure, and a cesium-iodide (CsI)-coated bimodal fiber structure, all with identical fiber coverage of 2% by area. Each cathode was conditioned prior to testing by single pulse operation driven by an 80 J Marx generator for 10 000 pulses. HPM, voltage, and current waveforms of each cathode are presented. The bare bimodal cathode radiated more microwave power than the CsI-coated cathode and bare unimodal cathode. Scanning electron microscopy imagery presents evidence of two emission mechanisms: 1) explosive electron emission and 2) surface flashover, which both were found on the CsI-coated cathode. In addition, no evidence of surface flashover was found on either uncoated cathode.

[PDF]

+ Global Model for Total Delay Time Distribution of High Power Microwave Surface Flashover,
  S. Beeson, J. Dickens, and A. Neuber, "Global Model for Total Delay Time Distribution of High Power Microwave Surface Flashover," IEEE Trans. On Plasma Sci. 42, 3450-3457 (2014).
Abstract:  A global model of high-power microwave (HPM) window breakdown is elucidated. The model provides a practical approach for estimating the maximum microwave power and pulse length that can be transmitted for a given window geometry at varying background gas pressure. Based on recent experimental and modeling progress, the formative and statistical breakdown delay time contributions are included in the model. The provided details are intended to give the reader a starting point in designing an HPM system for which surface breakdown along the output window is a major concern. Spanning five orders of magnitude in power, four microwave bands, three orders of magnitude in pulsewidth, three orders of magnitude in pressure, and three different gas types, the model serves to determine the probability of breakdown for a given set of input parameters with the modest computational effort. Examples of how to use the model are given, and the results are compared with actual systems and measured experimental delay times.

[PDF]

+ Graphics processing unit accelerated three-dimensional model for the simulation of pulsed low-temperature plasmas
  A. Fierro, J. Dickens, and A. Neuber, "Graphics processing unit accelerated three-dimensional model for the simulation of pulsed low-temperature plasmas," Physics of Plasmas 21, 123504 (2014).
Abstract:  A 3-dimensional particle-in-cell/Monte Carlo collision simulation that is fully implemented on a graphics processing unit (GPU) is described and used to determine low-temperature plasma characteristics at high reduced electric field, E/n, in nitrogen gas. Details of implementation on the GPU using the NVIDIA Compute Unified Device Architecture framework are discussed with respect to efficient code execution. The software is capable of tracking around 10e6 particles with dynamic weighting and a total mesh size larger than 1e8 cells. Verification of the simulation is performed by comparing the electron energy distribution function and plasma transport parameters to known Boltzmann Equation (BE) solvers. Under the assumption of a uniform electric field and neglecting the build-up of positive ion space charge, the simulation agrees well with the BE solvers. The model is utilized to calculate plasma characteristics of a pulsed, parallel plate discharge. A photoionization model provides the simulation with additional electrons after the initial seeded electron density has drifted towards the anode. Comparison of the performance benefits between the GPU-implementation versus a CPU-implementation is considered, and a speed-up factor of 13 for a 3D relaxation Poisson solver is obtained. Furthermore, a factor 60 speed-up is realized for parallelization of the electron processes.

[PDF]

+ Imaging of Explosive Emission Cathode and Anode Plasma in a Vacuum-Sealed Vircator High-Power Microwave Source at 250 A/cm²
  J. Parson, J. Mankowski, J. Dickens, A. Neuber, "Imaging of Explosive Emission Cathode and Anode Plasma in a Vacuum-Sealed Vircator High-Power Microwave Source at 250 A/cm²," IEEE Trans. On Plasma Sci. 42, 2592 - 2593 (2014).
Abstract:  Cold cathode operation under high current densities leads to explosive electron emission (EEE) that contributes to early A-K gap closure. Hence, inconsistent vacuum conditions and, if utilized in a high power microwave device, degradation of microwave output power are observed. The EEE centers are known to produce localized plasmas on the surface of the cathode that release and ionize the electrode material. Further, low melting point material in the anode is released due to electron bombardment accompanied by a significant surface temperature increase. Postmortem analysis has revealed particles up to 50 μm in diameter embedded in the opposite electrode. High speed ICCD imaging during A-K gap operation enabled resolving the plasma's spatial characteristics in time. Images of cathode and anode plasma during the operation of a virtual cathode oscillator at 250 A/cm2 under ultrahigh vacuum conditions are presented.

[PDF]

+ Influence of VUV illumination on breakdown mechanics: pre-ionization, direct photoionization, and discharge initiation
  J Stephens, A Fierro, J Dickens, and A Neuber, "Influence of VUV illumination on breakdown mechanics: pre-ionization, direct photoionization, and discharge initiation," Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 47 (32), 325501 (2014).
Abstract:  A microdischarge (MD) vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) light source is fired onto a N2-NO (99.92 : 0.08%) target gas. The minor gas constituent, NO, was chosen for its ionization potential (9.23 eV) and photoionization cross-section (1.4e−18 cm2) at the wavelength of interest (121.6 nm, 10.2 eV). The result is a plasma generated entirely by volume photoionization in a N2-NO background. Using a very low electric field amplitude, charge carriers are drifted though the photoplasma at picoampere levels, serving as a non-invasive diagnostic. Using a simple one-dimensional fluid approximation for the low electric field condition, theoretical predictions of photoplasma current were found to be in meaningful agreement with experimental data. The impact of direct photoionization and pre-ionization on nanosecond timescale high voltage breakdown yielded two primary observations: (1) a significant reduction in the formative delay time necessary for spark formation, and (2) almost complete elimination of the statistical delay time. Again utilizing one-dimensional fluid approximations, reasonable agreement between experimental and simulated breakdown voltage was observed. Utilizing the same VUV source to illuminate a HV spark gap biased to about 95% self-breakdown voltage revealed that direct volume photoionization alone was insufficient to trigger breakdown of the high voltage gap. However, permitting electrode illumination, the same source was found to be capable of triggering breakdown in the undervoltaged gap, albeit with a large temporal jitter.

[PDF]

+ Micrometer-resolution high speed imaging of pulsed microdischarge ignition
  J. Stephens, A. Fierro, J. Dickens, and A. Neuber, "Micrometer-resolution high speed imaging of pulsed microdischarge ignition," IEEE Trans. On Plasma Sci. 42, 2652 - 2653 (2014).
Abstract:  The application of a short, pulsed excitation is known to allow for higher power deposition into microdischarges without the onset of instabilities. Here, a MOSFET-based high voltage pulser is used to drive a 50-torr argon microdischarge with short pulsed currents of ~75 A, with <100-ns full-width at half-maximum, and a repetition rate of 1 MHz. With this excitation, an average power density of ~1e13 W/m3 is achieved, with a peak power density~3e14 W/m3. A high speed iCCD camera is used to observe ignition processes and confirm the absence of unstable operation. The images were taken using a 5-ns gate time with a spatial resolution of ~2.5 μm.

[PDF]

+ Nanosecond, repetitively pulsed microdischarge vacuum ultraviolet source
  J. Stephens, A. Fierro, B. Walls, J. Dickens, A. Neuber, "Nanosecond, repetitively pulsed microdischarge vacuum ultraviolet source," Applied Physics Letters 104 (7), 074105, (2014).
Abstract:  A microdischarge is driven by short pulses (80 ns FWHM) with peak current levels up to 80 A, with a repetition frequency of 1 MHz (1 pulse/μs) allowing for ∼550 W input power. Experiments in pure argon (Ar2*, 127 nm) and argon-hydrogen (Lyman-α, 121.6 nm) were conducted. Using short pulses, the argon excimer emission was not observed. Alternatively, Ar-H2 operated at both higher power and efficiency (0.63%) whenever pulsed. Using Ar-H2, the experiments result in an average generated vacuum ultraviolet power just above 3.4 W with a peak power of 42.8 W, entirely at Lyman-α.

[PDF]

+ Semiempirical wide-range conductivity model with exploding wire verification
  J Stephens, J Dickens, and A Neuber, "Semiempirical wide-range conductivity model with exploding wire verification," Physical Review E 89 (5), 053102 (2014).
Abstract:  Based on well-established physical relationships, a semiempirical set of equations dictating the electrical conductivity of dense, strongly coupled, partially ionized copper is presented. With the empirical coefficients, the model is tuned to experimental conductivity data obtained from exploding wire experiments [A. W. DeSilva and J. D. Katsouros, Phys. Rev. E 57, 5945 (1998)]. The result is a wide-range conductivity model, with demonstrated accuracy from room temperature-density conditions to 0.01 g/cm3 and 30 kK. Using magnetohydrodynamic simulation the ability to utilize the conductivity model for predictive simulations is demonstrated. A complete electrical conductivity dataset for copper has been made available to the public.

[PDF]

+ System for Time-Discretized VUV Spectroscopy of Spark Breakdown in Air
  D. Ryberg, A. Fierro, J. Dickens, and A. Neuber,"System for Time-Discretized VUV Spectroscopy of Spark Breakdown in Air," Rev. Sci. Inst. 85, 103109 (2014).
Abstract:  A system for time-discretized spectroscopic measurements of the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) emission from spark discharges in the 60-160 nm range has been developed for the study of early plasma-forming phenomena. The system induces a spark discharge in an environment close to atmospheric conditions created using a high speed puff value, but is otherwise kept at high vacuum to allow for the propagation of VUV light. Using a vertical slit placed 1.5 mm from the discharge the emission from a small cross section of the discharge is allowed to pass into the selection chamber consisting of a spherical grating, with 1200 grooves/mm, and an exit slit set to 100 μm. Following the exit slit is a photomultiplier tube with a sodium salicylate scintillator that is used for the time discretized measurement of the VUV signal with a temporal resolution limit of 10 ns. Results from discharges studied in dry air, Nitrogen, SF6, and Argon indicate the emission of light with wavelengths shorter than 120 nm where the photon energy begins to approach the regime of direct photoionization.

[PDF]

+ Temporally resolved electron density of a repetitive, nanosecond pulsed microdischarge
  J. Stephens, A. Fierro, J. Dickens, and A. Neuber, "Temporally resolved electron density of a repetitive, nanosecond pulsed microdischarge" Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 47, 465205 (2014).
Abstract:  Using high speed spectroscopic diagnostics, temporally resolved optical emission spectroscopy is performed on a nanosecond, repetitively pulsed microdischarge. The microdischarge operates in an argon-hydrogen gas mixture (99%/1%) to provide a Lyman-α vacuum ultraviolet emission. Based on the Stark broadening of the 486.1 nm, Balmer-β hydrogen transition, the temporally resolved electron density was determined. Experimental electron density data are compared with the results of a 0D rate equation model. Peak electron density is estimated to be 5.6e15 1 cm-3, corresponding to a ~0.25% degree of ionization. Using the approximate experimental ionization rate, the electron temperature is estimated to be ~3.5 eV.

[PDF]

Publication Year:  2013
+ A compact 45 kV curve tracer with picoampere current measurement capability
  W.W. Sullivan, D. Mauch, A. Bullick, C. Hettler, A. Neuber, J. Dickens, "A compact 45 kV curve tracer with picoampere current measurement capability," Rev. Sci. Inst. 84, 034702 (2013).
Abstract:  This paper discusses a compact high voltage curve tracer for high voltage semiconductor device characterization. The system sources up to 3 mA at up to 45 kV in dc conditions. It measures from 328 V to 60 kV with 15 V resolution and from 9.4 pA to 4 mA with 100 fA minimum resolution. Control software for the system is written in Microsoft Visual C# and features real-time measurement control and IV plotting, arc-protection and detection, an electrically isolated universal serial bus interface, and easy data exporting capabilities. The system has survived numerous catastrophic high voltage device-under-test arcing failures with no loss of measurement capability or system damage. Overall sweep times are typically under 2 min, and the curve tracer system was used to characterize the blocking performance of high voltage ceramic capacitors, high voltage silicon carbide photoconductive semiconductor switches, and high voltage coaxial cable.

[PDF]

+ All solid-state high power microwave source with high repetition frequency
  J.-W. Bragg, W. Sullivan, D. Mauch, A. Neuber, J. Dickens, "All solid-state high power microwave source with high repetition frequency," Review of Scientific Instruments, 84(5), 054703 - 054703-7 (2013)
Abstract:  An all solid-state, megawatt-class high power microwave system featuring a silicon carbide (SiC) photoconductive semiconductor switch (PCSS) and a ferrimagnetic-based, coaxial nonlinear transmission line (NLTL) is presented. A 1.62 cm2, 50 kV 4H-SiC PCSS is hard-switched to produce electrical pulses with 7 ns full width-half max (FWHM) pulse widths at 2 ns risetimes in single shot and burst-mode operation. The PCSS resistance drops to sub-ohm when illuminated with approximately 3 mJ of laser energy at 355 nm (tripled Nd:YAG) in a single pulse. Utilizing a fiber optic based optical delivery system, a laser pulse train of four 7 ns (FWHM) signals was generated at 65 MHz repetition frequency. The resulting electrical pulse train from the PCSS closely follows the optical input and is utilized to feed the NLTL generating microwave pulses with a base microwave-frequency of about 2.1 GHz at 65 MHz pulse repetition frequency (prf). Under typical experimental conditions, the NLTL produces sharpened output risetimes of 120 ps and microwave oscillations at 2-4 GHz that are generated due to damped gyromagnetic precession of the ferrimagnetic material's axially pre-biased magnetic moments. The complete system is discussed in detail with its output matched into 50 Ω, and results covering MHz-prf in burst-mode operation as well as frequency agility in single shot operation are discussed.

[PDF]

+ Ferrimagnetic Nonlinear Transmission Lines as High-Power Microwave Sources
  J.-W. Bragg, J. Dickens, and A. Neuber, “"Ferromagnetic Nonlinear Transmission Lines as High Power Microwave Source" IEEE Trans. on Plasma Sci. 41, 232-237, 2013.
Abstract:  Ferrimagnetic nonlinear transmission lines (NLTLs) have the potential to fill a high-power microwave niche where compact cost-effective sources are lacking. NLTLs utilize nonlinear ferrimagnetic properties and magnetization dynamics to provide ultrafast pulse rise times (100 ps or less) and microwave signals with peak power ranging from kilowatts to hundreds of megawatts. The frequency of operation has been shown to range from 900 MHz up to 5 GHz depending on geometry and external magnetic fields. NLTLs, theoretically, can be pulsed to tens of kilohertz with little to no variance in microwave signal between shots. This paper covers recent advances in ferrimagnetic-based NLTLs, specifically effects of applied and bias magnetic fields on peak power and frequency, as well as temperature dependence.

[PDF]

+ Focused cathode design to reduce anode heating during vircator operation
  C. F. Lynn, J. C. Dickens, and A. A. Neuber, "Focused cathode design to reduce anode heating during vircator operation," Phys. Plasmas 20, 103113 (2013).
Abstract:  Virtual cathode oscillators, or vircators, are a type of high power microwave device which operates based on the instability of a virtual cathode, or cloud of electrons, which forms when electron current injected into the drift tube exceeds the space charge limited current within the drift tube. Anode heating by the electron beam during vircator operation ultimately limits achievable pulse lengths, repetition rates, and the duration of burst mode operation. This article discusses a novel cathode design that focuses electrons through holes in the anode, thus significantly reducing anode heating by the electrons emitted from the cathode during the first transit through the A-K gap. Reflexing electrons continue to deposit energy on the anode; however, the discussed minimization of anode heating by main beam electrons has the potential to enable higher repetition rates as well as efficiency and longer diode lifetime. A simulation study of this type of cathode design illustrates possible advantages.

[PDF]

+ Material selection considerations for coaxial, ferrimagnetic-based nonlinear transmission lines
  J.-W. B. Bragg, J. C. Dickens, and A. A. Neuber, "Material selection considerations for coaxial, ferrimagnetic-based nonlinear transmission lines," J. Appl. Phys. 113, 064904, (2013).
Abstract:  The growing need for solid-state high power microwave sources has renewed interest in nonlinear transmission lines (NLTLs). This article focuses specifically on ferrimagnetic-based NLTLs in a coaxial geometry. Achieved peak powers exceed 30 MW at 30 kV incident voltage with rf power reaching 4.8 MW peak and pulse lengths ranging from 1-5 ns. The presented NLTL operates in S-band with the capability to tune the center frequency of oscillation over the entire 2-4 GHz band and bandwidths of approximately 30%, placing the NLTL into the ultra-wideband-mesoband category of microwave sources. Several nonlinear materials were tested and the relationship between NLTL performance and material parameters is discussed. In particular, the importance of the material's ferromagnetic resonance linewidth and its relationship to microwave generation is highlighted. For a specific nonlinear material, it is shown that an optimum relation between incident pulse magnitude and static bias magnitude exists. By varying the nonlinear material's bias magnetic field, active delay control was demonstrated.

[PDF]

+ Plasma relaxation mechanics of pulsed high power microwave surface flashover
  S. Beeson, J. Dickens, and A. Neuber, "Plasma relaxation mechanics of pulsed high power microwave surface flashover," Physics of Plasmas 20(9), 093509 - 093509-9 (2013).
Abstract:  Microwave transmission and reflection characteristics of pulsed radio frequency field generated plasmas are elucidated for air, N2, and He environments under pressure conditions ranging from 10 to 600 torr. The pulsed, low temperature plasma is generated along the atmospheric side of the dielectric boundary between the source (under vacuum) and the radiating environment with a thickness on the order of 5 mm and a cross sectional area just smaller than that of the waveguide. Utilizing custom multi-standard waveguide couplers and a continuous low power probing source, the scattering parameters were measured before, during, and after the high power microwave pulse with emphasis on the latter. From these scattering parameters, temporal electron density estimations (specifically the longitudinal integral of the density) were calculated using a 1D plane wave-excited model for analysis of the relaxation processes associated. These relaxation characteristics ultimately determine the maximum repetition rate for many pulsed electric field applications and thus are applicable to a much larger scope in the plasma community than just those related to high power microwaves. This manuscript discusses the diagnostic setup for acquiring the power measurements along with a detailed description of the kinematic and chemical behavior of the plasma as it decays down to its undisturbed state under various gas type and pressure conditions.

[PDF]

+ Simultaneous measurement of nitrogen and hydrogen dissociation from vacuum ultraviolet self-absorption spectroscopy in a developing low temperature plasma at atmospheric pressure
  G. Laity, A. Fierro, J. Dickens, A. Neuber, and K. Frank, "Simultaneous measurement of nitrogen and hydrogen dissociation from vacuum ultraviolet self-absorption spectroscopy in a developing low temperature plasma at atmospheric pressure," Appl. Phys. Letters, 102, 184104, (2013).
Abstract:  We demonstrate a method for determining the dissociation density of N and H atoms present in a developing low temperature plasma, based on the emission and self-absorption of vacuum ultraviolet radiation produced from the plasma. Spark plasmas are produced via pulsed discharge in N2/H2 mixtures at atmospheric pressure, where information on the dissociated densities of the constituent gas molecules is desired without employing invasive diagnostic techniques. By analyzing the self-absorption line profile of 121.5 nm Lyman-α H radiation emitted within the first ∼1.0 mm of plasma near the anode tip, a peak dissociated H atom concentration of 5.6e17 1/cm3 was observed ∼100 ns into spark formation, with an estimated electron density of 2.65 e18 1/cm3 determined from Stark broadening. Similarly, simultaneous line fitting of the N 120.0/124.3 nm emission profiles revealed a peak dissociated N atom concentration of 3.8e17 1/cm during the same discharge period.

[PDF]

Publication Year:  2012
+ An Explosively Driven High Power Microwave Pulsed Power System
  M. Elsayed, A. Neuber, J. Dickens, J. Walter, M. Kristiansen, and L. Altgilbers, "An Explosively Driven High Power Microwave Pulsed Power System," Rev. Sci. Instrum. 83, 024705 (2012).
Abstract:  The increased popularity of high power microwave systems and the various sources to drive them is the motivation behind the work to be presented. A stand-alone, self-contained explosively driven high power microwave pulsed power system has been designed, built, and tested at Texas Tech University's Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics. The system integrates four different sub-units that are composed of a battery driven prime power source utilizing capacitive energy storage, a dual stage helical flux compression generator as the main energy amplification device, an integrated power conditioning system with inductive energy storage including a fast opening electro-explosive switch, and a triode reflex geometry virtual cathode oscillator as the microwave radiating source. This system has displayed a measured electrical source power level of over 5 GW and peak radiated microwaves of about 200 MW. It is contained within a 15 cm diameter housing and measures 2 m in length, giving a housing volume of slightly less than 39 l. The system and its sub-components have been extensively studied, both as integrated and individual units, to further expand on components behavior and operation physics. This report will serve as a detailed design overview of each of the four subcomponents and provide detailed analysis of the overall system performance and benchmarks.

[PDF]

+ Investigation into the Temperature Dependence of Ferrimagnetic Nonlinear Transmission Lines
  J.-W. Bragg, J. Dickens, and A. Neuber, "Investigation into the Temperature Dependence of Ferrimagnetic Nonlinear Transmission Lines," IEEE Trans. Plasma Sci. 99, pp. 1-5 (2012).
Abstract:  In pulsed power systems, coaxial based nonlinear transmission lines (NLTLs) loaded with ferrimagnetic materials act as pulse sharpeners or high power microwave sources. Microwave generation comes by way of nonlinearities present in the ferrimagnetic material as well as excitation of damped gyromagnetic precession at large incident power levels. Ferrimagnetic properties highly depend on operating temperature; therefore, there exists a need to understand operational performance of ferrite loaded NLTLs under different temperature environments. Ferrite samples are chilled or heated to temperatures between $-20 ^{circ}hbox{C}$ to 150 $^{circ}hbox{C}$, providing a wide range of possible operating temperatures. The Curie temperature of the tested samples is approximately 120 $^{circ}hbox{C}$; therefore, this study allows observation of precession performance in possible operating temperatures as well as a brief look at the consequences of exceeding the Curie temperature. The design, testing, and results for an NLTL measuring 0.3 m in length with ferrite inner and outer diameters of 3 mm and 6 mm, respectively, are detailed. Results reveal precessional performance, both peak power and frequency of oscillations, versus temperature.

[PDF]

Publication Year:  2011
+ Spatially Resolved Vacuum UV Spectral Imaging of Pulsed Atmospheric Flashover
  G. Laity, A. Fierro, L. Hatfield, J. Dickens, and A. Neuber, "Spatially Resolved Vacuum UV Spectral Imaging of Pulsed Atmospheric Flashover," to be published in IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, (2011).
Abstract:  Not Available

[PDF]

Publication Year:  2010
+ Pulsed magnetic field excitation sensitivity of match-type electric blasting caps
  J. Parson, J. Dickens, J. Walter, A. Neuber, "Pulsed magnetic field excitation sensitivity of match-type electric blasting caps," Review of Scientific Instruments 81, pp. 105115-105115-7 (2010).
Abstract:  This paper presents a study on energy deposition and electromagnetic compatibility of match-type electroexplosive devices (EEDs), which recently have found more usage in pulsed power environments with high electromagnetic interference (EMI) background. The sensitivity of these devices makes them dangerous to intended and unintended radiation produced by devices commonly used in pulsed power environments. Match-type EEDs have been found to be susceptible to such low levels of energy (7-8 mJ) that safe operation of these EEDs is vital when in use near devices that produce high levels of pulsed EMI. The scope of this paper is to provide an investigation that incorporates results of similar studies to provide detonation characteristics of these EEDs. The three topics included in this study are sensitivity testing, modeling of the thermodynamic heat propagation, and electromagnetic compatibility from pulsed electromagnetic radiation. The thermodynamic joule heating of the primary explosive has been modeled by a solution to the 1D heat equation. A simple pulsed generator, Marx generator with an inductive load, was used for the electromagnetic compatibility assessment of the coupled field between the pulse generator and shorted EED. The results of the electromagnetic compatibility assessment relate the resistive, inductive, and capacitive components of the pulse generator to the area of the shorted EED.

[PDF]

+ VUV Emission and Streamer Formation in Pulsed Dielectric Surface Flashover at Atmospheric Pressure
  G. Rogers, A. Neuber, G. Laity, K. Frank, J. Dickens, "VUV Emission and Streamer Formation in Pulsed Dielectric Surface Flashover at Atmospheric Pressure", accepted for publication in IEEE Trans. On Plasma Sci. (2010).
Abstract:  There is a growing interest in the physics of surface flashover between the interface of atmosphere and vacuum in some high-power systems. More specifically, the quantitative role of vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) radiation for the photoionization leading to a streamer development during the initial stages of a breakdown is unknown. This paper describes an experimental setup used to measure the VUV radiation emitted from atmospheric flashover as well as time-resolved imaging of the flashover event. A pulser providing the voltage to the gap was designed with special considerations in mind, including long lifetime, low noise, and high reproducibility. This enabled the study of the flashover in various background gases with an emphasis on spectroscopic measurements. The calculated spectra are compared with the measured spectra, and it is found that atomic oxygen and nitrogen are responsible for most of the VUV production in an air breakdown at atmospheric pressure in the wavelength range of 115–180 nm. Time-resolved spectroscopy reveals that the VUV radiation is emitted during the initial stages while the streamers are developing.

[PDF]

Publication Year:  2009
+ Optimization of an FCG Based High Power Microwave System using Nonexplosive Pulsed Power
  C. Davis, A. Neuber, A. Young, J. Walter, J. Dickens, M. Kristiansen, "Optimization of an FCG Based High Power Microwave System using Nonexplosive Pulsed Power," IEEE Trans. On Plasma Science, 27, 2321- 2327 (Sept. 2009)
Abstract:  This paper presents a nonexplosive pulsed-power system that replicates the output current waveform of a flux compression generator (FCG). The primary purpose of this system is to efficiently test the power conditioning components of an explosively driven HPM system, while drastically reducing the time between tests which are inherent with explosive experiments. The power conditioning system (PCS) of the HPM system includes an energy-storage inductor, an electroexplosive opening switch (fuse), and a peaking gap and serves to match the FCG output characteristics with the HPM diode load requirements. A secondary purpose of the nonexplosive test bed is to provide data points which could be directly compared with those from explosively driven experiments. For this reason, a reflex-triode virtual cathode oscillator (vircator) was connected to the output of the nonexplosive system, and the results of which were compared with similar testing done with an FCG and a compact Marx generator. Since the behavior of the fuse is known to play a critical role in the performance of the PCS, a study was performed on the effect of different fuse designs on the overall performance of the PCS. Specifically, the quality of the electrical connection between the fuse wire array and the rest of the system was tested. Fuse design experiments were conducted with the nonexplosive test bed firing into a water resistor dummy load, which showed a 13% increase in peak load voltage and more than an 11% increase in energy transfer for fuses with improved wire-electrode connection strength. Some basic rules about fuse design, as well as conclusions on the performance of the PCS when driving an HPM load, are given.

[PDF]

+ Recent Advances in Explosive Pulsed Power
  L.L. Altgilbers, A.H. Stults, M. Kristiansen, A. Neuber, J. Dickens, A. Young, T. Holt, M. Elsayed, R. Curry, K. O’Connor, J. Baird, S. Shkuratov, B. Freeman, D. Hemmert, F. Rose, Z. Shotts, Z. Roberts, W. Hackenberger, E. Alberta, M. Rader, A. Dougherty, "Recent Advances in Explosive Pulsed Power,", Journal of Directed Energy, 3, 1-43 (2009)
Abstract:  Not Available
Publication Year:  2008
+ Compact Electro-Explosive Fuses for Explosive Driven Pulsed Power
  D. R. McCauley, D. W. Belt, J. J. Mankowski, J. C. Dickens, A. A. Neuber, and M. Kristiansen, "Compact Electro-Explosive Fuses for Explosive Driven Pulsed Power", to appear in IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science (2008)
Abstract:  Compact electroexplosive fuses (EEFs) as part of an explosively driven system are of interest for the one-time single-shot generation of high-power pulses. For instance, the transition from a very large driving current produced by an explosively driven flux compression generator (FCG), i.e., low impedance, to a large voltage spike delivered to the load, i.e., high impedance, can be done using an inductive storage system and an EEF. Typically, the EEF can be as large as, if not larger than, the current driver attached to it, thus making it one of the largest components in the system. Reduction in the size of the fuse will allow for size reductions of the entire high-power microwave (HPM) system. The goal of optimizing an EEF as an opening switch is to produce the greatest voltage multiplication possible to drive a load under physical size constraints. To optimize the fuse, several parameters are taken into account, including, but not limited to, fuse material, fuse length, fuse shape, and quenching medium. Individual optimization of these parameters will lead to complete optimization of an EEF, therefore resulting in a compact fuse capable of consistently producing maximum voltage multiplication for HPM systems.

[PDF]

+ Imaging of the Explosive Emission Cathode Plasma in a Vircator High-Power Microwave Source
  Walter, J.; Mankowski, J.; Dickens, J.; Imaging of the Explosive Emission Cathode Plasma in a Vircator High-Power Microwave Source; Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 36, Issue 4, Part 1, Aug. 2008 Page(s):1388 - 1389 Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPS.2008.924489
Abstract:  Most pulsed high-power microwave sources use explosive electron emission cathodes to generate high current electron beams. In the explosive emission process, the current emitted through small field emission points becomes high enough to cause the cathode material to vaporize and form a plasma. Plasma characteristics, such as uniformity and expansion rate, will affect the performance of the microwave source. High-speed optical imaging can be used to resolve some characteristics of the plasma in time. The images of the cathode plasma during the operation of a triode-geometry virtual cathode oscillator high-power microwave source are presented for three different cathode materials.

[PDF]

+ Low-Jitter Triggered Spark Gap With High-Pressure Gas Mixtures
  Yeong-Jer Chen; Mankowski, J.J.; Dickens, J.C.; Walter, J.; Kristiansen, M.; Low-Jitter Triggered Spark Gap With High-Pressure Gas Mixtures; Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 36, Issue 5, Part 3, Oct. 2008 Page(s):2546 - 2553 ; Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPS.2008.2004366
Abstract:  Recent attention to impulse antenna phased array has necessitated the need to develop a reliable high-voltage high-repetition-rate switch that will operate with ultralow jitter. An ideal jitter of a small fraction of the rise time is required to accurately synchronize the array to steer and preserve the rise time of the radiated pulse. This paper presents the impact that gases and gas mixtures have on switch performance which includes recovery rate and, in particular, jitter. A 50-Omega 1-nF pulse-forming line is charged to 30 kV and provides the low inductance voltage source to test the different gases. Triggering is provided by a solid-state opening switch voltage source that supplies >100-kV 10-ns rise-time pulses at a rep rate of up to 1 kHz in burst mode. A hermetically sealed spark gap with a Kel-F lining is used to house the switch and high-pressure gas. The system includes a gas-mixing chamber that can mix various gases up to 2000 psi. Gases tested include dry air, H2, N2, and SF6. Switch operations in 30 kV and 10 Hz have shown reliable subnanosecond jitter times with pure gases, including dry air, H2, N2, and with H2 - N2 and N2 - SF6 gas mixtures. The system was then modified for 50-kV 100-Hz operations with data collected for each of the pure gases. Recovery was monitored with no major problems at the 100-Hz operation, and subnanosecond jitter results for H2 , N2, and SF6 are also recorded.

[PDF]

+ Secondary Arc Formation Within a Distributed Energy Railgun
  Karhi, R.W.; Mankowski, J.J.; Dickens, J.C.; Kristiansen, M.; Wetz, D.A.; Secondary Arc Formation Within a Distributed Energy Railgun; Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 36, Issue 5, Part 3, Oct. 2008 Page(s):2738 - 2746 Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPS.2008.2004228
Abstract:  Experimental results comparing a breech-fed scheme and two distributed energy schemes for a free-running arc are presented. Analysis and observations of the issues associated with distributed energy switching of a plasma arc in the railgun are explored. The use of a free-running arc allows experiments to emulate the ablation and restrike phenomenon of a plasma armature railgun at high speeds (> 5 km/s) without the requirement of a large amount of stored energy. Numerous experimental tests were conducted to investigate the dynamics of plasma arcs within a distributed energy source railgun. Variations of switch timing, bore pressure, bore material, current amplitude, and current pulse length within each stage have been tested. These data reveal important design parameters for distributed energy railguns. The arc length, stage length, and stage trigger timing play a crucial role in distributed energy railgun performance. Failure to take these parameters into consideration will result in velocity reduction through plasma arc restrike and/or splitting.

[PDF]

+ Utilization of a Nonexplosive Test Bed for Flux-Compression-Generator Electroexplosive Opening Switches
  D. W. Belt, J. J. Mankowski, A. A. Neuber, J.C. Dickens, M. Kristiansen, Utilization of a Nonexplosive Test Bed for Flux-Compression-Generator Electroexplosive Opening Switches, IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science 36, 2684 - 2690, (2008).
Abstract:  Helical flux compression generators (HFCGs) of a 50-mm form factor have been shown to produce output energies on the order of ten times the seeded value and a typical deposited energy of 3 kJ into a 3-muH inductor. One way to drive a high-power microwave source with an HFCG is by power conditioning, such as an inductive energy storage system (IESS). The output performance of the IESS is contingent upon the opening switch scheme, usually an electroexplosive fuse. Our previous work involving fuse parameter characterization has established a baseline for potential fuse performance. In order to optimize the electroexplosive wire fuse, we have constructed a nonexplosive test bed which simulates the HFCG output with high accuracy. We have designed and implemented a capacitor-based magnetic switching scheme to generate the near-exponential rise of the HFCG. The use of the nonexplosive HFCG test bed will allow the verification of scalability of the fuse parameter model and also allow testing of exotic fuse materials. The nonexplosive test bed has provided a more efficient method for electroexplosive switch development and has allowed us to expand the study of opening switches. We will also discuss the a priori calculated baseline fuse design and compare the experimental results of the gold-wire-material with the silver-wire-material baseline design. With the results presented, an accurate PSpice model applicable to our 45-kA HFCG systems will be available.

[PDF]

Publication Year:  2007
+ A Bench Top Railgun With Distributed Energy Sources
  Mankowski, J.; Dickens, J.; Giesselmann, M.; McDaniel, B.; McHale, B.; Kristiansen, M.; IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, Volume 43, Issue 1, Part 2, Jan. 2007 Page(s):167 - 169
Abstract:  Experimental results of a distributed energy source railgun are presented. Distributed energy source railguns were first proposed by Marshal in an asynchronous scheme and later by Parker synchronously. Both schemes employ a "traveling excitation wave" to push the projectile along the rail. The primary advantages of such a scheme over the common breech-fed is higher efficiency due to less energy remaining in the rail and lower rail resistive loses. Another advantage is the reduction in the probability of re-strike. However, these advantages are achieved at a cost of higher switching complexity. As a proof of principle experiment, we have constructed a bench-top solid armature railgun with distributed energy sources. Instead of a single, capacitive, breech-fed, energy source, the current is supplied by two storage capacitor banks, placed at different positions along the rail. The switching configuration, which requires a dedicated switch at each capacitor, is realized with sold state switches. The railgun is diagnosed in order to evaluate performance and to appropriately trigger the switches. In addition, experimental results are compared to simulation

[PDF]

+ Contributing Factors to Window Flashover Under Pulsed High Power Microwave Excitation at High Altitude
  G. Edmiston, A. Neuber, L. McQuage, J. Krile, H. Krompholz, J. Dickens, "Contributing Factors to Window Flashover Under Pulsed High Power Microwave Excitation at High Altitude", IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation 14, pp. 783-789 (2007)
Abstract:  One of the major limiting factors for the transmission of high power microwave (HPM) radiation is the interface between dielectric-vacuum or even more severely between dielectric-air if HPM is to be radiated into the atmosphere. Surface flashover phenomena which occur at these transitions severely limit the power levels which can be transmitted. It is of major technological importance to predict surface flashover events for a given window geometry, material and power level. When considering an aircraft based high power microwave platform, the effects on flashover formation due to variances in the operational environment corresponding to altitudes from sea level to 50,000 feet (760 to 90 Torr; 1 Torr=133.3 Pa) are of primary interest. The test setup is carefully designed to study the influence of each atmospheric variable without the influence of high field enhancement or electron injecting metallic electrodes. Experimental data of flashover delay times across different materials, such as polycarbonate, Teflonreg, and high density polyethylene as a function of background pressure and gas type, air, N2, argon are discussed. An empirical relationship between flashover field amplitude and delay time is given.

[PDF]

+ IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation
  G. Edmiston, A. Neuber, L. McQuage, J. Krile, H. Krompholz, J. Dickens, IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, Volume: 14 , Issue: 4, Page(s): 783 - 789
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Interface Breakdown During High-Power Microwave Transmission
  Neuber, A. A.; Edmiston, G. F.; Krile, J. T.; Krompholz, H.; Dickens, J. C.; Kristiansen, M.; IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, Volume 43, Issue 1, Part 2, Jan. 2007 Page(s):496
Abstract:  The major limiting factor in the transmission of narrowband high-power microwaves (HPM) has been the interface between vacuum-vacuum or even more severely between vacuum-air if HPM are to be radiated into the atmosphere. Extensive studies have identified the physical mechanisms associated with vacuum/dielectric flashover, as opposed to the mechanisms associated with dielectric/air flashover, which are not as well known. Due to the high electron collision frequencies (in the terahertz range) with the background gas molecules, established mitigation methods and concepts of vacuum/dielectric flashover will have to be re-evaluated. The primarily limiting factors of HPM transmission through a dielectric/air interface are presented based on recent experiments at 2.85 GHz. The physics of the involved mechanisms and their practical ramifications are discussed. The potential of surface roughness/geometry for flashover mitigation is addressed as

[PDF]

+ Jitter and Recovery Rate of a Triggered Spark Gap with High Pressure Gas Mixtures
  Yeong-Jer Chen; Mankowski, J.J.; Walter, J.W.; Dickens, J.C.; Jitter and Recovery Rate of a Triggered Spark Gap with High Pressure Gas Mixtures; Pulsed Power Plasma Science, 2007. PPPS 2007. Conference Record - Abstracts. IEEE 17-22 June 2007 Page(s):255 - 25
Abstract:  Summary form only given. Recent attention in impulse antenna phased array has necessitated the need to develop a reliable high voltage, high repetition rate switch that will operate with ultra low jitter. An ideal jitter of a small fraction of the rise time is required to accurately synchronize the array to steer and preserve the rise time of the radiated pulse. This paper presents the impact, gases and gas mixtures have on switch performance which includes recovery rate and in particular, jitter. A 50 Omega, 2.4 nF pulse forming line is charged to 50 kV and provides the low inductance voltage source to test the different gases. Triggering is provided by an SOS voltage source that supplies >100 kV, 10 ns rise-time pulses at a rep rate up to 1 kHz in burst mode. A hermetically sealed spark gap with a Kel-F lining is used to house the switch and high pressure gas. The system will also introduce a high pressure gas mixing chamber that can mix various gases up to 2000 psi. Gases tested include dry air, H2, and SF6.

[PDF]

Publication Year:  2006
+ Conduction and breakdown mechanisms in transformer oil
  M Butcher, AA Neuber, MD Cevaolls, JC Dickens, H Krompholz, "Conduction and breakdown mechanisms in transformer oil" Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on 34 (2), 467-475
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Conduction and breakdown mechanismsin transformer oil
  Butcher, M.; Neuber, A.A.; Cevallos, M.D.; Dickens, J.C.; Krompholz, H.; IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Volume 34, Issue 2, Part 3, April 2006 Page(s):467 - 475
Abstract:  With a fast coaxial test setup using high speed electrical and optical diagnostics, prebreakdown current pulses and shadowgraphy images are measured for direct current (dc) breakdown in Univolt 61 transformer oil. Also, dc currents across the gap are measured using a high sensitivity electrometer. The conduction and breakdown mechanisms in transformer oil as function of applied hydrostatic pressures are quantified. Together, this information provides data on the development of current flow in the system. We have identified three stages in the conduction process prior to breakdown for highly nonuniform fields. Stage 1 is characterized by a resistive current at low fields. Increasing the applied electric field lowers the effective barrier at the metal/dielectric interface allowing a "tunneling" mechanism to begin, leading to the rapid rise in the injection current observed in stage 2. In stage 3, at high fields, the current reaches space charge saturation with an apparent mobility of 3/spl middot/10/sup -3/ cm/sup 2//V/spl middot/s prior to breakdown. The processes of final breakdown show a distinct polarity dependence. A strong pressure dependence of the breakdown voltage is recorded for negative needle/plane breakdown; a 50% reduction in breakdown voltage is observed when the hydrostatic pressure is lowered from atmospheric pressure to hundreds of mtorr. Positive needle discharges show a reduction of only about 10% in breakdown voltage for the reduced pressure case. Weak pressure dependence indicates the breakdown mechanism does not have a strong gaseous component. We will discuss possible links between conduction current and dc breakdown.

[PDF]

+ Conduction and breakdown mechanismsin transformer oil
  M Butcher, AA Neuber, MD Cevallos, JC Dickesn, H Krompholz, "Conduction and breakdown mechanismsin transformer oil" Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on 34 (2), 467-475
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Design and implementation of a flux compression generator nonexplosive test bed for electroexplosive fuses
  D Belt, J Mankowski, A Neuber, J Dickens, M Kristiansen, "Design and implementation of a flux compression generator nonexplosive test bed for electroexplosive fuses" Review of scientific instruments 77, 094702
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Design and implementation of a flux compression generator nonexplosive test bed for electroexplosive fuses
  D. Belt, J. Mankowski, A. Neuber, J. Dickens, and M. Kristiansen Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas 79409-3102; Departments of Electrical, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas 79409-3102; and Computer Engineering and Physics, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas 79409-3102 Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol 77, Article 094702 (2006) (7 pages)
Abstract:  Helical flux compression generators (HFCGs) of a 50 mm form factor have been shown to produce output energies on the order of ten times the seeded value and a typical deposited energy of 3 kJ into a 3 µH inductor. By utilizing an electroexplosive fuse, a large dI/dt into a coupled load is possible. Our previous work with a nonoptimized fuse has produced ~100 kV into a 15 load, which leads into a regime relevant for high power microwave systems. It is expected that ~300 kV can be achieved with the present two-stage HFCG driving an inductive storage system with electroexploding fuse. In order to optimize the electroexplosive wire fuse, we have constructed a nonexplosive test bed which simulates the HFCG output with high accuracy. We have designed and implemented a capacitor based, magnetic switching scheme to generate the near exponential rise of the HFCG. The varying inductance approach utilizes four stages of inductance change and is based upon a piecewise linear regression model of the HFCG wave form. The nonexplosive test bed will provide a more efficient method of component testing and has demonstrated positive initial fuse results. By utilizing the nonexplosive test bed, we hope to reduce the physical size of the inductive energy storage system and fuse substantially. ©2006 American Institute of Physics

[PDF]

+ High-Power Microwave Surface Flashover of a Gas&# 8211; Dielectric Interface at 90&# 8211; 760 torr
  G Edminston, J Krile, A Neuber, J Dickens, H Krompholz, "High-Power Microwave Surface Flashover of a Gas&# 8211; Dielectric Interface at 90&# 8211; 760 torr" Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on 34 (5), 1782-1788
Abstract:  Not Available
+ High-Power Microwave Surface Flashover of a Gas-Dielectric Interface at 90-760 torr
  Edmiston, G.; Krile, J.; Neuber, A.; Dickens, J.; Krompholz, H.; IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Volume 34, Issue 5, Part 1, Oct. 2006 Page(s):1782 - 1788
Abstract:  The major limiting factor in the transmission of high-power microwave (HPM) has been the interface between dielectric–vacuum or, even more severely, between dielectric–air, if HPM is to be radiated into the atmosphere. Extensive studies have identified the physical mechanisms associated with vacuum–dielectric flashover, as opposed to the mechanisms associated with air–dielectric flashover, which are not as well known. Surface-flashover tests involving high field enhancement due to the presence of a triple point have shown that volume breakdown threshold (dielectric removed) is approximately 50% higher than the flashover threshold with a dielectric interface over the 90–760 torr range. In order to quantify the role of field enhancement in the flashover process independent of electron injection from metallic surfaces, the effects of the triple point are minimized by carefully choosing the geometry, and in some cases, the triple point is “removed” from the flashover location. Experimental results were presented, including the impact of gas pressure and the presence of UV illumination, along with temperature analysis of the developing discharge plasma and temporally resolved images of the flashover formation. These results are compared with literature data for volume breakdown in air, with discussion on the similarities and differences between the data.

[PDF]

+ The Impact of Field Enhancements and Charge Injection on the Pulsed Breakdown Strength of Water
  Wetz, D.A.; Mankowski, J.J.; Dickens, J.C.; Kristiansen, M.; IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Volume 34, Issue 5, Part 1, Oct. 2006 Page(s):1670 - 1679
Abstract:  A unique theoretical model of the breakdown mechanism in water has been developed and further tested in both simulation software and experimentation. The conducted experiments test the degree to which electrode material, surface roughness, and surface area impact the dielectric strength of water. Voltage pulses with respective rise times of roughly 200 and 20 ns were applied to a water test gap producing electric fields in excess of 1.5 MV/cm. In experiments testing various electrode materials, thin film coatings of various metallic alloys and oxides were applied to Bruce-profiled stainless steel electrodes, with an effective area of 5$hboxcm^2$, through ion beam deposition. Similar Bruceprofiled stainless steel electrodes with surface roughness ranging from 0.26 to 1.96$muhboxm$and effective areas ranging from 0.5 to 75$hboxcm^2$were used in the study of surface roughness and area. Additionally, shadowgraph images of a point plane geometry were taken to further understand the breakdown processes that occur.

[PDF]

Publication Year:  2005
+ 8.1 Seed Sources Basic
  JC Dickens, AA Neuber, "8.1 Seed Sources Basic" Explosively driven pulsed power: helical magnetic flux compression generators
Abstract:  Not Available
+ DC and pulsed dielectric suface flashover at atmospheric pressure
  JT Krile, AA Neuber, JC Dickens, HG Krompholz, "DC and pulsed dielectric suface flashover at atmospheric pressure" Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on 33 (4), 1149-1154
Abstract:  Not Available
+ DC and Pulsed Dielectric Surface Flashover at Atmospheric Pressure
  Krile, J.T.; Neuber, A.A.; Dickens, J.C.; Krompholz, H.G.; IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Volume 33, Issue 4, Part 1, Aug. 2005 Page(s):1149 - 1154
Abstract:  In a wide variety of high-voltage applications surface flashover plays a major role in the system's performance and yet has not been studied in great detail for atmospheric conditions with modern diagnostic tools. Environmental conditions to be considered include pressure, humidity, and gas present in the volume surrounding the dielectric. In order to gain knowledge into the underlying process involved in dielectric surface flashover, a setup has been created to produce and closely monitor the flashover event. Surface flashover for both direct current and pulsed voltages is considered. Within the setup, parameters such as geometry, material, and temporal characteristics of the applied voltage can be altered. Current, voltage, and luminosity are measured with nanosecond to sub-nanosecond resolution. Previously measured optical emission spectra is also discussed.

[PDF]

+ Design and optimization of a compact, repetitive, high-power microwave system
  Y. J. Chen, A. A. Neuber, J. Mankowski, J. C. Dickens, and M. Kristiansen Texas Tech University, Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics, Lubbock, Texas 79409-3102 R. Gale Texas Tech University, Nano Tech Center, Lubbock, Texas 79409-3102 Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol 76, Article 104703 (2005) (8 pages)
Abstract:  The electrical characteristics and design features of a low inductance, compact, 500 kV, 500 J, 10 Hz repetition rate Marx generator for driving an high-power microwave (HPM) source are discussed. Benefiting from the large energy density of mica capacitors, four mica capacitors were utilized in parallel per stage, keeping the parasitic inductance per stage low. Including the spark-gap switches, a stage inductance of 55 nH was measured, which translates with 100 nF capacitance per stage to ~18.5 characteristic Marx impedance. Using solely inductors, ~1 mH each, as charging elements instead of resistors enabled charging the Marx within less than 100 ms with little charging losses. The pulse width of the Marx into a matched resistive load is about 200 ns with 50 ns rise time. Repetitive HPM generation with the Marx directly driving a small virtual cathode oscilator (Vircator) has been verified. The Marx is fitted into a tube with 30 cm diameter and a total length of 0.7 m. We discuss the Marx operation at up to 21 kV charging voltage per stage, with repetition rates of up to 10 Hz in burst mode, primarily into resistive loads. A lumped circuit description of the Marx is also given, closely matching the experimental results. Design and testing of a low cost, all-metal Vircator cathode will also be discussed. ©2005 American Institute of Physics

[PDF]

+ Design and optimization of a compact, repetitive, high-power microwave system
  YJ Chen, AA Neuber, J Mankowski, JC Dickens, M Kristiansen, R Gale, "Design and optimization of a compact, repetitive, high-power microwave system" Review of scientific instruments 76, 104703
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Imaging of dielectric surface flashover in atmospheric conditions
  Krile, J.; Neuber, A.; Dickens, J.; Krompholz, H.; IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Volume 33, Issue 2, Part 1, Apr 2005 Page(s):270 - 271
Abstract:  Using a gated intensified digital charge coupled device (ICCD) camera, the development of flashovers across a dielectric surface has been imaged in various gasses at atmospheric pressures. The arc displayed a strong tendency to develop close to the surface, as opposed to following the electric field line leading away from the surface, when oxygen is present in the environment. These findings along with spectroscopy data help to yield a better understanding of the processes involved in surface flashover.

[PDF]

+ Imaging of negative polarity dc breakdown streamer expansion in transformer oil due to variations in background pressure
  Cevallos, M.D.; Butcher, M.; Dickens, J.; Neuber, A.; Krompholz, H.; IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Volume 33, Issue 2, Part 1, April 2005 Page(s):494 - 495
Abstract:  The breakdown physics of transformer oil is investigated using high speed electrical and optical diagnostics. Experiments are done in self-breakdown mode utilizing a needle/plane geometry. Shadowgraphy combined with high-speed electrical diagnostics are aimed at measuring streamer expansion as a function of external pressure. Assuming a breakdown mechanism for negative needle based on bubble formation with subsequent carrier amplification in the gas phase implies a pressure dependence, which is observed in the experiments, i.e. the expansion velocity decreases with increasing pressure.

[PDF]

+ Microbubble-based model analysis of liquid breakdown initiation by a submicrosecond pulse
  J. Qian, R. P. Joshi, J. Kolb, and K. H. Schoenbach, J. Dickens, A. Neuber, M. Butcher, M. Cevallos, and H. Krompholz, E. Schamiloglu and J. Gaudet, "Microbubble-based model analysis of liquid breakdown initiation by a submicrosecond pulse," J. Appl. Phys. 97, 113304, 2005.
Abstract:  Not Available
Publication Year:  2004
+ Approximate Analytical Solitopms for the Space-Charge-Limited Current in One-Dimensional and Two-Dimensional Cylindrical Diodes
  "Approximate Analytical Solitopms for the Space-Charge-Limited Current in One-Dimensional and Two-Dimensional Cylindrical Diodes", Physics of Plasmas, 11, 6 3278-3283, June 2004 (with James Dickesn, L.L. Hatfield, and Eun-Ho Choi).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Approximate Analytical Solutions for the Space-Charge-Limited Current in One-Dimensional and Two-Dimensional Cylindrical Diodes
  "Approximate Analytical Solutions for the Space-Charge-Limited Current in One-Dimensional and Two-Dimensional Cylindrical Diodes", Physics of Plasmas, June 2004 11 6, 3278-3283, (with James Dickens, L.L. Hatfield, and Eun-Ho Choi).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ DC flashover of a dielectric surface in atmospheric conditions
  Krile, J.T.; Neuber, A.A.; Dickens, J.C.; Krompholz, H.G.; IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Volume 32, Issue 5, Part 1, Oct. 2004 Page(s):1828 - 1834
Abstract:  Surface flashover is a major consideration in a wide variety of high-voltage applications, and yet has not been studied in great detail for atmospheric conditions, with modern diagnostic tools. Environmental conditions to be considered include pressure, humidity, and gas present in the volume surrounding the dielectric. In order to gain knowledge into the underlying process involved in dielectric surface flashover, a setup has been created to produce and closely monitor the flashover event. Within the setup parameters such as geometry, material, and temporal characteristics of the applied voltage can be altered. Current, voltage, luminosity, and optical emission spectra are measured with nanosecond to subnanosecond resolution. Spatially and temporally resolved light emission data is also gathered along the arc channel. Our fast imaging data show a distinct trend for the spark in air to closely follow the surface even if an electrical field with a strong normal component is present. This tendency is lacking in the presence of gases such as nitrogen, where the spark follows more closely the electric field lines and develops away from the surface. Further, the breakdown voltage in all measured gases decreases with increasing humidity, in some cases as much as 50% with an increase from 10% relative humidity to 90% relative humidity.

[PDF]

+ Guest Editorial Fifth Special Issue on Pulsed Power Science and Technology
  Dickens, J.C.; Lehr, J.M.; Mankowski, J.; IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Volume 32, Issue 5, Part 1, Oct. 2004 Page(s):1763 - 1764
Abstract:  Not Available

[PDF]

+ High Power Microwave Breakdown of Gas-Dielectric Interface at 90 to 760 Torr
  G Edmistion, A Neuber, H Krompholz, J Dickens, "High Power Microwave Breakdown of Gas-Dielectric Interface at 90 to 760 Torr" APS Meeting Abstracts 1, 1011
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Magnetic flux compression Generators
  Neuber, A.A.; Dickens, J.C.; Proceedings of the IEEE Volume 92, Issue 7, July 2004 Page(s):1205 - 1215
Abstract:  Magnetic flux compression generators offer the largest pulsed power output per unit size or weight when compared with other more conventional systems. They have found widespread use as pulsed power sources for hydrodynamics programs and high magnetic field research at national laboratories or in commercial applications, including exploration for oil and minerals and mine detection. Also, due to their nature as a true one-time-use device with superior energy density, a large portion of applications is defense related. A variety of basic magnetic flux compression generator designs have been developed and tested during the past four decades. All of them rely on the explosive-driven deformation of a system of conductors having an initial, preferably large, inductance. The most successful basic design is the helical flux compression generator, which is capable of producing a high-energy output into large impedance loads, just as it is needed for a practical pulsed power source. This paper will review the advances and state of the art of primarily helical magnetic flux compression generators mainly developed as pulsed power sources and will offer new insights gained as a result of a recently completed five-year AFOSR/DoD Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative program that studied the basic physics and engineering aspects of helical flux compression generators

[PDF]

+ Microwave frequency determination mechanisms in a coaxial vircator
  Xupeng Chen; Dickens, J.; Mankowski, J.; Hatfield, L.L.; Eun Ha Choi; Kristiansen, M.; IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Volume 32, Issue 5, Part 1, Oct. 2004 Page(s):1799 - 1804
Abstract:  Traditionally, the radiated microwave frequency in a coaxial vircator is considered to be determined primarily by the virtual cathode oscillation frequency and the electron reflection frequency. In this paper, some experiments showing different results are reported. In particular, the E-beam is observed to play an important role in the cavity formation. Some possible explanations, including a virtual cavity concept, are proposed. The cavity resonance effect on a coaxial virtual cathode oscillator with different geometries has been investigated in detail. Investigation of the E-beam performance will improve understanding of the interaction between the E-beam and microwaves, which is a key for determining the microwave frequency. These results are helpful in optimizing the design of a cylindrical diode to avoid microwave frequency shifting and mode competition.

[PDF]

+ Quantification of ohmic and intrinsic flux losses in helical flux compression Generators
  Hernandez, J.C.; Neuber, A.A.; Dickens, J.C.; Kristiansen, M.; IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Volume 32, Issue 5, Part 1, Oct. 2004 Page(s):1902 - 1908
Abstract:  Helical magnetic flux compression generators (MFCGs) are the most promising energy sources with respect to their current amplification and compactness. They are able of producing high current pulses required in many pulsed power applications with at least one order of magnitude higher energy density than capacitive storage with similar discharge characteristics. However, the main concern with MFCGs is their intrinsic flux loss that limits severely their performance and which is not yet well understood. In general, all flux losses have a differing degree of impact, depending on the generator's volume, current and energy amplification, size of the driven load, and angular frequency of armature-helix contact point. Although several computer models have been developed in the open literature, none of them truly quantify, starting from basic physics principles, the ohmic and intrinsic flux losses in helical MFCGs. This paper describes a novel method that provides a separate calculation of intrinsic flux losses (flux that is left behind in the conductors and lost for compression) and ohmic losses, being especially easy to implement and fast to calculate. We also provide a second method that uses a simple flux quantification, making a mathematical connection between the intrinsic flux losses, quantified by the first method, and the intrinsic flux losses observed in the generators. This second method can also be used to a priori estimate the MFCG performance. Further, we will show experimental and calculated data and discuss the physical efficiency limits and scaling of generator performance at small sizes.

[PDF]

+ Research issues in developing compact pulsed power for high peak power applications on mobile platforms
  Gaudet, J.A.; Barker, R.J.; Buchenauer, C.J.; Christodoulou, C.; Dickens, J.; Gundersen, M.A.; Joshi, R.P.; Krompholz, H.G.; Kolb, J.F.; Kuthi, A.; Laroussi, M.; Neuber, A.; Nunnally, W.; Schamiloglu, E.; Schoenbach, K.H.; Tyo, J.S.; Vidmar, R.J.; Proceedings of the IEEE on Pulsed Power, Volume 92, Issue 7, July 2004 Page(s):1144 - 1165
Abstract:  Pulsed power is a technology that is suited to drive electrical loads requiring very large power pulses in short bursts (high-peak power). Certain applications require technology that can be deployed in small spaces under stressful environments, e.g., on a ship, vehicle, or aircraft. In 2001, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) launched a long-range (five-year) Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) to study fundamental issues for compact pulsed power. This research program is endeavoring to: 1) introduce new materials for use in pulsed power systems; 2) examine alternative topologies for compact pulse generation; 3) study pulsed power switches, including pseudospark switches; and 4) investigate the basic physics related to the generation of pulsed power, such as the behavior of liquid dielectrics under intense electric field conditions. Furthermore, the integration of all of these building blocks is impacted by system architecture (how things are put together). This paper reviews the advances put forth to date by the researchers in this program and will assess the potential impact for future development of compact pulsed power systems

[PDF]

+ Unipolar Surface Flashover
  J Krile, A Neuber, H Krompholz, J Dickens, "Unipolar Surface Flashover" APS Meeting Abstracts 1, 1013
Abstract:  Not Available
Publication Year:  2003
+ A Completely Explosive Pulsed Power Mini-System
  "A Completely Explosive Pulsed Power Mini-System", Review of Scientific Instruments, 74, # 1, p 225-230, 2003, (with E.F. Talantsev, S.I. Shkuratov, and J. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Autonomous Ultra-Compact Explosive-Driven High-Voltage Generator Based on a Transverse Shock Wave Demagnetization of Nd2Fe14B Hard Ferromagnetics
  "Autonomous Ultra-Compact Explosive-Driven High-Voltage Generator Based on a Transverse Shock Wave Demagnetization of Nd2Fe14B Hard Ferromagnetics", Review of Scientific Instruments, 74, no. 1, Part 225-230, 2003 (with S.I. Shkuratov, E.F. Talantsev, and J.C. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Currents produced by explosive driven transverse shock wave ferromagnetic source of primary power in a coaxial single-turn seeding coil of a Magnetocumulative generator
  "Currents produced by explosive driven transverse shock wave ferromagnetic source of primary power in a coaxial single-turn seeding coil of a Magnetocumulative generator", Journal of Applied Physics, 93, 4529-4535, 15 April 2003 with Sergey I Shkuratov, Evgueni F. Talantsev and James C. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Efficiency results from a coaxial vircator using a simple feedback technique
  Mankowski, J.; Cheng, X.; Dickens, J.; Kritiansen, M.; Choi, E.; Digest of Technical Papers. PPC-2003. 14th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, 2003. Volume 1, 15-18 June 2003 Page(s):455 - 458 Vol.1
Abstract:  Experimental findings on the coaxial virtual cathode oscillator (vircator) at Texas Tech University are reported. A major modification to the system extended the pulse forming line several meters. The pulsed power system now delivers up to 750 kV and 60 kA for at least 70 nsec. Additional modifications include diagnostics to measure the diode voltage, current, and radiated field pattern of the output microwaves. In this initial phase of experiments copper reflectors were installed within the diode to provide a simple means of microwave feedback to assist in the e-beam modulation. Thus far we have observed microwave peak power output with feedback reflectors as high as 3.5 GW corresponding to an efficiency of /spl sim/9.5%. Measured radiated field patterns show evidence of multimode operation.

[PDF]

+ Flashover across a dielectric surface at atmospheric pressure
  A Neuber, J Krile, J Dickens, H Krompholz, "Flashover across a dielectric surface at atmospheric pressure" APS Texas Sections Fall Meeting Abstracts 1, 1001
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Helical MFCG For Driving A High Inductance Load
  Andreas A. Neuber, Juan-Carlos Hernández, James C. Dickens, Magne Kristiansen, Electromagnetic Phenomena, vol. 3, pp. 397-404, (2003).
Abstract:  Even at small dimensions of less than 0.5 meter in length end-initiated helical magnetic flux compression generators (MFCG) have at least one order of magnitude higher energy density (by weight or volume) than capacitive energy storage with similar discharge time characteristics. However, simple MFCGs with a single helix produce high output energy only into low inductance loads, thus producing several 100 kA of current at a voltage level of less than 10 kV. Many pulsed power devices require less current but a considerably higher voltage level. For effectively driving a high inductance load of several μH, a multistage MFCG design has been suggested. We successfully tested a dual stage MFCG with a total length of 250 mm, a helix inner diameter of 51 mm, which is wound with Teflon insulated stranded wire of different sizes in the range from AWG 12 to AWG 22. We have presently achieved an energy gain of ~ 13 into a 3 μH load and will discuss the generator performance based on experimental current/voltage waveforms and specify the observed losses.

[PDF]

+ Longitudinal Shock Wave Demagnetization of High Energy Nd2Fe14B Ferromagnetics
  "Longitudinal Shock Wave Demagnetization of High Energy Nd2Fe14B Ferromagnetics", Applied Physics Letters, 82 8, p.1248-1250, 2003, (with S.I. Shkuratov, E.F. Talantsev, and J.C. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Phenomenology of conduction and breakdown in transformer oil
  M Butcher, M Cevallos, M Haustien, A Neuber, J Dickens, H Krompholz, "Phenomenology of conduction and breakdown in transformer oil" Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena, 2003. Annual Report
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Seed Currents Produced by an Ultracompact Explosive Driven Transverse Shock Wave Ferromagnetic Source of Primary Power in a Seeding Coil of a Magnetocumulative Generator
  "Seed Currents Produced by an Ultracompact Explosive Driven Transverse Shock Wave Ferromagnetic Source of Primary Power in a Seeding Coil of a Magnetocumulative Generator", Applied Physics Letters, 82, 1248-1250, 2003 (with S.I. Shkuratov, E.F. Talantsev, and J.C. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available
Publication Year:  2002
+ Compact Explosive-Driven Generator of Primary Power Based on a Longitudinal Shock Wave Demagnetization of Hard Ferri- and Ferromagnetics
  "Compact Explosive-Driven Generator of Primary Power Based on a Longitudinal Shock Wave Demagnetization of Hard Ferri- and Ferromagnetics", IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science Special Issue on Pulsed Power Science and Technology, November 2002, (with S.I. Shkuratov, J.C. Dickens, and J.C. Hernendez).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Current Mode of Pulsed Power Generation in Moving Magnet Systems
  "Current Mode of Pulsed Power Generation in Moving Magnet Systems", IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science Special Issue on Pulsed Power Science and Technology, November 2002, (with S. Shkuratov, J.C. Dickens, and J.C. Hernandez).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Shock Wave Demagnetization of BaFe12O19 Hard Ferrimagnetics
  "Shock Wave Demagnetization of BaFe12O19 Hard Ferrimagnetics", Journal of Applied Physics 91 (2002) 3007-3009 (with S.I. Shkuratov, E.F. Talantsev and J. Dickens.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Single Shot, Repetitive and Life-Time High-Voltage Testing of Capacitors
  "Single Shot, Repetitive and Life-Time High-Voltage Testing of Capacitors", IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science Special Issue on Pulsed Power Science and Technology, 30 1665, October 2002, (with S.I. Shkuratov, E.F. Talantsev, L.L. Hatfield, and J.C. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Subnanosecond corona inception in an ultrawideband environment
  Mankowski, J.; Dickens, J.; Kristiansen, M.; Lehr, J.; Prather, W.; Gaudet, J.; IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Volume 30, Issue 3, Part 1, June 2002 Page(s):1211 - 1214
Abstract:  Corona discharges in ultrawideband radiating systems can have adverse effects on performance such as reflection, phase dispersion, and significant power losses. A test-bed has been assembled to experimentally observe corona created by voltage pulses similar to ultrawideband systems. The current work involves the attenuation of an incident pulse after propagation through a self-initiated corona and relative measurements of visible light emission from the photoionization produced during streamer development. Several gas dielectrics, including ambient air, N/sub 2/, H/sub 2/, and SF/sub 6/, were tested.

[PDF]

+ The Conductivity of a Longitudinal-Shock-Wave-Compressed Nd2Fe14B Hard Ferromagnetics
  "The Conductivity of a Longitudinal-Shock-Wave-Compressed Nd2Fe14B Hard Ferromagnetics", Modern Physics Letters B, 16, No. 12 (2002) 1-11 (with E.F. Talantsev, S.I. Shkuratov, and J. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Theoretical Treatment of Explosive Driven Ferroelectric Generators
  "Theoretical Treatment of Explosive Driven Ferroelectric Generators", IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science Special Issue on Pulsed Power Science and Technology, 30 1665, October 2002, (with S.I. Shkuratov, Ya. Tkach, E.F. Talantsev, J. Dickens, L.L. Altgilbers, and P.T. Tracy).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Thermodynamic state of the magnetic flux compression generator volume
  Neuber, A.; Holt, T.; Dickens, J.C.; Kristiansen, M.; IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Volume 30, Issue 5, Part 1, Oct. 2002 Page(s):1659 - 1664
Abstract:  The thermodynamic state of the gas trapped in the volume of helical magnetic flux compression generators was measured using optical emission spectroscopy and fast pressure probes. Three main stages of operation are discussed: (1) the initial stage, which can be represented by a freely expanding armature, that shows fairly low gas temperatures, as low as 2000 K; (2) the intermediate stage during 14-4 /spl mu/s before generator burnout that exhibits mainly an atomic copper line transition at about 0.8 eV; (3) the last few /spl mu/s that reveal a highly compressed gas with temperatures of about 5000 K and pressures of about 1500 bar. Most experiments were conducted in air, initially at STP, some results are given for argon and sulfur hexafluoride initially at one atmosphere. Additionally, the thermodynamic state is linked to the electrical volume breakdown threshold via simple resistance measurements that were conducted in current-free flux compression generators.

[PDF]

+ Transverse Shock Wave Demagnetization of Nd2Fe14B High-Energy Hard Ferromagnetics
  "Transverse Shock Wave Demagnetization of Nd2Fe14B High-Energy Hard Ferromagnetics", Journal of Applied Physics 92 (2002) 159-162 (with S.I. Shkuratov, E.F. Talantsev, and J. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Ultracompact Explosive-Driven High-Current Source of Primary Power Badsed on Shock Wave Demagnetization of Nd2Fe14B Hard Ferromagnetics
  "Ultracompact Explosive-Driven High-Current Source of Primary Power Badsed on Shock Wave Demagnetization of Nd2Fe14B Hard Ferromagnetics", Review of Scientific Instruments, 73 (2002) 2738-2742 (with S.I. Shkuratov, E.F. Talantsev, and J. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available
Publication Year:  2001
+ Calculation of air temperature and pressure history during the operation of a flux compression generator
  X Le, J Rasty, A Neuber, J Dickens, M Kristiansen, "Calculation of air temperature and pressure history during the operation of a flux compression generator" Pulsed Power Plasma Science, 2001. PPPS-2001. Digest of Technical Papers 2 (2) 939-942
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Electrical behavior of a simple helical flux compression generator for code benchmarking
  Neuber, A.; Dickens, J.; Cornette, J.B.; Jamison, K.; Parkinson, E.R.; Giesselmann, M.; Worsey, P.; Baird, J.; Schmidt, M.; Kristiansen, M.; IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Volume 29, Issue 4, Aug. 2001 Page(s):573 - 581
Abstract:  A variety of basic magnetic flux compression (MFC) generator geometries have been tested during the last three decades. Though size and operating regimes differ widely, it is apparent that the helical flux compression generator is the most promising concept with respect to current amplification and compactness. Though the geometry of the helical generator (dynamically expanding armature in the center of a current carrying helix) seems to be basic, it turns out that the understanding of all involved processes is rather difficult. This fact is apparent from the present lack of a computer model that is solely based on physical principles and manages without heuristic factors. A simple generator was designed to address flux and current losses of the helical generator. The generator's maximum current amplitude is given as a function of the seed current and the resulting “seed-current” spread is compared to the output of state-of-the-art computer models. Temporally resolved current and current time derivative signals are compared as well. The detailed generator geometry is introduced in order to facilitate future computer code bench marking or development. The impact of this research on the present understanding of magnetic flux losses in helical MFC generators is briefly discussed

[PDF]

+ Pulsed Power Systems
  "Pulsed Power Systems"”, Encyclopedia of Physical Science and Technology, Third Edition edited by Robert A. Meyers, Vol. 13 (2001), Academic Press, Inc., San Diego, CA (with James C. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Studies on a Helical Magnetic Flux Compression Generator
  A. Neuber, J. Dickens, M. Giesselmann, M. Kristiansen, B. Freeman, D. Dorsey, P. Worsey, J. Baird, M. Schmidt, “Studies on a Helical Magnetic Flux Compression Generator”, Paper 2000-01-3617, Journal of Aerospace, SAE 2000 Transactions, Section 1, ISBN 0-7680-0840-9, © 2001, p. 865…869.
Abstract:  Not Available
Publication Year:  2000
+ Experimental and analytical investigation of a pulsed power conditioning system for magnetic flux compression generators
  M Giesselmann, T Heeren, E Kristiansen, JG Kim, JC Dickens, M Kristiansen, "Experimental and analytical investigation of a pulsed power conditioning system for magnetic flux compression generators" Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on 28 (5), 1368-1376
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Experimental and Analytical Investigation of a Pulsed Power Conditioning System for Magnetic Flux Compression Generators
  M. Giesselmann, T. Heeren, E. Kristiansen, J. Kim, J. Dickens, M. Kristiansen, “Experimental and Analytical Investigation of a Pulsed Power Conditioning System for Magnetic Flux Compression Generators”, IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, October 2000, p. 1368…1376.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ High Current and High Voltage Pulsed Testing of Resistors
  "High Current and High Voltage Pulsed Testing of Resistors", IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Special Issue on Pulsed Power Science and Technology, 28 1607-1614, Oct. 2000 (with S.I. Shkuratov, J. Dickens, L.L. Hatfield, and E. Horrocks).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ High-power microwave window breakdown under vacuum and atmospheric conditions
  D Hemmert, AA Neuber, JC Dickens, H Krompholz, LL Hatfield, M Kristiansen, "High-power microwave window breakdown under vacuum and atmospheric conditions" Proceedings of SPIE 4031, 90
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Microwave magnetic field effects on high-power microwave window breakdown
  Hemmert, D.; Neuber, A.A.; Dickens, J.; Krompholz, H.; Hatfield, L.L.; Kristiansen, M.; IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Volume 28, Issue 3, June 2000 Page(s):472 - 477
Abstract:  Microwave window breakdown in vacuum is investigated for an idealized geometry, where a dielectric slab is located in the center of a rectangular waveguide with its normal parallel to the microwave direction of propagation. An S-band resonant ring with a frequency of 2.85 GHz and a power of 60 MW is used. With field enhancement tips at the edges of the dielectric slab, the threshold power for breakdown is observed to be dependent on the direction of the microwaves; i.e., it is approximately 20% higher for the downstream side of the slab than it is for the upstream side. Simple trajectory calculations of secondary electrons in an RF field show a significant forward motion of electrons parallel to the direction of microwave propagation. Electrons participating in a saturated secondary avalanche on the upstream side are driven into the surface, and electrons on the downstream side are driven off the surface, because of the influence of the microwave magnetic field. In agreement with the standard model of dielectric surface flashover for dc conditions (saturated avalanche and electron-induced outgassing), the corresponding change in the surface charge density is expected to be proportional to the applied breakdown threshold electric field parallel to the surface

[PDF]

+ Optical diagnostics on helical flux compression generators
  Neuber, A.A.; Dickens, J.C.; Krompholz, H.; Schmidt, M.F.C.; Baird, J.; Worsey, P.N.; Kristiansen, M.; IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Volume 28, Issue 5, Oct. 2000 Page(s):1445 - 1450
Abstract:  Explosively driven magnetic flux compression (MFC) has been object of research for more than three decades. Actual interest in the basic physical picture of flux compression has been heightened by a newly started Department of Defense (DoD) Multi-University Research Initiative. The emphasis is on helical flux compression generators comprising a hollow cylindrical metal liner filled with high explosives and at least one helical coil surrounding the liner. After the application of a seed current, magnetic flux is trapped and high current is generated by moving, i.e., expanding, the liner explosively along the winding of the helical coil. Several key factors involved in the temporal development can be addresses by optical diagnostics. 1) The uniformity of liner expansion is captured by framing camera photography and supplemented by laser illuminated high spatial and temporal resolution imaging. Also, X-ray flash photography is insensitive to possible image blur by shockwaves coming from the exploding liner. 2) The thermodynamic state of the shocked gas is assessed by spatially and temporally resolved emission spectroscopy. 3) The moving liner-coil contact point is a possible source of high electric losses and is preferentially monitored also by emission spectroscopy. Since optical access to the region between liner and coil is not always guaranteed, optical fibers can he used to extract light from the generator. The information so gained will give, together with detailed electrical diagnostics, more insight in the physical loss mechanisms involved in MFC

[PDF]

+ Pulsed Power Generation Using Ferromagnetic Circuits
  "Pulsed Power Generation Using Ferromagnetic Circuits", IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Special Issue on Pulsed Power Science and Technology, 28 1347-1352, Oct. 2000 (with S.I. Shkuratov, J. Dickens, L.L. Hatfield, and R. Martin).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Studies on a helical magnetic flux compression generator
  A Neuber, J Dickens, M Giesselmann, M Kristiansen, B Freeman, D Dorsey, P Worsey, J Baird, M Schmidt, "Studies on a helical magnetic flux compression generator" SAE Transactions 109 (1), 865-869
Abstract:  Not Available
Publication Year:  1999
+ Efficiency Enhancement of Coaxial Virtual Cathode Oscillator
  "Efficiency Enhancement of Coaxial Virtual Cathode Oscillator", 27 1543 (1999) IEEE Transaction Plasma Science, (with W. Jiang and J. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ High Power Microwave Generation by a Coaxial Virtual Cathode Oscillator
  "High Power Microwave Generation by a Coaxial Virtual Cathode Oscillator", IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, 27 1538 (1999) (with W. Jiang, K. Woolverton, and J. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Imaging of high-power microwave-induced surface flashover
  Neuber, A.; Hemmert, D.; Dickens, J.; Krompholz, H.; Hatfield, L.L.; Kristiansen, M.; IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Volume 27, Issue 1, Feb. 1999 Page(s):138 - 139
Abstract:  Using two gated intensified digital charge-coupled device cameras, one sensitive in the near infrared to ultraviolet region and one in the soft X-ray region, the temporal development of high-power microwave-induced surface flashover across a vacuum/dielectric interface has been imaged. The emission of X-ray radiation from the interface is caused by field emitted electrons accelerated in the high electromagnetic field impacting the solid. This generation of bremsstrahlung terminates at the moment of full flashover development that is indicated by the optical light emission. A rising plasma density above the dielectric surface due to electron induced outgassing triggers this behavior

[PDF]

Publication Year:  1998
+ High voltage subnanosecond breakdown
  Mankowski, J.; Dickens, J.; Kristiansen, M.; IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Volume 26, Issue 3, June 1998 Page(s):874 - 881
Abstract:  Present-day ultra-wideband radiation sources produce Megavolt pulses at hundreds of picosecond (ps) risetimes. Empirical data on the breakdown characteristics for dielectric media at these short time lengths and high voltages are either extremely limited or nonexistent. In support of the design of these ultra-wideband sources, we are investigating the breakdown characteristics, at these voltages and time lengths, of several liquids and high-pressure gases. These include air, N2, H2, SF6, and transformer oil. Gap voltages attained were over 700 kV and gas pressures were over 150 atm (15 MPa). Breakdown times achieved were on the order of 600 ps. Electric field strengths observed for given breakdown times were higher than predicted by other investigators. An empirical fit is presented for the data obtained

[PDF]

+ Window breakdown caused by high-power microwaves
  Neuber, A.; Dickens, J.; Hemmert, D.; Krompholz, H.; Hatfield, L.L.; Kristiansen, M.; IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Volume 26, Issue 3, June 1998 Page(s):296 -
Abstract:  Physical mechanisms leading to microwave breakdown on windows are investigated for power levels on the order of 100 MW at 2.85 GHz. The test stand uses a 3-MW magnetron coupled to an S-band traveling wave resonator. Various configurations of dielectric windows are investigated. In a standard pillbox geometry with a pressure of less than 10-6 Pa, surface discharges on an alumina window and multipactor-like discharges starting at the waveguide edges occur simultaneously. To clarify physical mechanisms, window breakdown with purely tangential electrical microwave fields is investigated for special geometries. Diagnostics include the measurement of incident/reflected power, measurement of local microwave fields, discharge luminosity, and X-ray emission. All quantities are recorded with 0.21-ns resolution. In addition, a framing camera with gating times of 5 ns is used. The breakdown processes for the case with a purely tangential electric field is similar to DC flashover across insulators, and similar methods to increase the flashover field are expected to be applicable

[PDF]

Publication Year:  1993
+ Insulator and Electrode Mass Erosion and Surface Voltage Holdoff Recovery for Transient, High Current Surface Discharges
  "Insulator and Electrode Mass Erosion and Surface Voltage Holdoff Recovery for Transient, High Current Surface Discharges", IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, 29, 1143 (1993) (with T.G. Engel and J.C. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available

Conference Paper/Presentation

Publication Year:  2015
+ Analysis of a tunable electrically small antenna
  B. Esser, S. Beeson, J. Dickens, J. Mankowski and A. Neuber, "Analysis of a tunable electrically small antenna," 2015 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference (PPC), Austin, TX, 2015, pp. 1-3.
Abstract:  A tunable, metamaterial-inspired, electrically small antenna topology is evaluated for a possible future use as the principle radiating element in a mobile Ionospheric Heating (MIH) system. The RF source signal is fed via a 50 Ω coaxial cable into a small semi-loop antenna (SLA). This inductively couples to a capacitively loaded loop (CLL) providing a natural 50 Ω match to the source. The resonant frequency of the antenna can be adjusted by varying the capacitance of the CLL via inserting a large permittivity dielectric. A simplified circuit model is used to show that the resonant frequency can be tuned between 40-100 MHz. Also, the maximum power handling capabilities achievable with this antenna topology at frequencies relevant to ionospheric heating (~ 10 MHz and below) are estimated.

[PDF]

+ Characterization of the Optical Properties of GaN:Fe for High Voltage Photoconductive Semiconductor Switch Applications.
  V. Meyers, D. Mauch, J. Mankowski, J. Dickens, A. Neuber, "Characterization of the Optical Properties of GaN:Fe for High Voltage Photoconductive Semiconductor Switch Applications,", 2015 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, pp. 1-4
Abstract:  The optical properties of bulk semi-insulating GaN:Fe are obtained to assess its future suitability as a high voltage photoconductive semiconductor switch (PCSS). The material properties of GaN:Fe hold significant promise to improve devices for pulsed power and other applications. Growth techniques of bulk GaN:Fe, which have hitherto been largely insufficient for commercial applications, are nearing the point that anticipatory characterization research is warranted. In this paper, the optical constants of bulk GaN:Fe (refractive index, absorption coefficient, and off-state dielectric function) were determined by optical reflection/transmission analysis. The results of this analysis are compared with a similar treatment of bulk 4H-SiC as well as possible elements of PCSS housing: Sylgard 184 elastomer, and EFI 20003/50013 electrical potting epoxy. The data presented provide foundational material characterization to enable assessment of the feasibility of GaN:Fe as a practical high voltage PCSS material. Beyond basic materials research, these properties inform design optimization in PCSS construction and implementation.

[PDF]

Publication Year:  2011
+ Advanced Imaging of Pulsed Atmospheric Surface Flashover
  A. Fierro, G. Laity, L. Hatfield, J. Dickens, A. Neuber, "Advanced Imaging of Pulsed Atmospheric Surface Flashover," 18th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, June 19th - 23rd, Chicago, IL, (2011).
Abstract:  Vacuum Ultraviolet (VUV) radiation is commonly thought to enhance streamer formation, as it is energetic enough to cause photoionization in the gaseous volume. Light with wavelengths below 180 nm, i.e. VUV, is highly absorbed in the atmosphere which increases the difficulty of measuring any VUV emission from gaseous breakdown at atmospheric pressure. Nevertheless, VUV emission from pulsed surface flashover at atmospheric conditions was previously recorded at Texas Tech. A second generation system was designed to image VUV and visible emission directly while also preserving the spatial profile. The visible emission is imaged through an air-side focused ICCD, while VUV emission is imaged through a vacuum spectrograph. The variable length gap was excited with a pulser designed for a 100 ns rise time and 50 kV peak output. Captured images of visible light emission from streamers produced in oxygen are diffuse whereas nitrogen produces streamers that are segmented. VUV spatial images taken in oxygen reveal stronger emission closer to the cathode region, while nitrogen produces a more distributed intensity profile across the gap. While MgF2 enabled transmission and measurement of VUV, streamer characteristics recorded in the visible light spectrum of surface flashover on BK7 dielectric windows were also investigated. In this paper, the observed streamer images in both visible and VUV wavelength range will be discussed as it relates to surface flashover at atmospheric pressure.

[PDF]

+ Compact Electro-Explosive Fuse Optimization for a Helical Flux Compression Generator
  J. C. Stephens, A. A. Neuber, J. C. Dickens, M. Kristiansen, "Compact Electro-Explosive Fuse Optimization for a Helical Flux Compression Generator," to be published in Proceedings of the 18th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, June 19th - 23rd, Chicago, IL (2011)
Abstract:  This paper presents the optimization of a compact electro-explosive fuse designed for the power conditioning system to be driven by a helical flux compression generator (HFCG). An electro-explosive fuse interrupts the current flow from the HFCG through a storage inductor on a 50 to 100 ns timescale inducing a voltage large enough to close a peaking gap, which commutates the energy in the storage inductor into a 20 Ohm load at voltage levels above 200 kV. Experimental data has revealed that electro-explosive fuses with wires in closer proximity to one another have consistently produced lower pulsed voltages than fuses with larger wire spacings. This paper addresses possible factors that might contribute to this drop in performance. An electro-magnetic field solver is used to model the current redistribution in the fuse wires. The experimentally observed performance of compact fuses with varying wire spacings is presented.

[PDF]

+ Initial Anode Optimization for a Compact Sealed Tube Vircator
  J. Walter, J. Vara, C. Lynn, J. Dickens, A. Neuber, M. Kristiansen, "Anode Optimization for a Compact Sealed Tube Vircator," to be published in Proceedings of the 18th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, June 19th - 23rd, Chicago, IL (2011)
Abstract:  During the development and optimization of a compact sealed tube virtual cathode oscillator (vircator) at Texas Tech University, it has become apparent that processes at the anode have a significant impact on tube performance. The impact of the high energy, high current density (100-200 A/cm2 or higher) beam on the anode will cause outgassing, plasma production, and anode melting and material ejection. The emitted material expands, eventually impacting the anode transparency and (combined with the plasma formed at the cathode) shorting out the anode-cathode gap. This expansion limits the maximum radiated pulse width, and can also limit the peak output power. The residual evolved gas also negatively impacts the maximum repetition rate of the tube. An effort is underway to study the thermal behavior, gases evolved, and transparency versus time for different vircator anode materials and material treatments. Several different anode materials are under investigation, including stainless steel, copper tungsten, tantalum, nickel, and molybdenum. The effect of different treatments on the anodes before tube assembly is also being studied. The gases that are evolved during operation have been characterized utilizing pressure and residual gas analyzer measurements. The pre-shot background pressure in the tube is in the ultra-high vacuum range (10-8 to 10-9 Torr), and the vircator is not pumped on during firing. The data collected for the different materials is presented.

[PDF]

+ Investigation of the Transmission Properties of High Power Microwave Induced Surface Flashover Plasma
  S. Beeson, J. Foster, J. Dickens, A. Neuber, "Investigation of the Transmission Properties of High Power Microwave Induced Surface Flashover Plasma," to be published in Proceedings of the 18th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, June 19th - 23rd, Chicago, IL (2011)
Abstract:  When dealing with the propagation of High Power Microwaves (HPM), special precautions must be used to prevent the onset of plasma generation. In this paper, we investigate the plasma located on the high pressure side of the dielectric boundary separating the vacuum environment of the microwave source from the high pressure environment of the transmitting medium, e.g., atmosphere. Because the collisional ionization rates are a monotonously increasing function of Eeff/p in the range of interest, the effective electric field normalized with pressure, implementation of HPM in high altitude (low pressure) environments are subject to dielectric breakdown due to this generated plasma, more than at sea-level altitudes. Dielectric breakdown causes the interruption in transmission of electromagnetic radiation due to the reflection and absorption properties of the plasma generated on the dielectric surface. In this paper, transmission, reflection, and absorption data is presented for plasma generated under various pressures ranging from 5 to 155 torr in N2 and air environments. In addition, seed electrons from UV illumination of the dielectric surface and physical vapor deposited metallic points are implemented and their implications to the overall transmission properties are discussed.

[PDF]

+ Nanosecond-Scale Spectroscopy of Vacuum Ultraviolet Emission from Pulsed Atmospheric Discharges
  G. Laity, A. Neuber, A. Fierro, J. Dickens, L. Hatfield, "Nanosecond-Scale Spectroscopy of Vacuum Ultraviolet Emission from Pulsed Atmospheric Discharges," to be published in Proceedings of the 18th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, June 19th - 23rd, Chicago, IL (2011)
Abstract:  This paper describes a 2nd-generation system for directly studying the emission of vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) light from pulsed dielectric surface flashover at atmospheric pressure. The role of self-produced VUV emission (i.e. energies greater than 7 eV) on photo-ionization processes during the early nanoseconds of pulsed discharges is virtually unexplored, and yet could be a significant factor in the physics of fast breakdown of directed energy systems (such as MW-class high power microwave devices) in the aerospace community. First generation experiments at Texas Tech University have shown that VUV emission corresponding to nitrogen and oxygen excitation in the energy range 8 - 10 eV is easily produced, but the use of MgF2 optics inhibited future work with existing hardware due to the transmission cutoff of this dielectric material and chromatic aberration if used as a lensing medium. In an effort to enhance the detection capabilities of our hardware in the wavelength range from 115 - 135 nm, the current system utilizes a custom designed set of off-axis parabolic MgF2-Aluminium coated mirrors as the primary focusing element. High resolution spectroscopy with the upgraded system resulted in the observation of the nitrogen doublet at 149.5 nm, leading to a better fit for the appropriate line broadening parameters for an approximate 10 eV Boltzmann electronic temperature. Evidence of self-absorption for HI (121.5 nm) provides new insight into the generation of space charge in these plasma structures, which has been investigated quantitatively in both SF6-H2 and N2-H2 mixtures.

[PDF]

+ Temperature Dependence of Ferrimagnetic Based Nonlinear Transmission Line
  J.-W. B. Bragg, J. Dickens, A. Neuber, "Temperature Dependence of Ferrimagnetic Based Nonlinear Transmission Line," to be published in Proceedings of the 18th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, June 19th - 23rd, Chicago, IL (2011)
Abstract:  Ferrite loaded nonlinear transmission lines (NLTLs) are able to act as high power microwave sources, utilizing the nonlinearities present in ferrimagnetic materials and the excitation of damped gyromagnetic precession at high incident power levels. Ferrimagnetic properties depend greatly on operating temperatures; therefore, there exists a need to know the ideal temperature at which to operate ferrite loaded NLTLs. Ferrites are chilled or heated to a certain temperature for a time suitable to allow internal ferrite temperature uniformity. Experimental temperatures ranged from approximately -20 °C up to 150 °C, which is slightly above the Curie temperature of the loaded ferrites. This temperature range allows observation of precession dependence on temperature while maintaining ferrimagnetic properties and a single look at the behavior outside the ferrimagnetic regime. Above the Curie temperature the loaded ferrites become paramagnetic and lose ferrimagnetic properties. The design, testing, and results are detailed for an NLTL measuring 0.3 m length and ferrite inner and outer diameters of 3 mm and 6 mm respectively. Figures comparing output waveforms at different temperatures, output power versus temperature, and output frequency versus temperature are shown.

[PDF]

Publication Year:  2010
+ Atmospheric Flashover in a Symmetric Electric Field Geometry
  G. Rogers, A. Neuber, L. Hatfield, G. Laity, K. Frank, J. Dickens, "Atmospheric Flashover in a Symmetric Electric Field Geometry," 2010 IEEE International Power Modulator and High Voltage Conference, May 23 - 27, 2010 in Atlanta, GA.
Abstract:  In an attempt to identify the mechanisms leading to pulsed dielectric surface flashover in atmospheric conditions, surface flashover across a magnesium fluoride (MgF2) window was studied. The electrode configuration and the applied pulsed voltage level were chosen such that the generated electric field was symmetric with respect to the centerline between the electrodes. That is, neither electrode was favored with respect to flashover/breakdown initiation. A semiconductor-switched 32 kV pulse with 140 ns rise time was applied to the 8 mm wide flashover gap in air, nitrogen, and oxygen at atmospheric pressure. Fast voltage and current measurements along with nanosecond imaging revealed four stages of flashover development: (1) Onset of a cathode directed streamer with a charge on the order of 100 pC and traveling with a speed of ~1 mm/ns at a macroscopic field level of ~10 kV/cm associated with a slow current rise (on the order of 10-3 A/ns) temporarily augmented by (2) a 5 ns wide current spike at the moment when the streamer reaches the cathode followed by (3) a cathode directed streamer focused toward the center of the flashover gap with a slow rising current leading to (4) a sharp current rise (on the order of 10 A/ns) reaching roughly a circuit limited 45 A about 20 ns after the return strike meets an anode directed streamer. Although present in all tested gases, the current spike at the end of stage (2) is most different for all three gases and having the greatest impact in air.

[PDF]

+ Compact Magnetically Insulated Transmission Line Oscillator
  Vasiliy Smirnov, Magne Kristiansen, John Mankowski, James Dickens, Andreas Neuber, Lynn Hatfield, Hermann Krompholz, John Walter, "Compact Magnetically Insulated Transmission Line Oscillator", ICOPS 2010, The 37th IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science, June 20 - 24, 2010, Norfolk, Virginia, USA, Page 251.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ COMSED 1 - A Compact, Gigawatt Class Microwave Source Utilizing Helical Flux Compression Generator Based Pulsed Power
  A. Young, A .Neuber, M. Elsayed, J. Korn, J. Walter, S. Holt, J. Dickens, M. Kristiansen, L. Altgilbers, "COMSED 1 - A Compact, Gigawatt Class Microwave Source Utilizing Helical Flux Compression Generator Based Pulsed Power," 2010 IEEE International Power Modulator and High Voltage Conference, May 23 - 27, 2010 in Atlanta, GA. Invited.
Abstract:  Recent progress in the development of a compact, portable, explosively-driven high power microwave source is presented. The envelope to which the system must fit has a 15 cm diameter, which means each sub-system fits within this dimension, with an optimized overall length. The system includes an autonomous prime energy source, which provides the initial energy for a two-stage, flux-trapping helical flux compression generator (FCG). Typical output from the FCG is several kilojoules into a 3 μH inductor. The amplified energy from the generator, after pulse conditioning, is used to drive a virtual cathode oscillator (vircator). Recorded voltages at the vircator with this arrangement were greater than 200 kV in experiments, where radiated output powers of greater than 100 MW have been measured. Voltages of at least 300 kV, with an electrical output power of 4 GW or greater, were generated by the FCG driven pulsed power source into a water resistor load with an impedance similar to the operating impedance of the vircator. A description of each component of the compact microwave source will be given, along with waveforms from tests performed with the components independent of the rest of the system. Data from experiments with the fully integrated microwave system will be shown, and analysis will be offered to detail the performance of the system in its present state.

[PDF]

+ Effects of Gas Temperature and Gas Mixtures on a Triggered, Sub-ns Jitter, 50 kV, 100 Hz Spark Gap
  Y. Chen, J. Dickens, J. Mankowski, M. Kristiansen, "Effects of Gas Temperature and Gas Mixtures on a Triggered, Sub-ns Jitter, 50 kV, 100 Hz Spark Gap", 2010 IEEE International Power Modulators and High Voltage Conference, Atlanta GA, May 2010.
Abstract:  Recent research efforts at Texas Tech University on impulse antenna phased array have shown that an ideal jitter of a small fraction of the rise-time is required to accurately synchronize the array to steer and preserve the rise-time of the radiated pulse. This has necessitated the need to develop a reliable high voltage, high repetition rate switch that will operate with very low jitter. This manuscript presents the impact gases and gas mixtures have on switch performance which includes recovery rate and in particular jitter. A 50 Ω, 1 nF pulse forming line is charged to 50 kV and provides the low inductance voltage source to test the different gases. Gases tested include N2, dry air, H2, and SF6, as well as N2-H2, N2-SF6, N2-Ar, and gas mixtures containing Kr85. This manuscript will discuss in detail 50 kV, 100 Hz triggered switch operations of such gases. Switch jitter as a result of triggering conditions is also discussed, also including an evaluation of jitter as a function of formative delay in various gases. An evaluation of switch jitter as a function of operation time and gas temperature is also included. Triggering is provided by a solid state opening switch voltage source that supplies ~150 kV, 10 ns rise-time pulses at a rep-rate up to 100 Hz in burst mode. A hermetically sealed spark gap with a Kel-F -PCTFE (PolyCholoroTriFluoroEthylene) lining is used to house the switch and high pressure gas. It is shown that jitter is strongly dependent on the triggering technique, as well as the trigger magnitude, with ionization rates playing an important role. Sub-ns jitter is seen with a variety of gases and gas mixtures with H2 producing the best results. Varying the gas temperature and addition of radioactive sources are seen to improve the switch jitter.

[PDF]

+ First Results of Streamer Formation During Dielectric Surface Flashover at Atmospheric Conditions
  K. Frank, J. Dickens, L. Hatfield, M. Kristiansen, G. Laity, A. Neuber, G. Rogers, "First Results of Streamer Formation During Dielectric Surface Flashover at Atmospheric Conditions," DPG Spring Meeting of the Atoms, Molecules, Optics, and Plasmas Section, March 8th - 12th, Hannover, Germany, (2010).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Magnetic Biasing of Ferrite Filled Nonlinear Transmission Line
  J. Bragg, J. Dickens, A. Neuber, "Magnetic Biasing of Ferrite Filled Nonlinear Transmission Line," 2010 IEEE International Power Modulator and High Voltage Conference, May 23 - 27, 2010 in Atlanta, GA.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Material Emission Investigation of Explosive Emission Cathodes in Vacuum Sealed Tubes
  J. Parson, J. Dickens, A. Neuber, J. Walter, "Material Emission Investigation of Explosive Emission Cathodes in Vacuum Sealed Tubes," 37th IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science, June 20th - 24th, Norfolk, VA, (2010).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Performance of a Dual-Stage Helical Flux Compression Generator Under Varying Background Gas And Pressure
  M. Elsayed, A. Neuber, A. Young, J. Korn, J. Dickens, M. Kristiansen, C. Lynn, L. Altgilbers, "Performance of a Dual-Stage Helical Flux Compression Generator Under Varying Background Gas And Pressure," 2010 IEEE International Power Modulator and High Voltage Conference, May 23 - 27, 2010 in Atlanta, GA.
Abstract:  Recent efforts at the Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics at Texas Tech University have been focused on the development of a compact and explosively driven High Power Microwave, HPM, system. The primary energy source (other than the seed energy source) driving the microwave load in this system is a mid-sized, dual-stage helical flux compression generator, HFCG. The HFCG has a constant stator inner diameter of 7.6 cm, a length of 26 cm, with a working volume of 890 cm3. Testing at the Center has revealed energy gains in the 30's and 40's with output energy levels in the kilo-joules regime into loads of several micro-Henries. Over the last few years, close to one hundred shots have been taken with these generators into various loads consisting of dummy inductive loads, power conditioning systems, and HPM sources. Throughout these tests, the working volume of the HFCG, i.e. the volume in between the wire stator and the explosive-filled aluminum armature, was filled with SF6 at atmospheric pressure. This was primarily done do avoid electrical breakdown in the generator volume during operation, resulting in flux loss. Recent design updates enable pressurizing the generator volume to pressures up to 0.5 MPa, which is needed, for instance, to replace the SF6 with other gases such as air or nitrogen. The performance of the dual-stage HFCG with pressurized working volume (SF6 and N2) is presented in this paper along with an analysis of the maximum electric field amplitude held off in the volume during operation. The design technique to seal the HFCG will also be briefly discussed.

[PDF]

+ Pulsed Atmospheric Breakdown
  G. Laity, H. Krompholz, A. Neuber, L. Hatfield, K. Frank, A. Fierro, J. Dickens, M. Kristiansen, "Pulsed Atmospheric Breakdown," AFOSR Counter High Power Microwaves Meeting, July 29th - 30th, Albuquerque, NM, (2010).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Pulsed Breakdown and Flashover at Atmospheric Pressure
  A. Neuber, H. Krompholz, J. Dickens, J. Krile, J. Foster, S. Beeson, M. Thomas, G. Laity, A. Fierro, "Pulsed Breakdown and Flashover at Atmospheric Pressure," AFOSR Counter High Power Microwaves Meeting, July 29th - 30th, Albuquerque, NM, (2010).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Rapid Charging Seed Source with Integrated Fire Set for Flux Compression Generator Applications
  S. L. Holt, M. A. Elsayed, B. Gaston, J. C. Dickens, A. A. Neuber, M. Kristiansen, "Rapid Charging Seed Source with Integrated Fire Set for Flux Compression Generator Applications," 2010 IEEE International Power Modulator and High Voltage Conference, May 23 - 27, 2010 in Atlanta, GA.
Abstract:  The design and testing of an integrated front-end power and control system for helical flux compression generators (HFCG) is presented. A current up to 12 kiloamps needs to be pushed into the 5.8 microhenry field coil of the HFCG to establish the necessary seed flux for generator operation. This current is created with the discharge of a 5 kilovolt, 50 microfarad metalized polypropylene film capacitor using a single-use semiconductor closing switch. Once peak current/flux is obtained in the seed coil an exploding bridge wire (EBW) detonator is initiated with a discharge from a 1 kilovolt, 500 millijoule capacitor array contained in the compact fire set. Both capacitances, seed and fire set, are charged using a rapid capacitor charger system. The rapid capacitor charger is a solid state step up converter supplied by lithium-ion polymer (LiPo) batteries. It provides the 5 kilovolts and 1 kilovolt dual output voltages required for the compact seed source and compact fire set, respectively. The rapid capacitor charger operates at an average output power of 3 kilowatts and charges both capacitances simultaneously in under 250 milliseconds. The rapid capacitor charger is reusable if protected from the explosive detonation.

[PDF]

+ Spectral Analysis of Vacuum Ultraviolet Emission from Pulsed Atmospheric Discharges
  G. Laity, A. Neuber, G. Rogers, K. Frank, L. Hatfield, J. Dickens, "Spectral Analysis of Vacuum Ultraviolet Emission from Pulsed Atmospheric Discharges," 37th IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science, June 20th - 24th, Norfolk, VA, (2010).
Abstract:  Summary form only given. It is commonly accepted that vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) radiation, corresponding to emission from 180 nm to 115 nm and below, is responsible for photoionization contributing to streamer propagation during the initial stages of atmospheric discharges. An experimental setup was constructed to observe the VUV emission of pulsed surface flashover along a dielectric surface between atmosphere and vacuum. However, VUV radiation is highly attenuated in the atmosphere, which makes observation of detailed spectra difficult. For VUV transmission down to 115 nm the light emitted by surface flashover across an MgF2 window (front side of window in air, backside in vacuum) was focused by an MgF2 lens onto the entrance slit of the spectrograph. The high speed detection scheme consists of a VUV sensitive ICCD camera and a photomultiplier, both with nanosecond temporal resolution. Spectra were measured in various gas mixtures at atmospheric pressure with a flashover spark length of about 8 mm with a 35 kV pulsed excitation, and spectral calibration was done utilizing a VUV calibration lamp with a known emission spectrum. Virtually all lines from 115 to 180 nm can be identified as atomic oxygen and nitrogen transitions during flashover in dry air, with most VUV emission occurring during the initial breakdown stage (current rise). The extremely fast decay of VUV emission intensity following this initial stage is evidence of radiationless quenching of the excited energy levels associated with the observed spectral lines. Flashover studies were also performed in pure oxygen and nitrogen environments to reinforce the observed emission trends. Spectroscopy must be carefully detailed, for instance, the Oxygen-I line at 130.2 nm (which corresponds to a ground level transition) is shown to be strongly self absorbed in the atmospheric spark when compared to a similar oxygen emission line at 130.4 nm. Full spectra were simulated using SpectraPlot, a- - temperature dependent spectral software suite developed at Texas Tech. It has been concluded from the comparison of simulated and measured Nitrogen spectra between 140 and 150 nm that the electronic temperature is about 4.5 eV, assuming that the electronic nitrogen energy level population density is Boltzmann distributed. The measured spectra will be discussed in relation to the physics of surface flashover and volume breakdown at atmospheric pressure.

[PDF]

+ Synchronization of Phased Array Pulsed Ring-down Sources using a GPS based timing system
  Y. Chen, J. Dickens, S. Holt, D. Reale, J. Mankowski, and M. Kristiansen, "Synchronization of Phased Array Pulsed Ring-down Sources using a GPS based timing system", 2010 IEEE International Power Modulators and High Voltage Conference, Atlanta GA, May 2010.
Abstract:  A collaborative effort at Texas Tech University on high power RF transmitters has directly translated to the development of phased array pulsed ring down sources (PRDS). By operating an array of PRDS, peak radiating power on target can theoretically be multiplied by the number of sources. The primary limitation on the application of the array concept is the jitter with which the individual sources can be fired. An ideal jitter of a small fraction of the risetime is required to accurately synchronize the array to steer and preserve the risetime of the radiated pulse. This paper describes in detail the implementation of a GPS based timing system that will synchronize the individual antennas to operate at different geo-locations to function in a coordinated fashion to deliver the peak power of each element to a single position. Theoretical array performance is shown through Monte Carlo simulations, accounting for switch jitter and a range of GPS timing jitter. Each module will include a control unit, low jitter pulser, low jitter spark gap, antenna element, as well as a GPS receiver. The location of each module is transmitted to a central controller, which calculates and dictates when each element is fired. Low jitter in the timing of the GPS reference signal is essential in synchronizing each element to deliver the maxim power. Testing using a preliminary setup using GPS technology is conducted with both 1 pps and 100 pps outputs. Jitter results between modules are recorded to ~10 ns without any correction factors. With the timing and geospatial errors taken into account, the proposed concept will show usable gains of up to several hundred MHz.

[PDF]

+ Theoretical Performance of a GPS Linked Pulsed Ring Down Array
  D. Reale, J. Mankowski, S. Holt, Y. Chen, J. Walter, and J. Dickens, "Theoretical Performance of a GPS Linked Pulsed Ring Down Array", 2010 IEEE International Power Modulators and High Voltage Conference, Atlanta GA, May 2010.
Abstract:  Current research at Texas Tech University is focused on the development of a High-Power Pulsed Ring-Down Source (PRDS) Antenna Array. Previously, a Monte Carlo based analysis was conducted in order to predict the array performance based upon the estimated switching jitter between elements. This analysis showed good performance for jitter times between 0 to 2 periods of the ringing frequency. Therefore, for ringing frequencies up to 500 MHz, jitter times up to 4 nanoseconds can be tolerated. Subsequently, we have shown practical switching solutions capable of the sub-nanosecond switching performance needed for the frequencies of interest. Taking the analysis a step further, we introduce the uncertainty of the absolute position of each antenna element. To implement a randomly distributed array, where the position of elements is not fixed, a method of accurately resolving element positions relative to each other and the target location is required. The use of a variety of GPS technologies and techniques is explored as a method for position and timing resolution. The relative accuracy between elements and the absolute accuracy of each element is discussed. A Monte Carlo based analysis is conducted to predict array performance based upon GPS positional error, GPS timing error, and switch jitter.

[PDF]

+ Time-Resolved Spectral Investigations of Pulsed Atmospheric Dielectric Surface Flashover Discharges
  K. Frank, G. Laity, A. Neuber, G. Rogers, L. Hatfield, J. Dickens, M. Kristiansen, A. Fierro, "Time-Resolved Spectral Investigations of Pulsed Atmospheric Dielectric Surface Flashover Discharges," 63rd Gaseous Electronics Conference, October 4th - 8th, Paris, France, (2010).
Abstract:  In an attempt to identify the mechanisms leading to pulsed dielectric surface flashover in atmospheric conditions, a surface flashover event occurring on a magnesium fluoride (MgF$_{2})$ window was studied. The electrode configuration and the applied pulsed voltage level were chosen such that the generated electric field was symmetric with respect to the centerline between the electrodes. Sharpened stainless steel electrodes (estimated tip radius of 200$\mu $m) are attached to springs which press down onto the MgF$_{2}$ surface a distance of 8 mm apart. Diagnostics include time resolved emission spectroscopy in the VUV range and gated ICCD optical imaging of streamer progression during the first 30 nanoseconds of breakdown (with 3 nanosecond resolution) in the visible wavelength range. One important parameter on which the streamer formation and the subsequent breakdown strongly depends is the gas type and/or the gas composition. That is why the streamer formation was recorded for gated intervals from 3 to 50 ns in lab air, standard nitrogen, oxygen and SF$_{6}$. The results are compared to those ones in purified air, oxygen and nitrogen.

[PDF]

Publication Year:  2009
+ Electrical Conduction in Select Polymers under Shock Loading
  C. F. Lynn, A. A. Neuber, J. T. Krile, J. Dickens, M. Kristiansen, "Electrical Conduction in Select Polymers under Shock Loading," Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference (PPC), pp. 171-174, Washington, DC, June 2009.
Abstract:  It is known that polymers become conductive under shock loading, which can be critical to the operation of explosive driven high current/voltage devices. Hence, the propensity of several select polymers to conduct under shock loading was investigated. Four polymers, Nylon, Teflon, Polypropylene, and High Density Polyethylene, were tested under shock pressures up to ~22 GPa. Shock waves were generated with high explosives, and CTH, a hydrodynamic code developed at Sandia National Laboratories, was utilized to calculate pressure and temporal resolution of the shock waves. Time of arrival measurements of the shock waves were taken to correlate the hydrodynamic calculations with experimental results. A notable delay between shock front arrival and the onset of conduction is exhibited by each polymer. The delay tends to decrease with increasing pressure down to approximately 500 ns for HDPE at ~22 GPa under electric field strength of ~6.3 kV/cm. The data shows that some polymers exhibit more delay than others, thereby indicating better insulating properties under shock loading. Additionally, experiments revealed that the polymers conducted for a finite time on the microsecond time scale before recovering back to an insulating state. This recovery from a shock wave induced conducting state back to insulating state was investigated for a possible opening switch application.

[PDF]

+ Energy Deposition Assessment and Electromagnetic Evaluation of Electroexplosive Devices in a Pulsed Power Environment
  J. Parson, J. Dickens, J. Walter, A. Neuber, "Energy Deposition Assessment and Electromagnetic Evaluation of Electroexplosive Devices in a Pulsed Power Environment," Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference (PPC), pp. 892-895, Washington, DC, June 2009.
Abstract:  This paper assesses critical activation limits of electroexplosive devices (EED), such as blasting caps, which have recently found more usage in pulsed power environments with high EMI background. These devices, EEDs, can be very sensitive to low levels of energy (7-8 mJ) which make them dangerous to unintended radiation produced by compact pulsed generators. Safe operation and use of these devices are paramount when in use near devices that produce pulsed electromagnetic interference. The scope of this paper is to provide an evaluation of activation characteristics for EEDs that include energy sensitivity tests, thermodynamic modeling, and electromagnetic compatibility from pulsed electromagnetic interference. Two methods of energy deposition into the bridgewire of the EED are used in the sensitivity tests. These methods include single and periodic pulses of current that represent the adiabatic and non-adiabatic heating of the bridgewire. The heating of the bridgewire is modeled by a solution to the heat equation using COMSOL¿ with physical geometries of the EED provided by the manufacturer.

[PDF]

+ Initial Results of Time-Resolved VUV Spectroscopy of Pulsed Dielectric Surface Flashover in Atmosphere
  G. Laity, K. Frank, G. Rogers, A. Neuber, J. Dickens, J.B. Moss, "Initial Results of Time-Resolved VUV Spectroscopy of Pulsed Dielectric Surface Flashover in Atmosphere," 51st Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics, November 2nd - 6th, Atlanta, GA, (2009).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Low Jitter Triggered Spark Gap with High Pressure Gas Mixtures and Kr85
  Y.J. Chen, J.C. Dickens, J.W. Walter, M. Kristiansen, "Low Jitter Triggered Spark Gap with High Pressure Gas Mixtures and Kr85," 36th IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science, May 31st - June 5th, San Diego, CA, (2009).
Abstract:  Summary form only given. A recent research effort at Texas Tech University on impulse antenna phased arrays has necessitated the need to develop a reliable high voltage, high repetition rate switch that will operate with ultra low jitter. An ideal jitter of a small fraction of the risetime is required to accurately synchronize the array to steer and preserve the risetime of the radiated pulse. A 50 Omega, 1 nF pulse forming line is charged to 50 kV and provides the low inductance voltage source to test the different gases. Triggering is provided by a solid state opening switch voltage source that supplies ~80 kV, 10 ns risetime pulses at a rep rate up to 100 Hz in burst mode. A hermetically sealed spark gap with a Kel-F lining is used to house the switch and high pressure gas. Previously, the system was successfully tested with 50 kV, 100 Hz switch operations. Gases tested include, dry air, H2, N2, and SF6, as well as H2-N2, and N2-SF6 gas mixtures. A discussion on switch operation time and switch gas temperature vs. jitter will be included in this paper. This paper will also discuss in detail the effects on switch jitter when different concentrations of Kr85 gas are introduced.

[PDF]

+ Power Conditioning Optimization for a Flux Compression Generator Using a Non-Explosive Testing System
  C. B. Davis, A. Young, A. A. Neuber, J. C. Dickens, M. Kristiansen, "Power Conditioning Optimization for a Flux Compression Generator Using a Non-Explosive Testing System," Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference (PPC), pp. 951-955, Washington, DC, June 2009
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Prediction of Compact Explosively-Driven Ferroelectric Generator Performance
  D. W. Bolyard, A. Neuber, J. Krile, J. Dickens, M. Kristiansen, "Prediction of Compact Explosively-Driven Ferroelectric Generator Performance," Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference (PPC), pp.167-170, Washington, DC, June 2009
Abstract:  Explosively-driven ferroelectric generators are attractive as potential prime energy sources for one-time use pulsed power systems. While the output voltages of small ferroelectric discs have been shown to be on the order of the theoretical maximum values, scaling the ferroelectric to larger thicknesses has proven less successful. The primary limiting factor is how much of the ferroelectric material is compressed simultaneously. This is difficult to control for thicker ferroelectric discs or stacks of discs due to pressure pulse attenuation in the material and rarefaction waves shortening the pressure pulse. A hydrodynamic code system is utilized to calculate the temporally and spatially resolved pressure. The calculated pressure values are converted into voltage produced by the ferroelectric through an algorithm based on an empirical polarization-pressure hysteresis curve. The validity of the algorithm has been verified for PZT EC-64 with experimental data from a flyer-plate experiment reported in literature and our own experiments with the shock wave from the explosives more directly applied to the ferroelectric. Both calculations and experiments produced normalized output voltages, ranging from 1.4 to 3.4 kV/mm for 2.54 cm diameter discs. We will discuss how this pressure to voltage algorithm along with pressure simulations aided in the scaling of the amount of ferroelectric material in a generator, as well as in the design of new driver elements with the goal to increase the peak output voltage of a generator while keeping the generator compact. The calculated voltage output results are compared with experimental data of explosively-driven ferroelectric generators.

[PDF]

+ Stand-Alone, FCG-Driven High Power Microwave System
  A. Young, M. Elsayed, J. Walter, A. Neuber, J. Dickens, M. Kristiansen, L. Altgilbers, "Stand-Alone, FCG-Driven High Power Microwave System," Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference (PPC), pp. 292-296, Washington, DC, June 2009.
Abstract:  An explosively driven High Power Microwave (HPM) source has been developed that is based on the use of a Flux Compression Generator (FCG) as the primary driver. Four main components comprise the HPM system, and include a capacitor-based seed energy source, a dual-staged FCG, a power conditioning unit and an HPM diode (reflex-triode vircator). Volume constraints dictate that the entire system must fit within a tube having a 15 cm diameter, and a length no longer than 1.5 m. Additional design restrictions call for the entire system to be stand-alone (free from any external power sources). Presented here are the details of HPM system, with a description of each subcomponent and its role in the generation of HPM Waveforms will be shown which illustrate the development of power as it commutates through each stage of the system, as well as power radiated from the diode. Analysis and comparisons will be offered that will demonstrate the advantages of an explosively driven HPM system over more conventional pulsed power devices.

[PDF]

+ Vacuum Ultraviolet Spectroscopy of Dielectric Surface Flashover at Atmospheric Pressure
  G. Laity, K. Frank, G. Rogers, M. Kristiansen, J. Dickens, A. Neuber, T. Schramm, "Vacuum Ultraviolet Spectroscopy of Dielectric Surface Flashover at Atmospheric Pressure," 36th International Conference on Plasma Science, May 31st - June 5th, San Diego, CA, (2009).
Abstract:  Summary form only given. Spectroscopic measurements in the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) regime are difficult to make due to extremely large absorption of VUV radiation in most materials. This paper describes an experimental setup designed for studying the optical emission during pulsed surface flashover for the wavelength range between 115 nm to 300 nm at atmospheric pressures. A vacuum monochromator VM 505 from Acton Research Corporation was used as the spectrograph. For VUV transmission down to 115 nm the light emitted by surface flashover across an MgF2 window (front side of window in air, backside in vacuum) was focused by an MgF2 lens onto the entrance slit of the spectrograph. A quartz window with sodium salicylate coating exposed to the spectrograph's vacuum was placed in the exit focal plane of the collimating mirror of the spectrograph. This fluorescent coating down-converts the VUV light to longer wavelengths that were recorded with an Andor DH520 series ICCD camera in combination with a Nikon 105 mm lens. Spectra were measured at atmospheric pressure with a flashover spark length of about 9 mm and DC excitation with a capacitance of 4.1 nF. Emission spectra were measured from 300 nm down to 130 nm. In parallel, theoretical spectra were calculated primarily for the identification of radiating species and their temperature. Utilizing the NIST Atomic Spectra Database (ASD) data a library of temperature dependent optical emission spectra was generated with SpectraPlot, a spectral software suite developed at TTU. VUV spectral lines of nitrogen, carbon, magnesium and silicon were identified. In pure nitrogen, for instance, the nitrogen I double line at 174.3 nm and 174.5 nm is clearly visible in the spectrum along with a strong double line at 279.6 nm and 280.4 nm, which is emitted by Magnesium II, eroded from the surface exposed to flashover. Spectra were measured in ambient air, pure nitrogen, and argon. An experiment upgrade is currently u- nderway, increasing the VUV sensitivity of the setup. The measured spectra will be discussed in relation to the physics of surface flashover and volume breakdown at atmospheric pressure.

[PDF]

+ VUV Emission from Dielectric Surface Flashover at Atmospheric Pressure
  T. G. Rogers, A. Neuber, G. Laity, K. Frank, J. Dickens, T. Schramm, "VUV Emission from Dielectric Surface Flashover at Atmospheric Pressure," Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference (PPC), pp. 855-859, Washington, DC, June 2009.
Abstract:  There is a growing interest in the physics of surface flashover between the interface of atmosphere and vacuum in some high-power systems. More specifically, the quantitative role of vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) radiation for the photoionization leading to a streamer development during the initial stages of a breakdown is unknown. This paper describes an experimental setup used to measure the VUV radiation emitted from atmospheric flashover as well as time-resolved imaging of the flashover event. A pulser providing the voltage to the gap was designed with special considerations in mind, including long lifetime, low noise, and high reproducibility. This enabled the study of the flashover in various background gases with an emphasis on spectroscopic measurements. The calculated spectra are compared with the measured spectra, and it is found that atomic oxygen and nitrogen are responsible for most of the VUV production in an air breakdown at atmospheric pressure in the wavelength range of 115–180 nm. Time-resolved spectroscopy reveals that the VUV radiation is emitted during the initial stages while the streamers are developing.

[PDF]

Publication Year:  2008
+ A 50 kV, 100 Hz Low Jitter Triggered Spark Gap with High Pressure Gas Mixtures
  Chen, Yeong-Jer; Mankowski, John J.; Dickens, James C.; Walter, John; Kristiansen, Magne; A 50 kV, 100 Hz Low Jitter Triggered Spark Gap with High Pressure Gas Mixtures; IEEE International Power Modulators and High Voltage Conference, Proceedings of the 2008; 27-31 May 2008 Page(s):197 - 200; Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/IPMC.2008.4743614
Abstract:  Recent research efforts at Texas Tech University on impulse antenna phased array has necessitated the need to develop a reliable high voltage, high repetition rate switch that will operate with ultra low jitter. An ideal jitter of a small fraction of the risetime is required to accurately synchronize the array to steer and preserve the risetime of the radiated pulse. In (Y. Chen et al., 2007), we showed the initial test system with sub-ns results for operations in different gases and gas mixtures. This paper presents the impact gases and gas mixtures have on switch performance which includes recovery rate and in particular jitter. A 50 Omega, 1 nF pulse forming line is charged to 50 kV and provides the low inductance voltage source to test the different gases. Triggering is provided by a solid state opening switch voltage source that supplies ~150 kV, 10 ns risetime pulses at a rep rate up to 100 Hz in burst mode. A hermetically sealed spark gap with a Kel-F lining is used to house the switch and high pressure gas. This paper discusses in detail 50 k, 100 Hz switch operations with different gases. Gases tested include, dry Air, H2, N2, and SF6, as well as H2-N2, and N2-SF6 gas mixtures. Switch jitter as a result of triggering conditions is discussed, also including a comprehensive evaluation of jitter as a function of formative delay in the various gases.

[PDF]

+ A Compact, Self-Contained High Power Microwave Source Based on a Reflex-Triode Vircator and Explosively Driven Pulsed Power
  A. Young, T. Holt, M. Elsayed, J. Walter, J. Dickens, A. Neuber, M. Kristiansen, L.L. Altgilbers, and A.H. Stults, A Compact, Self-Contained High Power Microwave Source Based on a Reflex-Triode Vircator and Explosively Driven Pulsed Power, to be published in the Proceedings of the 2008 IEEE International Power Modulator Conference Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, May 27-31, 2008.
Abstract:  Single-shot high power microwave (HPM) systems are of particular interest in the defense industry for applications such as electronic warfare. Virtual cathode oscillators (vircators) are manufactured from relatively simple and inexpensive components, which make them ideal candidates in single-shot systems. The flux compression generator (FCG) is an attractive driver for these systems due to its potential for high energy amplification and inherent single-shot nature. A self-contained (battery operated prime power), compact (0.038 m3), FCG-based power delivery system has been developed that is capable of delivering gigawatts of power to a vircator. Experiments were conducted with the delivery system connected to a resistive dummy load and then to a reflex-triode vircator. In order to optimize the performance of the vircator when driven by the power delivery system, a second experimental setup was constructed using a Marx-generator based system operating at similar voltages and rise-times. Performance measures of the delivery system when discharged into a resistive load will be presented, as well as vircator output power levels and waveforms from both experimental setups.

[PDF]

+ Analysis of Mesoband Single Element Pulsed Ring-Down Antennas for Implementation in Phased Array Systems
  Belt, D.; Mankowski, J.; Walter, J.; Dickens, J.; Kristiansen, M.; IEEE International Power Modulators and High Voltage Conference, Proceedings of the 2008 27-31 May 2008 Page(s):152 - 155 Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/IPMC.2008.4743602
Abstract:  In recent years, the pulsed ring-down antenna has become of great interest due to its compact size and high power on target potential. Since these systems are fairly new in study, it is often difficult to predict the overall performance without experimental evaluation. A pulsed ring-down antenna operates by charging the single element antenna with a high potential source and then closing a switch to develop transient wave reflections on the antenna, typical CW case analysis does not apply. For this reason, we have constructed a simulation model that allows us to predict the transient behavior of the structure. By utilizing the Comsol RF module transient analysis functions, we are able to characterize various parameters of different antennas, beginning with a dipole pulsed ring-down antenna operating around the 100 MHz range. After examining the simulated results against the experimental results for accuracy, we then moved to more complicated mesoband antenna structures. The simulation model developed within the COMSOL RF module allows us to examine various influential factors such as material losses, transient switching effects, structure capacitance, switch capacitance, and initial charging losses. With this, we are able to examine methods to improve the results in the far field such as capacitive spark gap loading and other capacitive storage methods. Utilizing the pulsed ring-down antenna model, we are able to give a better characterization of mesoband pulsed ring-down structures for implementation into a specific or multi-purpose phased array system.

[PDF]

+ Compact High Power Microwave Generation
  Neuber, A. Young, M. Elsayed, J. Dickens, M. Giesselmann, M. Kristiansen, L. Altgilbers, Compact High Power Microwave Generation, Proceedings of the 2008 Army Science Conference, Orlando Florida, December 1-4, 2008. Presenter, P3E team contribution, paper was invited by L. Altgilbers.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Compact Silicon Carbide Switch For High Voltage Operation
  James, C.; Hettler, C.; Dickens, J.; Neuber, A.; Compact Silicon Carbide Switch For High Voltage Operation; IEEE International Power Modulators and High Voltage Conference, Proceedings of the 2008 27-31 May 2008 Page(s):17 - 20 Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/IPMC.2008.4743565
Abstract:  Vanadium compensated, 6H silicon carbide (SiC) is investigated as a compact, high-power, linear-mode photoconductive semiconductor switch (PCSS) material. SiC is an attractive material due to its high resistivity, high electrical breakdown strength, and long recombination times compared to other photoconductive materials. The PCSS is designed for fast-rise time, low-jitter (sub-nanosecond) operation in a matched 50 mu test bed. Ohmic contacts were applied by physical vapor deposition and initial test utilized an external Nd:YAG laser trigger source. Analysis of the optical properties of Va-compensated SiC and of switch conduction resistance are presented and performance of contact material is discussed.

[PDF]

+ Comparison of HFCG and Compact Marx for Driving a High Power Microwave Load
  A. Neuber, A. Young, M. Elsayed, J. Walter, J. Dickens, M. Giesselmann, M. Kristiansen,and L.L. Altgilbers, Comparison of HFCG and Compact Marx for Driving a High Power Microwave Load, 12th IEE Conference on Megagauss Magnetic Field Generation, (Novosibirsk, Russia), July 2008, to be published.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Energy Deposition and Electromagnetic Compatibility Assessment of Electroexplosive Devices
  Parson, J.; Dickens, J.; Walter, J.; Neuber, A.; IEEE International Power Modulators and High Voltage Conference, Proceedings of the 2008 27-31 May 2008 Page(s):439 - 442 Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/IPMC.2008.4743684
Abstract:  This paper assesses the critical activation energy required to set off electroexplosive devices (EED) at constant joule heating and rates of joule heating. Safe operation and use of these devices are of great concern in and around pulsed electromagnetic interference. Sensitivity characterization of EEDs include firing sensitivity plots, thermodynamic modeling and electromagnetic interference. Activation energy evaluation of single and periodic rectangular pulses are included to represent adiabatic and non-adiabatic bridge wire heating of the EED. The scope of this paper is to provide a short overview of sensitivity, thermodynamic, and electromagnetic compatibility of EEDs. The results provide crucial information in evaluating energy induced by pulsed electromagnetic fields of compact pulse generators.

[PDF]

+ High-Current Compact FCG Seed Source Implementing Solid State Switching
  M. Elsayed, T. Holt, A. Young, A. Neuber, J. Dickens, M. Kristiansen, L.L. Altgilbers, and A.H. Stults, High-Current Compact FCG Seed Source Implementing Solid State Switching, to be published in the Proceedings of the 2008 IEEE International Power Modulator Conference Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, May 27-31, 2008.
Abstract:  Flux Compression Generators (FCGs) are some of the most attractive sources of single-use compact pulsed power available today due to their high energy density output and mobility. Driving FCGs requires some seed energy, which is typically provided by applying a high seed current, usually in the kilo-Ampere range for mid-sized helical FCGs. This initial current is supplied by a high-current seed source that is capable of driving an inductive load. High-current seed sources have typically been comprised of discharging large capacitors using spark-gaps and over-voltage triggering mechanisms to provide the prime power for FCGs. This paper will discuss a recent design of a self-contained (battery powered with full charge time less than 35 sec), single-use Compact Seed Source (CSS) using solid state components for the switching scheme developed at the Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics at Texas Tech University. The CSS developed is a system (0.007-m3 volume and weighing 13 lbs) capable of delivering over 250-J (~10 kA) into a 6-muH load with a trigger energy of micro-Joules at the TTL triggering level. The newly designed solid-state switching scheme of the CSS incorporates off-the-shelf high-voltage semiconductor components that minimize system cost and size as necessary for a single-use application. An in-depth and detailed evaluation of the CSS is presented primarily focusing on the switching mechanics and experimental characterization of the solid state components used in the system.

[PDF]

+ Jitter and recovery rate of a 50 kV, 100 Hz triggered spark gap with high pressure gas mixtures
  Yeong-Jer Chen; Mankowski, J.J.; Walter, J.W.; Dickens, J.C.; Jitter and recovery rate of a 50 kV, 100 Hz triggered spark gap with high pressure gas mixtures; Plasma Science, 2008. ICOPS 2008. IEEE 35th International Conference on 15-19 June 2008 Page(s):1 - 1 Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/PLASMA.2008.4590809
Abstract:  Summary form only given.Recent attention to impulse antenna phased array has necessitated the need to develop a reliable high voltage, high repetition rate switch that will operate with ultra low jitter. An ideal jitter of a small fraction of the rise time is required to accurately synchronize the array to steer and preserve the rise time of the radiated pulse. This paper presents the impact gases and gas mixtures have on switch performance which includes recovery rate and in particular, jitter. A 50 Omega, 1 nF pulse forming line is charged to 50 kV and provides the low inductance voltage source. Triggering is provided by an SOS voltage source that supplies >100 kV, 10 ns rise-time pulses at a rep rate up to 1 kHz in burst mode. A hermetically sealed spark gap with a Kel-F lining is used to house the switch and high pressure gas. The system includes a gas mixing chamber that can mix various gases up to 2000 psi. Gases tested include dry air, H2, N2, and SF6. Initial testing with 30 kV, 10 Hz switch operations have shown reliable sub-ns jitter times with pure gases including dry air, H2, N2, and with H2-N2, and N2-SF6 gas mixtures. The system was then modified for 50 kV, 100 Hz operations with no recovery issues. Jitter data for pure gases, H2-N2, N2-SF6, and various Kr85 gas mixtures at the 50 kV, 100 Hz operation is also documented and compared in this paper.

[PDF]

+ Opening Switch Utilizing Stress Induced Conduction In PMMA
  C. Lynn, A. Neuber, J. Dickens, J. Krile, Opening Switch Utilizing Stress Induced Conduction In PMMA, presented at the 2008 IEEE International Power Modulator Conference Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, May 27-31, 2008.
Abstract:  It is known that polymethylmethacrylate, PMMA, becomes conductive under shock loading. To develop an opening switch utilizing shock induced conduction, the reversibility of this process must be studied. It is suggested in literature that changes in electrical properties begin at pressures as low a ~2 GPa. Applying the minimum pressure necessary for conduction is desirable in order to maximize the reversibility by limiting compression heating of the material. CTH, a hydrodynamic code written at Sandia National Laboratory, was used to design various drivers that deliver pressures in the range of ~2 GPa to ~6 GPa to the PMMA. By utilizing the switch to trigger an RC discharge, the resistance and on-time of the switch was characterized. Experiments have shown conduction durations on the order of ~4 mus. The switch was then placed into a capacitive driven inductive energy storage circuit, IES, to determine the polymer's ability to recover. This paper will present experimental data, CTH simulation results, and discuss the attained switching characteristics under varying shock pressure profiles.

[PDF]

+ Scaling and Improvement of Compact Explosively-Driven Ferroelectric Generators,
  D. Bolyard, A. Neuber, J. Krile, J. Walter, J. Dickens, and M. Kristiansen, Scaling and Improvement of Compact Explosively-Driven Ferroelectric Generators, to be published in the Proceedings of the 2008 IEEE International Power Modulator Conference Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, May 27-31, 2008.
Abstract:  Explosively-driven ferroelectric generators are capable of producing single-shot voltage pulses of more than 100 kV, while requiring no seed electrical source, being very compact, and shelf stable. Problems with ferroelectric generators are the low energy output, high dielectric constant of the ferroelectric material, low surface flashover voltage, inconsistent ferroelectric material quality, and uneven or excessive shockwave compression. Initial generator voltage waveforms show that breakdown occurred towards the end of the generator operation time. Several designs and methods have been tested and implemented to prevent surface flashover with varying results. The ferroelectric discs used for the generators were 0.4 inch thick, 1 inch diameter EC-64 PZT ceramic discs. Several six-disc generators were built and tested with resulting open-circuit voltage pulses of 80-140 kV with a FWHM of 2-4 mus. Further improvements to the generators have been designed to prevent surface flashover, improve the explosive driver element and propagating shockwave, as well as increasing the number of discs per generator. Measured output waveforms into varying loads including direct driven antennas will be shown and discussed.

[PDF]

+ Shock Wave Simulation of Ferrite-Filled Coaxial Nonlinear Transmission Lines
  Sullivan, W.; Dickens, J.; Kristiansen, M.; Shock Wave Simulation of Ferrite-Filled Coaxial Nonlinear Transmission Lines; IEEE International Power Modulators and High Voltage Conference, Proceedings of the 2008 27-31 May 2008 Page(s):517 - 520 Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/IPMC.2008.4743706
Abstract:  Ferrite-filled coaxial shock lines have recently been used to significantly decrease the rise time of a high voltage pulse. This decrease can be enhanced by initially axially biasing the ferrite material with an applied external magnetic field, allowing for a faster transition from the unsaturated to the saturated state. The simulation of the ferrite material's operation, including saturation, is discussed as well as the simulation of coaxial nonlinear transmission lines. The project explores the rise time changes with variations of magnetic bias, ferrite geometry, input signal characteristics, and transmission line characteristics. Simulated waveforms are discussed for a nickel-zinc ferrite-filled coaxial line. The pulse steepening effect observed in electromagnetic shock lines occurs primarily because of an increase in phase velocity for points higher on the waveform due to the saturation of the ferrite material. An incident pulse of high enough amplitude will drive the ferrite material into saturation, decreasing the relative permeability to one. This saturation front propagates through the ferrite material in the direction of the incident wave until the entire material is saturated, producing a sub-nanosecond rise time pulse. The shock line is designed for a saturated impedance of 50 Ohms to couple easily into existing systems. Pulsed operation of up to low kilohertz repetition is desired and being explored. Applications of electromagnetic shock lines include laser triggering and ultra-wideband radar generation, as well as others.

[PDF]

+ Window Flashover Initiation Under Pulsed Microwave Excitation
  J. Krile, G. Edmiston, J. Dickens, H. Krompholz, and A. Neuber, Window Flashover Initiation Under Pulsed Microwave Excitation, to be published in the Proceedings of the 2008 IEEE International Power Modulator Conference Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, May 27-31, 2008.
Abstract:  Surface flashover development at the output window of high power microwave (HPM) systems presents a major limitation to the power densities and pulse lengths transmitted through these interfaces. As a result, developing a physical model accurate in predicting surface flashover initiation is of prime interest. A Monte-Carlo type electron motion simulation has been developed to estimate the delay time from initial electron to flashover. Although this approach has shown reasonable agreement with experimental results, the process yielding the initial seed electron(s) was neglected in the model, primarily due to the lack of quantitative and qualitative information on seed electron production. For instance, computational efforts investigating seed electron production via collisional detachment from negative oxygen ions have shown that while effective at DC, the collisional detachment model cannot remain a likely contributor of electrons at high frequencies (Gt ~5 GHz). The key parameters impacting high power microwave surface flashover will be discussed and presented along with continued investigation into the statistics of possible seed electron sources, including trace contaminates present in the gas or on the dielectric surface.

[PDF]

Publication Year:  2007
+ Electro-Explosive Fuse Optimization for Helical Flux Compression Generator Using a Non-Explosive Test Bed
  D. McCauley, D. Belt, J. Mankowski, J. Dickens, A. Neuber, M. Kristiansen, "Electro-Explosive Fuse Optimization for Helical Flux Compression Generator Using a Non-Explosive Test Bed," presented at the 2007 IEEE Pulsed Power and Plasma Science Conference, Albuquerque, NM June 17-22, 2007.
Abstract:  Helical Flux Compression Generators (HFCG) of 50 mm form factor have been shown to produce a maximum energy deposit of 3 kJ into a 3 muH inductor from a seed current. A large dl/dt into a coupled load is possible when an electro-explosive fuse is used. Previous work with a non-optimized fuse has produced ~100 kV into a 15Omega load which leads into a regime relevant for High Power Microwave (HPM) systems. It is expected that ~3()0kV can be achieved with the present 2 stage HFCG driving an inductive storage system with an electro-exploding fuse. In order to optimize the electro-explosive fuse design, a non-explosive test bed, which closely simulates the 45 kA HFCG output, is used. To optimize the tiise, effects of fuse material, fuse length, and fuse shape will be examined as well as the effects of various quenching materials. Our previous work has characterized fuse material but we are also looking into the effects of the processes used to create the fuse wire, such as tempered wire versus fully annealed wire. Additionally, to maximize the output voltage and minimize the fuse recovery time, we are optimizing the length of the fuse wire. For shorter fuse lengths, we are optimizing fuse shape as well as fuse length to find the best fuse recovery time. By optimizing the individual parameters of an electro-explosive fuse, the fuse as a whole will be optimized to produce maximum output voltage when used with an HFCG.

[PDF]

+ Modeling of a Single Element Pulsed Ring-Down Antenna for Implementation in a Phased Array System
  Belt, D.; Walter, J.; Mankowski, J.; Dickens, J.; Modeling of a Single Element Pulsed Ring-Down Antenna for Implementation in a Phased Array System; Pulsed Power Plasma Science, 2007. PPPS 2007. Conference Record - Abstracts. IEEE 17-22 June 2007 Page(s):816 - 816
Abstract:  Summary form only given. A pulsed ring-down phased array antenna provides substantial energy deposition in the far field region in addition to a broad range main beam with scanning capabilities. This allows remote neutralization of Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at far field distances and in virtually any direction. The pulsed ring-down antenna operates by charging the single element antenna with a high potential source and closing a switch to develop transient wave reflections on the antenna which then propagate in air. The performance of a pulsed ring-down phased arrav is highly contingent upon the design and performance of the individual antenna elements within the array. Such factors as operating voltage, antenna capacitance, material losses, antenna geometry and closing switch conductance characteristics must be examined for optimal performance to be achieved. By utilizing the Comsol RF module transient analysis functions, we are able to characterize the various parameters beginning with a monopole and a dipole pulsed ring-down antenna operating in the hundreds of MHz range. We have examined and compared the results achieved from the experimental setup to the simulation model in order to better characterize the individual components of the antenna. We have also examined the discrepancies between an ideal closing switch and the experimental setup closing switch, which dramatically affects the far field range of the antenna. We have examined the material properties of the antenna to improve losses and increase system capacitance allowing an increase in the number of RF cycles per antenna discharge. With the results presented, an accurate model of pulsed ring-down antennas is available and will allow future development of more complex geometries that will improve the operation of pulsed ring- down phased array.

[PDF]

+ Opening Switch Utilizing Shock Wave Induced Conduction in PMMA and PVC
  C. Lynn, A. Neuber, J. Dickens, "Opening Switch Utilizing Shock Wave Induced Conduction in PMMA and PVC," presented at the 2007 IEEE Pulsed Power and Plasma Science Conference, Albuquerque, NM June 17-22, 2007
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Theoretical Pulsed Ring Down Antenna Array Performance
  Walter, J.; Dickens, J.; Mankowski, J.; Kristiansen, M.; Theoretical Pulsed Ring Down Antenna Array Performance Pulsed Power Plasma Science, 2007. PPPS 2007. Conference Record - Abstracts. IEEE 17-22 June 2007 Page(s):482 - 482
Abstract:  Summary form only given. High-power transient RF transmitters are currently being developed for multiple applications. One potential high- power pulsed source being considered is the pulsed ring- down source (PRDS). In a typical PRDS, electrical energy that is stored in the device structure is discharged through a switch, generating a damped ringing radiated waveform. The magnitude of the transmitted field is limited by parameters such as the overall device geometry and switch characteristics. The potential exists to increase the radiated far field power density by utilizing an array of PRDS transmitters. The performance of such an array depends on the triggering jitter of the device switches and the design of the individual radiating elements. The application of the array concept to pulsed ring-down sources using gas spark gap switches is examined. Theoretical array performance is discussed, taking into account practical switch jitter distributions, practical switch triggering schemes, and individual element characteristics.

[PDF]

Publication Year:  2006
+ A Flux Compression Generator Non-Explosive Test Bed for Explosive Opening Switches
  Belt, D.; Mankowski, J.; Neuber, A.; Dickens, J.; Kristiansen, M.; Conference Record of the 2006 Twenty-Seventh International Power Modulator Symposium, 2006. 14-18 May 2006 Page(s):456 - 459
Abstract:  Helical flux compression generators (HFCG) of a 50 mm form factor have been shown to produce output energies on the order of ten times the seeded value and a typical deposited energy of 3 kJ into a 3 muH inductor. Our previous work with a non-optimized fuse has produced-100 kV into a 15 load, which leads into a regime relevant for high power microwave (HPM) systems. It is expected that-300 kV can be achieved with the present 2-stage HFCG driving an inductive storage system with electro-exploding fuse. In order to optimize the electro-explosive wire fuse, we have constructed a non-explosive test bed which simulates the HFCG output with high accuracy. We have designed and implemented a capacitor based, magnetic switching scheme to generate the near exponential rise of the HFCG. The varying inductance approach utilizes 4 stages of inductance change and is based upon a piecewise linear regression model of the HFCG waveform. The non-explosive test bed will provide a more efficient method of component testing and has demonstrated positive initial fuse results

[PDF]

+ Contributing Factors to Window Flashover Under Pulsed High Power Microwave Excitation at High Altitude
  Edmiston, G.; Neuber, A.; Krile, J.; McQuage, L.; Krompholz, H.; Dickens, J.; 2006 Power Modulator Symposium, Conference Record of the 2006 Twenty-Seventh International May 2006 Page(s):389 - 392
Abstract:  One of the major limiting factors for the transmission of high power microwave (HPM) radiation is the interface between dielectric-vacuum, or even more severely, between dielectric-air if HPM is to be radiated into the atmosphere. Surface flashover phenomena which occur at these transitions severely limit the power levels which can be transmitted. It is of major technical importance to predict surface flashover events for a given window geometry, material and power level. When considering an aircraft based high power microwave platform, the effects on flashover formation due to variances in the operational environment corresponding to altitudes from sea level to 50,000 feet (760 Torr to 90 Torr) are of primary interest. The test setup is carefully designed to study the influence of each atmospheric variable without the influence of high field enhancement or electron injecting metallic electrodes.

[PDF]

+ Dielectric Surface Flashover Research at Texas Tech University
  A. Neuber, H. Krompholz, J. Dickens, M. Kristiansen, “Dielectric Surface Flashover Research at Texas Tech University,” presented at the 1st Euro-Asian Pulsed Power Conference, Sept. 18 -22, 2006, Chengdu, China.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Electro-explosive fuse development for helical flux compression generators
  D. Belt, J. Dickens, J. Mankowski, A. Neuber, and M. Kristiansen, “Electro-explosive fuse development for helical flux compression generators,” presented at the 2006 International Conference on Megagauss Magnetic Field Generation and Related Topics, November 5-10, 2006 Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Helical Flux Compression Generator Non- Explosive Test Bed for Electro-Explosive Fuses
  D. Belt, J. Dickens, J. Mankowski, A. Neuber, M. Kristiansen, “Helical Flux Compression Generator Non- Explosive Test Bed for Electro-Explosive Fuses”, presented at the 27th Power Modulator Symposium and 2006 High Voltage Workshop May 14-18, 2006, Washington, DC.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Interface Breakdown During High Power Microwave Transmission
  A. Neuber, J. Krile, G. Edmiston, H. Krompholz, J. Dickens, M. Kristiansen ,“Interface Breakdown During High Power Microwave Transmission,” presented at the 13th EML Symposium, May 22-25, 2006, Berlin, Germany.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Pressure Induced Conductivity for High Power Switching
  Veselka, H.; Neuber, A.; Dickens, J.; Power Modulator Symposium, 2006. Conference Record of the 2006 Twenty-Seventh International 14-18 May 2006 Page(s):219 - 219
Abstract:  Summary form only given. Investigations of shock induced conductivity of non-crystalline insulators and crystalline semiconductors were performed. Although we measured the insulator-to-metallic state transition time and conductivity, the focus of this investigation was on the recovery phase of the induced conductivity (i.e. metallic-to-insulator state transition). The recovery time and shock conditions were measured with high speed electrical diagnostics. The goal of this research is to determine the feasibility of using shock induced conductivity as a means of producing a high power opening switch. To minimize switch losses, the insulator-to-metallic transition time and conductance is also important, but has been more widely studied. Initial impact studies have shown that certain insulator can be conductive for 100 microseconds and recover under modest voltage less than one microsecond using a ten gram explosive charge. Various shock intensities are used in the study. The shock is produced primarily with conventional commercial explosives. In addition, the impact of sample thickness and compression duration on the induced the conductivity were also studied. The correlation between modest voltage and high voltage recovery time and shut-off current were studied

[PDF]

+ Pulsed Unipolar Surface Flashover at Atmospheric Conditions
  Morales, K.; Krile, J.; Neuber, A.; Krompholz, H.; Dickens, J.; Power Modulator Symposium, 2006. Conference Record of the 2006 Twenty-Seventh International 14-18 May 2006 Page(s):174 - 180
Abstract:  Dielectric surface flashover along insulators in vacuum has been comprehensively researched over the years. However, the primary mechanisms involved in dielectric flashover at atmospheric pressures have yet to be as extensively analyzed with variable parameters such as electrode geometry, background gas, humidity, and temporal characteristics of the applied voltage. Understanding the fundamental physical mechanisms involved in surface flashover at atmospheric pressures is vital to characterizing and modeling the arc behavior. Previous DC and unipolar excitation experiments have shown distinct arc behavior in air and nitrogen environments for an electrode geometry that produces electric field lines that curve above the dielectric surface. Specifically, flashover arcs in an air environment were observed to develop along the dielectric surface. Experiments conducted in nitrogen revealed that the arc developed along the electric field lines, above the surface of the dielectric. It was also of importance to alter the temporal characteristics of the applied voltage to simulate lightning situations and investigate the impact on the arc behavior and voltage delay times. A solid state high voltage pulser with an adjustable pulse width of ~500 ns at FWHM and amplitudes in excess of 30 kV was specifically developed to replicate the temporal characteristics of a voltage pulse observed when a building structure is hit by a lightning strike. Based on these results, the physical mechanisms primarily involved in pulsed unipolar surface flashover will be discussed. Additional studies regarding the effects of humidity and surface roughness on the flashover arc behavior will also be presented

[PDF]

+ The Impact of Water Conductivity, Electrode Material, and Electrode Surface Roughness on the Pulsed Breakdown Strength of Water
  Wetz, D.; Mankowski, J.; McCauley, D.; Dickens, J.; Kristiansen, M.; Conference Record of the 2006 Twenty-Seventh International Power Modulator Symposium, 2006. 14-18 May 2006 Page(s):104 - 107
Abstract:  Experimental results are presented on the impact water conductivity, electrode material, and electrode surface roughness have on the dielectric strength of water. A 2 mm water gap was tested under pulsed conditions with maximum electric fields in excess of 1.5 MV/cm. Bruce profiled electrodes manufactured from various materials including molybdenum, aluminum, copper, tungsten, nickel, stainless steel, and zinc oxide, which have work functions ranging from 4.2 eV to 5.3 eV, have been tested. The roughness average of the various surfaces was varied from 0.1 mum to 1.96 mum and the conductivity of the water within the gap was varied from 1muS/cm to 39 muS/cm to determine the impact each has when tested in combination with the various electrode materials and surface roughnesses. Conclusions are made as to the effect each of these factors has on the holdoff strength of a water dielectric system

[PDF]

Publication Year:  2005
+ A Compact, Repetitive, 500kV, 500 J, Marx Generator
  Neuber, A.A.; Chen, Y.J.; Dickens, J.C.; Kristiansen, M.; 2005 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference; June 2005 Page(s):1203 - 1206
Abstract:  The electrical characteristics and design features of a low inductance, compact, 500 kV, 500 J, 10 Hz repetition rate, Marx generator are discussed. While benefiting from the large energy density of mica capacitors, 4 mica capacitors were utilized in parallel per stage, keeping the parasitic inductance per stage low. Including the spark-gap switches, a stage inductance of 55 nH was measured, which translates with 100 nF capacitance per stage to ~ 18.5 ¿ characteristic Marx impedance. Using solely inductors, ~ 1 mH each, as charging elements instead of resistors enabled charging the Marx within less than 100 ms with little charging losses. The pulse width of the Marx into a matched resistive load is about 200 ns with 50 ns rise-time. Repetitive HPM generation with the Marx directly driving a small Vircator has been verified. The Marx is fitted into a tube with 30 cm diameter and a total length of 0.7 m. We discuss the Marx operation at up to 21 kV charging voltage per stage, with repetition rates of up to 10 Hz in burst mode primarily into resistive loads. A lumped circuit description of the Marx is also given, closely matching the experimental results.

[PDF]

+ A Low-Cost Metallic Cathode for a Vircator HPM Source
  Y.J. Chen, J.J. Mankowski, A. Neuber, J.C. Dickens, “A Low-Cost Metallic Cathode for a Vircator HPM Source,” Proceedings of the 15th Int. IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, pp. 66-69, Monterey, CA, June 13-17, 2005
Abstract:  Not Available
+ A Low-Cost Metallic Cathode for a Vircator HPM Source
  Mankowski, J.; Chen, Y.; Dickens, J.; Neuber, A.; Gale, R.; 2005 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, June 2005 Page(s):66 - 69
Abstract:  Recent research efforts at TTU include the testing of a rapidly charged, rep-rated Marx generator driving a reflex triode vircator [1]. As expected, the burning of the cathode material (ordinary cloth velvet), was the primary failure mechanism during repetitive operation. In an effort to achieve a repetitive vircator (>10 Hz), we are exploring a low-cost, all-metal cathode. The cathode is made from aluminum with a patterned surface. A typical pattern is composed of peaks and troughs with dimensions on the order of tens of microns. The pattern is achieved with a simple, low-cost chemical etching process. Results include current, voltage, and microwave waveforms from two solid metal cathodes and a cloth velvet cathode.

[PDF]

+ Bubble Dynamics and Channel Formation for Cathode Initiated Discharges in Transformer Oil
  Cevallos, M.; Butcher, M.; Dickens, J.; Neuber, A.; Krompholz, H.; 2005 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, June 2005 Page(s):1235 - 1238
Abstract:  The development of cathode initiated low density channel formation and propagation leading to self breakdown in transformer oil is investigated using high speed electrical and optical diagnostics in a coaxial system with a point/plane axial discharge at various hydrostatic pressures. A cathode initiated channel formation and propagation model based upon single bubble dynamics has been presented by Kattan [1]. Experiments based on high-speed shadowgraphy were conducted to decide if the principles that govern single bubble dynamics could be applied to cathode initiated channel formation. These experiments show bubble motion away from the cathode, with separation velocities on the order of 10's m/s. This separation is similar for single bubbles generated at the cathode and for bubble chains developing into low-density channels. Lifetimes of these channels are recorded and show good correlation with the Rayleigh model [2] used to predict lifetimes of single bubbles. Experiments at reduced hydrostatic pressure reveal a critical pressure below which low density channel expansion occurs, further corroborating the presence of a gas phase. Finally, the pressure dependence of the breakdown voltage due to the expansion of the low density channels is examined and a model for this dependence is presented. The experiments conducted confirm the presence of a gas phase channel, its correlation with single bubble dynamics, and its importance to final breakdown.

[PDF]

+ Characaterization of Transient Antennas
  "Characaterization of Transient Antennas", proceeding of the 15th Int’l. Pulsed Power Conference, Monterey, CA, June 13-17, 2005 (with J. Walter and J. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Compact Pulsed Power at TTU
  A. Neuber, M. Kristiansen, J. Dickens, M. Giesselmann, “Compact Pulsed Power at TTU,” 3rd Annual Multi-Functional Warhead Workshop, 30 November – 1 December 2005, Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, AL.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Composite Shadowgraphy and Luminosity Images of Self Breakdown Discharge Channels in Transformer Oil
  Cevallos, M.; Butcher, M.; Dickens, J.; Neuber, A.; Krompholz, H.; 2005 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, June 2005 Page(s):982 - 985
Abstract:  The physics of cathode initiated discharge formation leading to self breakdown in transformer oil is investigated using high speed electrical and optical diagnostics in a coaxial system with a point/plane axial discharge. Previous research conducted on self breakdown channel formation using high speed shadowgraphy and photography of the emitted light has shown tree-like structures for both cathode and anode initiated discharges, with characteristic differences. Cathode initiated discharges expand faster to a more "bushy" appearance, whereas anode initiated discharges show branching localized channels. So far, the spatial resolution to detect small luminous areas in pre-breakdown discharges and to determine their correlation to low density regions visible in the shadowgraphs was not sufficient in the experiments described in this paper, thus a systematic variation of exposure times, and time delays between luminosity pictures and shadowgraphy pictures has been performed. These experiments confirm that the luminosity emitted during prebreakdown events is generated from the low density regions seen in the shadowgraphy images, indicating charge amplification mechanisms in the gas phase for cathode initiated events. This statement is further supported by the dependence of both the channel dynamics and the light emission at lowered hydrostatic pressure.

[PDF]

+ High Power Microwave Breakdown Limits of Dielectric/Gas Interfaces
  A. Neuber, G. Edmiston, J. Krile, K. Morales, J. Dickens, H. Krompholz, "High Power Microwave Breakdown Limits of Dielectric/Gas Interfaces,” presented at the 2005 International COE Forum on Pulsed Power Science held on November 13 – 14 at Kumamoto, Japan. (invited)
Abstract:  Not Available
+ High Power Microwave Surface Flashover of a Gas-Dielectric Interface at 90 to 760 Tor
  Edmiston, G.; Krile, J.; Neuber, A.; Dickens, J.; Krompholz, H.; 2005 IEEEPulsed Power Conference, June 2005 Page(s):350 - 353
Abstract:  The major limiting factor in the transmission of HPM has been the interface between dielectric-vacuum or even more severely between dielectric-air if HPM is to be radiated into the atmosphere. Extensive studies have identified the physical mechanisms associated with vacuum-dielectric flashover, as opposed to the mechanisms associated with air-dielectric flashover, which are not as well known. Surface flashover tests involving high field enhancement due to the presence of a triple point have shown that volume breakdown threshold (dielectric removed) is approximately 50% higher than the flashover threshold with a dielectric interface over the 90-760 torr range [1]. In order to quantify the role of field enhancement in the flashover process independent of electron injection from metallic surfaces, the effects of the triple point are minimized by carefully choosing the geometry and in some cases the triple point is "removed" from the flashover location. We will present experimental results, including the impact of gas pressure, and discuss possible causes for the difference in the rf-breakdown field with and without the interface/metallic triple point portion.

[PDF]

+ Investigation of Charge Conduction and Self-Breakdown in Transformer Oil
  Butcher, M.; Cevallos, M.; Neuber, A.; Krompholz, H.; Dickens, J.; 2005 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, June 2005 Page(s):1143 - 1146
Abstract:  With a fast coaxial setup using a needle/plane geometry and a high sensitivity electrometer, conduction mechanisms in transformer oil at varying temperature and hydrostatic pressure are quantified. There are 3 stages in the conduction process prior to breakdown for highly nonuniform field geometries. Stage I is characterized by a resistive current at low fields. Stage II consists of a rapid rise in the injection current associated with increasing field due to a "tunneling" mechanism through the metal/dielectric interface. The transition from the resistive to tunneling stage occurs when the applied field reduces the barrier at the metal/insulator interface to a point where tunneling of charge carriers through the barrier begins. This transition point is polarity dependent. In stage III, at high fields the current reaches space charge saturation at electron mobilities >100 cm2/V*s prior to breakdown. The processes of final breakdown show distinct polarity dependence. Data for the negative needle exhibits strong pressure dependence of the breakdown voltage, which is reduced by 50% if the hydrostatic pressure is lowered from atmospheric pressure to hundreds of mtorr. Such a strong pressure dependence, at reduced hydrostatic pressure, indicates breakdown is gaseous in nature. This is supported by images of bubble/low density regions forming at the current injection point. Positive needle discharges show a reduction of only about 10% in breakdown voltage for the reduced pressure case. A weak pressure dependence indicates the breakdown mechanism does not have a strong gaseous component. We will discuss possible links between conduction current and DC breakdown.

[PDF]

+ Limits of High Power Microwave Transmission due to Interface Breakdown
  A. Neuber, J. Krile, G. Edmiston, H. Krompholz, J. Dickens, "Limits of High Power Microwave Transmission due to Interface Breakdown," presented (oral) at 2005 Tri-Service VED Workshop, 12-16 September 2005
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Multi-Frequency and Multi-Mode Microwave Identification in a Vircator Research
  Xupeng Chen; Dickens, J.C.; Hatfield, L.L.; Mankowski, J.; Kristiansen, M.; 2005 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, June 2005 Page(s):190 - 193
Abstract:  In virtual cathode oscillator (VIRCATOR) research, multi-frequency and multi-mode microwaves are coupled out and propagate along a waveguide. Identifying the microwave propagating modes has become a priority work for further research on microwave radiation physical mechanisms. Generally, an antenna matrix at the end of an open waveguide, which can shape the radiated microwave power distribution, is used to identify the microwave propagating modes [1-2]. Actual microwave radiation mechanisms in a VIRCATOR are complicated. Multi propagating modes and multifrequency microwaves coexist simultaneously, which challenges the antenna matrix method. In this paper, based on microwave propagating theory in a waveguide, a new method is proposed to identify multi-frequency and multi-mode microwaves, which is partially justified by the experimental data at Texas Tech University.

[PDF]

+ Multistage Helical Flux Compression Generator Non-Explosive Test Bed
  Belt, D.; Dickens, J.; Mankowski, J.; Neuber, A.; 2005 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, June 2005 Page(s):525 - 528
Abstract:  Helical Flux Compression Generators of small dimensions have been shown to produce energy output around 3 kJ into an inductive load. Adding a fuse opening switch has allowed us to produce 300kV into a 15 Ohm load. We are investigating inductive energy storage with emphasis on an electro-explosive fuse opening switch in order to improve upon previous results. We have designed and constructed a non-explosive test bed composed of two pulse forming networks (PFN). Each PFN provides a linear approximation during two different time ranges of the exponential rise response of a typical HFCG. This approach will be more cost and time effective than to drive the fuse with an explosive generator. Our initial goal will be to simulate a 15 kA HFCG unit followed by the simulation of a 50 kA HFCG.

[PDF]

+ Shock Induced Conductivity for High Power Switching
  Veselka, H.; Neuber, A.; Dickens, J.; 2005 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, June 2005 Page(s):734 - 737
Abstract:  Investigations of shock induced conductivity of insulators and semiconductors both crystalline and non-crystalline, were performed. Although the insulator-to-metallic state transition time was measured, the focus of this investigation was on the recovery phase of the induced conductivity (i.e. metallic-to-insulator state transition). The recovery time and shock conditions were measured with high speed electrical diagnostic equipment. The goal of this research is to determine the feasibility of using shock induced conductivity as a means of producing a high power opening switch. To minimize switch losses, the insulator-to-metallic transition time and conductance is also important, but has been more widely studied. Various shock profiles and intensities and used in the study. The shock is produced primarily with conventional commercial explosives. Shock reverberation is planed in some tests to minimize sample heating and to produce tailored shock time profiles. In addition, the impacts of sample thickness and compression duration on the induced conductivity were also studied.

[PDF]

+ Similarities of Dielectric Surface Flashover at Atmospheric Conditions for Pulsed Unipolar and RF Excitation
  Krile, J.; Edmiston, G.; Neuber, A.; Dickens, J.; Krompholz, H.; 2005 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, June 2005 Page(s):354 - 357
Abstract:  Mechanisms in vacuum flashover caused by rf (f<10 GHz) or unipolar voltages are virtually identical. Similarities between rf (representing high power microwave window breakdown on the high pressure side) and unipolar flashover are expected in an atmospheric environment as well. Our experimental setups enable studying both unipolar flashover and rf window flashover at atmospheric conditions while controlling excitation, temperature, pressure, humidity, and type of gas present. The local electric field at the flashover initiating points has been numerically calculated in detail for all test geometries. For both rf and unipolar pulsed excitation, the flashover dynamics are changed by the application of UV light to the dielectric surface. A UV pre-pulse has a distinct impact on the arc's path and a tendency to increase the hold-off electric field. The effect of humidity on the hold-off electric field for both pulsed unipolar and rf excitations, along with temporally resolved emission spectroscopy of the flashover event, will be discussed.

[PDF]

+ Simulation Studies of Liquid Water Breakdown By a Sub-Microsecond Pulse
  Qian, J.; Joshi, R.P.; Kolb, J.; Schoenbach, K.H.; Dickens, J.; Neuber, A.; Cevallos, M.; Krompholz, H.; Schamiloglu, E.; Gaudet, J.; 2005 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, June 2005 Page(s):738 - 741
Abstract:  An electrical breakdown model for liquids in response to a sub-microsecond (~ 100 ns) voltage pulse is presented, and quantitative evaluations carried out. It is proposed that breakdown is initiated by field emission at the interface of pre-existing micro-bubbles. Impact ionization within the micro-bubble gas then contributes to plasma development, with cathode injection having a delayed and secondary role. Continuous field emission at the streamer tip contributes to filament growth and propagation. This model can adequately explain almost all of the experimentally observed features, including dendritic structures and fluctuations in the pre-breakdown current. Two-dimensional, time-dependent simulations have been carried out based on a continuum model for water, though the results are quite general. Monte Carlo simulations provide the relevant transport parameters for our model. Our quantitative predictions match the available data quite well, including the breakdown delay times and observed optical emission. energy associated with a sub-microsecond pulse is too low to induce any significant heating [2]. Temperature increases of less than 6 K were predicted. Hence, bubble formation on the basis of localized liquid vaporization can effectively be ruled out. Here a general model of liquid breakdown is developed that incorporates two important features. First, the preexistence of spatially localized micro-bubbles, in equilibrium with the liquid phase, is implicitly assumed. As a result, no strong internal heating or vaporization is necessary for the creation of local low-density regions. Such bubbles are assumed to be filled with dissolved gas.

[PDF]

+ The Impact of Electrode Material on the Pulsed Breakdown Strength of Water
  Wetz, D.; Mankowski, J.; Dickens, J.; Kristiansen, M.; 2005 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, June 2005 Page(s):935 - 938
Abstract:  In the experiments presented here, various electrode materials were tested in an effort to determine the impact each has on increasing the dielectric strength of water. Prior investigations have tested materials such as stainless steel, copper, nickel, gold, silver, and cuprous oxide [1-4]. In our experiments, thin film coatings of various metallic alloys and oxides were applied to Bruce profiled stainless steel electrodes with an effective area of 5 cm2. An ion beam sputtering process was used to apply the coatings with thicknesses of several hundred nm. The electrodes were then tested across a water gap, with pulse lengths in both the microsecond and nanosecond time regimes. Electric fields in excess of 8 MV/cm were applied. Conclusions are made as to the impact electrode material has on the pulsed breakdown strength of water.

[PDF]

Publication Year:  2004
+ Compact FCG Driven Inductive Energy Storage System
  J.-C. Hernandez, A. A. Neuber, M. Giesselmann, J. C. Dickens, and Magne Kristiansen, ”Compact FCG Driven Inductive Energy Storage System,” in Proceedings of MegaGauss X, Berlin, Germany, July 18 -23, p. 144-147, 2004,.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Compact Pulsed Power
  M. Kristiansen, J. Dickens, H. Krompholz, M. Giesselmann, A. Neuber, J. Mankowski, L. Hatfield, “Compact Pulsed Power,“ Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium on Pulsed Power and Plasma Applications, Oct. 18-20, Chan-Won, Korea, p. 10-15, 2004. (Invited paper)
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Compact Pulsed Power
  M. Kristiansen, A. Neuber, J. Dickens, M. Giesselmann, and S. Shkuratov, “Compact Pulsed Power,“ MegaGauss X, Berlin, Germany, July 18 -23, p. 169-175, 2004. (Invited)
Abstract:  Not Available
+ DC and Pulsed Dielectric Surface Flashover at Atmsopheric Pressure
  J. T. Krile, A. Neuber, H. G. Krompholz, and J. C. Dickens, „DC and Pulsed Dielectric Surface Flashover at Atmsopheric Pressure,“ 2004 Power Modulator Conference, San Francisco, CA, 2004.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Effect of temperature and pressure on DC pre-breakdown current in transformer oil
  Butcher, M.; Neuber, A.; Krompholz, H.; Dickens, J.; IEEE Conference Record - Abstracts. The 31st IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science, 2004. ICOPS 2004. 28 June-1 July 2004 Page(s):258
Abstract:  Summary form only given. Any attempt to model the complex interaction of hydrodynamic and electronic processes leading to breakdown in transformer oil suffers from the lack of microscopic transport data. Also, interface processes, such as electron emission from metal electrodes immersed in liquid, are poorly understood. As a first step toward the understanding of breakdown phenomenology, the voltage-current characteristics for pre-discharge conditions are measured. An experimental setup was constructed which allows temperature variations between 10/spl deg/C and 50/spl deg/C, at pressures between 0.5 and 3 bar. DC currents ranging from a few nA with a few kV of applied voltage, to a few /spl mu/A prior to full breakdown are measured using an electrometer. Preliminary results at NTP with a tip-plane geometry indicate Ohmic behavior at low voltages, Schottky emission at intermediate voltages, and saturation due to space charge at high voltages, and allow estimates on the physical parameters governing these effects. The indicated temperature range of the measurements is associated with a variation of the viscosity of a factor of 3, where we anticipate similar relative changes for the transport of electrons. The intermediate voltage range where a Schottky emission process is assumed will be emphasized. For instance, the electron mobility, derived from experimental data to about 0.06 cm/sup 2//Vs at NTP in the intermediate voltage range should distinctly vary with changing temperature and pressure.

[PDF]

+ Electrical breakdown in transformer oil
  Cevallos, M.D.; Dickens, J.C.; Neuber, A.A.; Krompholz, H.G.; IEEE Conference Record - Abstracts. The 31st IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science, 2004. ICOPS 2004. 28 June-1 July 2004 Page(s):401
Abstract:  Summary form only given. The fundamental breakdown physics of transformer oils is investigated with high-speed electrical and optical diagnostics with temporal resolution down to 500 ps. Univolt 63 and Envirotemp FR3 (biodegradable) are used for this study. The system set up employs a cable discharge into a coaxial system with point/plane axial discharge and load line to providing a matched terminating impedance. Overall, the impedance of the system is matched at 50 ohms throughout with the exception of the very narrow gap region and includes a 50 ohm load resistor terminating the load line. Self breakdown is achieved by applying up to 50 kV to the charging line. Pulsed breakdown is achieved by charging a pulse forming line with a two way transient time of 300 ns, up to 100 kV. The pulse forming line is then fed into the discharge line via an oil spark gap. Transmission line type current sensors and a capacitive voltage divider with fast amplifiers/attenuators are used in order to attain a complete range of information from amplitudes of 0.1 mA to 1 kA with temporal resolutions of 300 ps. Optical measurements are performed on low level light emission using fast photo-multiplier tubes (risetime of 800 ps) spatially resolved, supplemented with high speed and spectroscopic investigations on a nanosecond timescale. Breakdown voltages at gap distances of 5 mm for pre, self, and pulsed breakdown voltages are given, where breakdown with negative needle tips show 20% higher breakdown voltages than the ones with positive needle. Velocities of propagating "tree"-structures for the pre and self-breakdown are a few km/s while pulsed breakdown velocities are several 10's of km/s, with higher velocities for a negative needle. The trees have to reach the opposite electrode before full breakdown occurs. Simultaneous optical measurements for a single breakdown event are presented, such as the luminosity in comparison to shadowgraphy images, which is necessary to describe the complex interaction of hydrodynamic phenomena (channel and tree formation and propagation) and charge carrier multiplication.

[PDF]

+ High Power Microwave Breakdown of a Gas-Dielectric Interface at 90 to 760 Torr
  G. Edmiston, A. Neuber, H. Krompholz, J. Dickens, "High Power Microwave Breakdown of a Gas-Dielectric Interface at 90 to 760 Torr,” presented at the 46th Annual Meeting of the Division of Plasma Physics November 15-19, 2004, Savannah, GA, Meeting ID: DPP04APS
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Light-matter interaction in transformer oil
  Namihira, T.; Wang, D.; Neuber, A.; Butcher, M.; Dickens, J.; Krompholz, H.; IEEE Conference Record - Abstracts. The 31st IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science, 2004. ICOPS 2004. 28 June-1 July 2004 Page(s):448
Abstract:  Summary form only given. Considering highly stressed dielectric liquids, the role of mechanisms such as photoionization in the liquid volume or photoeffect at the cathode for the development of dielectric breakdown is investigated. We used a pulsed 300 W Xenon light source (25 mm output window, 5 degree divergence) with a broad spectral range of 200 to 1100 nm to study the impact of the light beam focused either solely on the high field region between the breakdown electrodes or including the electrodes. Typical field strengths in the electrode gap (/spl sim/4 mm gap, 3 mm tip radius,) were 15 to 25 kV/cm resulting in a DC current amplitude (without light) of up to 2 nA (apparatus resolution /spl sim/10 pA). Standard transformer oil, Univolt 61, and a biodegradable oil, Environtemp FR3 (natural ester fluid), were examined in the present work. Both oils exhibit strong optical absorption in the UV. However, Univolt 61 has its cut off wavelength at 450 nm, while bio oil easily transmits down to 350 nm. Below the cutoff wavelength, virtually all radiation is absorbed within a few mm. When pulsing the Xenon lamp at /spl sim/500 microsec no increase in DC current amplitude (increase <10 pA) could be detected for either oil. Increasing the pulse length to several seconds lead to a distinct increase in current amplitude (up to 300 pA), however, only for Univolt 61. Such an increase in current amplitude can also be achieved by raising the temperature of the dielectric liquid by external heating (/spl sim/100 pA/K). The temperature levels leading to similar current amplitudes due to heating by the Xenon lamp or external heating are comparable. Since bio oil absorbs only below 350 nm, the temperature rise due to the light irradiation was comparably smaller than in Univolt 61. Thus, any heating and increase in current were less pronounced in bio oil. For both oils, the observed behavior can be entirely explained by thermal effects. Both, photoionization and photoeffect have seemingly a minor impact on breakdown development. The detailed discussions are given in the present work.

[PDF]

+ Modeling of Pulsed Radiating Structures
  "Modeling of Pulsed Radiating Structures", 2nd European Pulsed Power Symposium 2004, Hamburg, Germany, September 20-23, 2004 (with John Walter and J. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Nanosecond, optical diagnostics for liquid dielectric switches
  Kolb, J.F.; Xiao, S.; Goan, B.; Lu, X.P.; Schoenbach, K.H.; Laroussi, M.; Joshi, J.P.; Dickens, J.; Neuber, A.; Krompholz, H.; Cevallos, M.; Butcher, M.; IEEE Conference Record - Abstracts. The 31st IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science, 2004. ICOPS 2004. 28 June-1 July 2004 Page(s):402
Abstract:  Summary form only given. The high dielectric strength of liquid dielectrics allows for the design of small, low inductance and consequently fast high power switches. The investigation of the streamer formation which eventually leads to electrical breakdown requires diagnostic techniques with high temporal and spatial resolution. Optical methods, such as interferometry, Schlieren photography and shadowgraphy have been used to study the development of streamers and subsequent spark channel formation and decay in a pin-plane geometry. The temporal resolution is determined by the shutter speed of a high-speed camera, and was generally on the order of 1 ns. Interferometric measurements in water under high dielectric stress allowed for the characterization of the transient electric field distribution up to the imminent breakdown. Schlieren and shadow photographs allowed us to explore the development of the discharge and the switch recovery. With the pin electrode being the cathode tree-shaped inhomogeneities expand into the gap before breakdown is initiated by the formation of a single streamer that eventually bridges a gap of 400 /spl mu/m in about 7 ns. The recovery is determined by the formation of a vapor bubble that is cleared from the gap in about 1 ms. In oil, the processes involving the interaction of hydrodynamic and electronic processes are more complex. DC breakdown in a pin-plane geometry is strongly polarity dependent. Successively growing trees are observed, which bridge a 1-mm gap after as much as 1 /spl mu/s causing large breakdown delays. For fast pulse breakdown, the observed phenomena resemble more the ones observed in water. Gaining complete information on the breakdown phenomenology in oil requires the simultaneous use of all diagnostics methods including high resolution current measurements. Of special importance is information on the propagation of gaseous channels involved in the tree formation, and measurement of the correlated light emission indicating charge carrier amplification.

[PDF]

+ Unipolar Surface Flashover
  J. Krile, A. Neuber, H. Krompholz, J. Dickens, "Unipolar Surface Flashover," presented at the 46th Annual Meeting of the Division of Plasma Physics November 15-19, 2004, Savannah, GA, Meeting ID: DPP04APS
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Voltage-current characteristic of transformer oil under high electrical stress
  Butcher, M.; Neuber, A.; Krompholz, H.; Dickens, J.; IEEE Conference Record - Abstracts. The 31st IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science, 2004. ICOPS 2004. 28 June-1 July 2004 Page(s):258
Abstract:  Summary form only given. The scattering cross-sections, transport coefficients, and details of the breakdown mechanism needed for describing current conduction in transformer oil at high applied voltages are virtually unknown. This makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to properly model electrical breakdown in oil. To address this issue, we have measured the V-I characteristic of transformer oil in the point-plane geometry for /spl sim/3 mm gap widths. Three regimes can be distinguished. (1) For low voltages, V <3 kV, the relationship between voltage and current is linear, exhibiting just resistive behavior within the measurement accuracy. (2) At intermediate voltages, the dependence is linear on a Fowler-Nordheim plot. (3) Between the breakdown voltage V/sub B/ /spl sim/ 30 kV and 10 kV, the current is proportional to V/sup 2/, indicating space charge limited current. Assuming a Schottky-type emission mechanism for electrons injected into the liquid, we derive an electron mobility of /spl sim/6.0/spl times/10/sup -6/ m/sup 2//Vs, which is close to values reported in the literature before. Assuming Fowler-Nordheim emission leads to 3.8/spl times/10/sup -6/ m/sup 2//Vs. The ion mobility is believed to be more than one order of magnitude lower. At this point, it is difficult to gain any more detailed information on charge transport and possible multiplication based on simple analytical methods. Hence, we applied our numerical modeling techniques already proven in analyzing high-field phenomena in polar liquids (e.g., water), to evaluate current conduction and the breakdown process in non-polar oil. By comparing our calculations with the experimental data, we hope to characterize important transport parameters, such as the electron ionization coefficient as a function of the electric field. We also present our attempts to extract details of the field-dependent non-linear processes and electrode effects close to the breakdown regime.

[PDF]

Publication Year:  2003
+ Cavity resonance effect on a coaxial vircator
  Xupeng Chen; Dickens, J.; Eun Ha Choi; Mankowski, J.; Hatfield, L.L.; Kristiansen, M.; Digest of Technical Papers. PPC-2003. 14th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, 2003. Volume 2, 15-18 June 2003 Page(s):1165 - 1168 Vol.2
Abstract:  Traditionally, the radiated microwave frequency in a coaxial vircator is considered to be determined primarily by the virtual cathode oscillation frequency and the electron reflection frequency. However, some experiments at TTU show that the interaction between the virtual cathode oscillation and the cavity is a key in determining the microwave frequency and propagating mode. Particularly, we observe that the E-beam plays an important role in the cavity formation. Some possible explanations, including a virtual cavity concept, are proposed. The cavity resonance effect on a coaxial virtual cathode oscillator has been investigated in detail. The understanding of the E-beam characteristics is critical in optimizing the design of the cylindrical diode to avoid the microwave frequency shifting and mode competition.

[PDF]

+ Conductivity measurements of explosively shocked aluminum and OFHC copper used for armature material in a magnetic flux compression generator
  Hemmert, D.; Mankowski, J.; Rasty, J.; Neuber, A.; Dickens, J.; Kristiansen, M.; Digest of Technical Papers, PPC-2003. 14th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, 2003. Volume 2, 15-18 June 2003 Page(s):1073 - 1076 Vol.2
Abstract:  Modeling and characterization of a magnetic flux compression generator (MFCG) requires detailed knowledge of the changes in conductivity of the MFCG materials during the shock-loading phase. In the studies reported here, a thin metallic strip is shocked with an explosively generated shock wave produced from a charge of composition C-4. The shock wave is intended to simulate the shock wave and pressures produced in MFCG research currently being conducted at Texas Tech University. These pressures are estimated to be between 1 and 3 GPa. The experimental setup is arranged so that the shapes of the metallic strip and shock front are the same, as confirmed using optical fibers. This was to ensure that the test sample was shocked uniformly. The metallic test strip is pulsed with a 70 A current pulse during application of the shock wave. The current and voltage across the test sample are measured directly to determine the change in conductivity. Pressure measurements are conducted in separate tests under similar conditions using strain gauges. The results are then compared to results determined previously using a split Hopkinson pressure bar apparatus (SHPB).

[PDF]

+ Design criteria for prevention of armature "turn-skipping" in helical magnetic flux compression generators
  Rasty, J.; Le, X.; Dickens, J.; Neuber, A.; Kristiansen, M.; Pulsed Power Conference, 2003. Digest of Technical Papers. PPC-2003. 14th IEEE International Volume 2, 15-18 June 2003 Page(s):1077 - 1080 Vol.2
Abstract:  Helical magnetic flux compression generators (MFCGs) are capable of producing ultra-high power electric pulses by trapping and compressing a seed magnetic field into a load coil via an explosive-driven armature. The efficiency of helical MFCGs is generally very low, about 10%, due to large magnetic flux losses. One of the main sources of magnetic flux loss is the "turn-skipping" phenomenon, in which the expanding armature fails to establish contact with every turn of the helical coil, resulting in magnetic flux loss in the skipped turns of the coil. The "turn-skipping" phenomenon is related to non-uniform or asymmetric expansion of the armature, as well as detonation end effects. Equations describing the "turn skipping" phenomenon are developed in terms of the eccentricity of the armature with respect to the helical coil, the armature's wall thickness variations and the length of the detonation end effect. Design criteria for prevention of "turn-skipping" are presented in order to achieve optimum MFCG performance.

[PDF]

+ Electrical Breakdown in Transformer Oil
  M. Cevallos, J. Dickens, A. Neuber H. Krompholz, “Electrical Breakdown in Transformer Oil,” Joint Fall Meeting of the Texas Sections of the APS and AAPT and Zone 13 Society of Physics Students, Lubbock, TX, Oct 2003 (abstract only published)
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Experimental results of a 2 GW vircator
  Mankowski, J.J.; Choi, E.H.; Dickens, J.C.; Xupeng Chen; Kristiansen, M.; IEEE Conference Record - Abstracts. The 30th International Conference on Plasma Science, 2003. ICOPS 2003. 2-5 June 2003 Page(s):187
Abstract:  Summary form only given. Experimental findings on the coaxial virtual cathode oscillator (vircator) at Texas Tech University are reported. Recent modifications to the system include extending the pulse forming line that now provides an applied diode voltage of 600 kV for 70 nanoseconds at 60 kA. Other modifications include diode voltage, current, and radiated field diagnostics. In this initial phase of experiments, copper reflectors were installed within the diode to provide a simple means of microwave feedback to assist in the e-beam modulation. Thus far we have observed microwave peak power output with feedback reflectors as high as 2 GW corresponding to an efficiency of -6%. The mode observed at these high efficiencies is almost entirely TE/sub 11/. At lower efficiencies, both TM/sub 01/, and TE/sub 11/ modes are observed. These results suggest mode competition at lower efficiencies.

[PDF]

+ Ferromagnetic and ferroelectric materials as seed sources for magnetic flux compressors
  Schoeneberg, N.; Walter, J.; Neuber, A.; Dickens, J.; Kristiansen, M.; Digest of Technical Papers. PPC-2003. 14th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, 2003. Volume 2, 15-18 June 2003 Page(s):1069 - 1072 Vol.2
Abstract:  permanent magnet based systems. Permanent magnets provide a larger energy-to-volume ratio given that the use of capacitors requires a power source as well as charging and firing circuitry. A recent design developed at Texas Tech University's Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics [S.I. Shkuratov, et al., 2002], focused on the demagnetization of a Neodymium-Iron-Boron magnet (Nd/sub 2/Fe/sub 14/B, B/sub r/= 1.23 T) by a shockwave generated from high explosives. The maximum specific energy achieved with this design was only 2.3 J/kg, which may not be sufficient for effectively seeding an FCG (fast capacitors have at least 20 J/kg). The same magnets were used with an alternative design, referred to as a strip FCG, which utilizes opposing magnets to generate initial magnetic field intensity within an air gap. The air gap exists between a central tube, filled with high explosives, and metal strips placed between the magnets a few millimeters off-axis. The detonation of the explosive causes the expansion of the central tube, subsequently compressing the flux into the strips and then into the load. The original strip FCG design [B.A. Bojko, et al., 1994] used oxide-barium magnets (B/sub r/= 0.2T), which produced an estimated specific energy of 5.27 J/kg into a low inductance load. These magnets were replaced with the Nd/sub 2/Fe/sub 14/B (B/sub r/= 1.23 T) magnets in order to achieve better performance, which will be analyzed with respect to the specific energy. In addition, a design utilizing a shocked ferroelectric material, PZT, as a seed current source is discussed. An explosively generated shock wave is passed through a ferroelectric material, generating a current that establishes the initial seed flux for an FCG. Preliminary tests of the ferroelectric sources indicate a possible theoretical specific energy of more than 11 J/kg or 25 J/dm/sup 3/. A comparison of the designs will be discussed with regard to the specific energy produced and the effectiveness of each to seed FCG's.

[PDF]

+ Flashover Across a Dielectric Surface at Atmospheric Pressure
  J. Krile, A. Neuber, J. Dickens, and H. Krompholz, “Flashover Across a Dielectric Surface at Atmospheric Pressure,” Joint Fall Meeting of the Texas Sections of the APS and AAPT and Zone 13 Society of Physics Students, Lubbock, TX, Oct 2003 (abstract only published)
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Investigation of Pulse Power Thyristor Thermal Variations
  M. G. Hoffman, J. C. Dickens, and M. G. Giesselmann “Investigation of Pulse Power Thyristor Thermal Variations”, Proceedings of the 2003 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, June 15-18, 2003 Dallas, Texas, p. 143…145.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Nanosecond laser-triggered microwave switch
  McQuage, M.M.; Neuber, A.A.; Dickens, J.C.; Digest of Technical Papers. PPC-2003. 14th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, 2003. Volume 1, 15-18 June 2003 Page(s):309 - 312 Vol.1
Abstract:  The design and experimental testing of a laser-triggered microwave switch with a nanosecond activation time is described. The objectives of the project include, confirming that a nanosecond to subnanosecond risetime is achievable in the X-band waveguide at 9 GHz with the laser-triggered switch and to determine the minimum laser energy necessary to obtain the fastest possible risetime. A 1 kW pulsed X-band source with a 500 ns output pulse provides the microwave power for the system. A variable power Nd:YAG laser with a maximum 450 mJ at 532 nm, 10 ns FWHM output pulse is used in conjunction with an applied high voltage pulse to trigger the microwave switch. The microwave signal is switched with the rapid formation of plasma caused by the breakdown of a gas contained by a quartz tube inserted through a section of waveguide. The centerpiece of the waveguide system is a magic tee, which controls the direction of power flow through the system. Compared to tests in air and N/sub 2/, the best results have been obtained in argon. Risetimes below 2 ns have been obtained using argon at a reduced pressure of 150 Torr and a high voltage pulse of 28 kV from a spark gap. The impact of gas pressure, applied voltage pulse and applied laser pulse on the risetime of the microwave switch are discussed.

[PDF]

+ Optical diagnostics of liquid nitrogen volume pre-breakdown events
  Butcher, M.; Neuber, A.; Krompholz, H.; Dickens, J.; Digest of Technical Papers. PPC-2003. 14th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, 2003. Volume 2, 15-18 June 2003 Page(s):1029 - 1032 Vol.2
Abstract:  An increased need for compact pulsed power systems requiring new switching technologies combined with the benefits of cryogenic properties, such as higher energy density and miniaturization, has lead to increased interest in liquid nitrogen as a switching medium. High hold off voltage, low dielectric constant, and low environmental impact are further advantages of liquid nitrogen. Characterization of breakdown is investigated using high-speed (temporal resolution < 1 ns) optical and electrical diagnostics in a coaxial system with 52 /spl Omega/ impedance. Experiments are done in self-breakdown mode in super-cooled liquid nitrogen with a temperature near 70 K. Discharge current and voltage are determined using transmission line type current sensors and capacitive voltage dividers. Discharge luminosity is measured with photomultiplier tubes (risetime/spl ap/800 ps) that are focused on the negative electrode tips and the center of the channel. Optical investigations of breakdown and pre-breakdown events on a nanosecond time scale will provide a better understanding of the fundamental physics of breakdown formation. Detailed optical and spectroscopic diagnostics combined with high-speed electrical diagnostics are aimed at clarifying the overall breakdown mechanisms, including electronic initiation and bubble formation. The breakdown initiation/development will be discussed.

[PDF]

+ Phenomenology of conduction and breakdown in transformer oil
  Butcher, M.; Cevallos, M.; Haustein, M.; Neuber, A.; Dickens, J.; Krompholz, H.; Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena, 2003. Annual Report. Conference on 2003 Page(s):301 - 304
Abstract:  In a coaxial test apparatus enabling the measurement of voltage and current at the test gap, dc conduction and breakdown in transformer oil caused by the application of dc voltages are investigated. Current measurements cover the range from 10/sup -1/ A to 1 kA, with temporal resolutions of milliseconds at the lowest current amplitudes to sub-nanoseconds for currents larger than 10/sup -4/ A. The dc current/voltage characteristic for sub-breakdown voltage amplitudes point to the injection of charge carriers, allow us to characterize the transport mechanisms, and the influence of space charges. For voltages approaching breakdown thresholds, quasi dc-currents rising from nanoamperes to microamperes are superimposed by current pulses with amplitudes of milliamperes and above, and durations of nanoseconds. The onset of these current pulses occurs up to 10 /spl mu/s before breakdown. One of these current pulses reaches a critical amplitude causing voltage breakdown and current rise to the impedance-limited value within 2 ns. Additional optical diagnostics using photomultipliers and high-speed photography with gated microchannel plates yield information on hydrodynamic processes and charge carrier amplification mechanisms associated with the current pulses and final breakdown, such as bubble formation, as well as on the development of the spark plasma finally bridging the gap.

[PDF]

+ Physical efficiency limits of inch-sized helical MFCGs
  Neuber, A.A.; Hernandez, J.-C.; Holt, T.A.; Dickens, J.C.; Kristiansen, M.; Digest of Technical Papers. PPC-2003. 14th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, 2003. Volume 1, 15-18 June 2003 Page(s):413 - 416 Vol.1
Abstract:  Helical magnetic flux compression generators (MFCG) are attractive energy sources with respect to their specific energy output. A variety of one-time use applications would benefit from small inch-sized helical generators with high specific energy output. However, it is widely accepted that the generator performance deteriorates with decreasing size. Previous experimental data have shown that the increase of the ohmic resistance of the MFCG with a reduction in size is the primary cause for the observed behavior when the initial generator inductance is held constant. We will analyze the situation in more depth and quantify how much the efficiency is determined by ohmic losses and intrinsic flux losses (flux that is left behind in the conductors and lost for compression) for different generator sizes and geometries. Our simple constant diameter MFCGs exhibit more intrinsic than ohmic losses (69% compared to 16%), while our MFCGs with tapered armatures display less intrinsic and more ohmic flux losses (13% compared to 66%), however, at increased overall efficiency. We will show experimental and calculated data and discuss the physical efficiency limits and scaling of generator performance at small sizes.

[PDF]

+ Physics of dielectric surface flashover at atmospheric pressure
  Krile, J.; Neuber, A.; Dickens, J.; Krompholz, H.; Digest of Technical Papers. PPC-2003. 14th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, 2003. Volume 1, 15-18 June 2003 Page(s):285 - 288 Vol.1
Abstract:  The limits of the applicability of DC, AC, or pulsed high voltage are determined by breakdown along insulators or insulating support structures. It is of major technical importance to predict breakdown voltages for given structures, with parameters such as geometry, material, and temporal characteristics of the applied voltage. The impact of atmospheric conditions such as humidity, pressure, temperature, and types of gas present is also important. A setup has been devised to simulate and closely monitor flashover across various gap distances and insulator geometries at atmospheric conditions at different humidities. Current, voltage, luminosity, and optical emission spectra were measured with nanosecond to subnanosecond resolution. Spatially and temporally resolved light emission data yielded quantitative information about the charge carrier amplification, the location of this amplification, and its role in the formation of streamers.

[PDF]

+ Prebreakdown current behavior in DC volume breakdown in transformer oil
  Butcher, M.; Neuber, A.; Krompholz, H.; Dickens, J.; Digest of Technical Papers. PPC-2003. 14th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, 2003. Volume 1, 15-18 June 2003 Page(s):289 - 292 Vol.1
Abstract:  The phenomenology of prebreakdown events in transformer oil is investigated using high-speed electrical and optical diagnostics. Data collection using a coaxial test setup terminating into a 50/spl Omega/ load line to simulate a matched impedance system allows very fast risetimes. Transmission line type current sensors and capacitive voltage dividers with temporal resolution of 300 ps provide information about the discharge voltage and current. Steady, DC currents ranging from a few nA with less than 10 kV of applied voltage, to a few /spl mu/A prior to full breakdown are measured using an electrometer. Prebreakdown events are measured with positive and negative charging voltages with respect to ground. Light emission from the discharge is measured using a series of fast photomultiplier tubes, (risetimes 800 ps), that observe positive and negative electrode tips and center of the channel. Preliminary results on self-breakdown (breakdown voltage +44 kV) with a 2.35 mm gap show a DC (seed) current of several hundred nA with prebreakdown spikes of a few mA immediately before final breakdown. Periodicity of the current spikes combined with a general increase in magnitude prior to full breakdown has been observed. Data collection using a negative charging line, with respect to ground with enhanced field at the cathode, indicates current spikes that are typically 25 to 50% faster than spikes using a positive charging line with enhanced field at the anode. Detailed optical diagnostics along with high-speed electrical diagnostics of the pre-breakdown phase will address the physical mechanisms initiating volume breakdown.

[PDF]

+ Pulsed and self electrical breakdown in biodegradable oil
  Cevallos, M.D.; Dickens, J.C.; Neuber, A.A.; Haustein, M.A.; Krompholz, H.G.; 2003. ICOPS 2003. IEEE Conference Record - Abstracts. The 30th International Conference on Plasma Science, 2-5 June 2003 Page(s):315
Abstract:  The fundamental breakdown physics of biodegradable oil is investigated with a set up that employs a cable discharge into a coaxial system with axial discharge and load line to simulate a matched terminating impedance. No discontinuities are created in the system lines when entering the discharge chamber with the implementation of a unique feed-through design. The entire impedance of the system is matched at 50 ohms. A novel design for impedance matching transitions from the discharge cable to the coaxial system to the load line allow for a sub-nanosecond response. Final results are measured on pulsed and self breakdown voltages of up to 200 kV. Self breakdown is achieved by charging the discharge cable and load line to +/- 100 kV respectively. Pulsed breakdown is achieved by charging the discharge cable and load line to +100 kV. Shorting the discharge cable generates a reflected negatively polarized pulse causing breakdown. High speed electrical and optical diagnostics have temporal resolution down to several 100 ps A complete range of information from amplitudes of 0.1 mA to 1 kA with temporal resolutions of 300 ps is achieved by using transmission line type current sensors with fast amplifiers. Capacitive voltage dividers with fast attenuators are also used. Optical measurements are performed on low level light emission using spatially resolved, fast photo-multiplier tubes (risetime of 800 ps), supplemented with high speed photography and spectroscopic investigations on a nanosecond timescale Detailed optical and spectroscopic diagnostic along with high speed electrical diagnostics will address the mechanism initiating/assisting biodegradable oil volume breakdown.

[PDF]

+ Reflex-triode geometry of the virtual-cathode oscillator
  Lara, M.B.; Mankowski, J.; Dickens, J.; Kristiansen, M.; Digest of Technical Papers. PPC-2003. 14th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, 2003. Volume 2, 15-18 June 2003 Page(s):1161 - 1164 Vol.2
Abstract:  An eight-stage four-hundred kilovolt Marx bank, in connection with a 60 nanosecond pulse-forming line, is constructed and utilized as a pulsed source to power a planar version of the virtual cathode oscillator (vircator). Eight .1/spl mu/F capacitors, charged to 50 kV each, are switched in series by dry-air pressurized spark gaps. The energy from the bank charges a 23 ohm oil transmission line, breaking a peaking gap when the maximum voltage is reached, delivering a 60 ns-300 kV pulse to the diode. The design of the planar or reflex-triode geometry vircator is based upon claims of high efficiency by Didenko et al. A previously constructed TTU vircator includes a unique E-beam source, the brush cathode; in which a circular array of pins is used as an explosive field emission source to produce relatively high beam currents. The anode consists of a round wire mesh through which the E-beam passes, generating a dense cloud of negative charge known as a virtual cathode. This initial phase of testing is composed of basic operation of the entire system and baseline output power and efficiency measurements.

[PDF]

+ Self electrical breakdown in biodegradable oil
  Cevallos, M.D.; Dickens, J.C.; Neuber, A.A.; Haustein, M.A.; Krompholz, H.G.; Digest of Technical Papers. PPC-2003. 14th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, 2003. Volume 2, 15-18 June 2003 Page(s):1036 - 1039 Vol.2
Abstract:  The fundamental breakdown physics of biodegradable oil is investigated with high-speed electrical and optical diagnostics with temporal resolution down to several 100 ps. The set up employs a cable discharge into a coaxial system with axial discharge and load line to simulate matched terminating impedance. A unique feed-through design creates no discontinuities in the system lines through the discharge chamber. The impedance of the system is matched at 50 ohms including a novel design for impedance matching transitions from discharge cable to coaxial system to load line allowing for a sub-nanosecond response. This paper presents results on self-breakdown with voltages of up to 60 kV. Self-breakdown is achieved by charging the discharge cable and load line to +/-30 kV respectively. Transmission line type current sensors and a capacitive voltage divider with fast amplifiers/attenuators are used in order to obtain a complete range of information from amplitudes of 0.1 mA to 1 kA with temporal resolutions of 300 ps. Optical measurements include high speed photography and shadowgraphy. Detailed optical diagnostics along with high-speed electrical diagnostics will address the mechanism initiating/assisting biodegradable oil volume breakdown.

[PDF]

+ Short pulse electric field sterilization of liquid media
  Wetz, D.; Truman, K.; Dickens, J.; Mankowski, J.; Neuber, A.; Digest of Technical Papers. PPC-2003. 14th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, 2003. Volume 2, 15-18 June 2003 Page(s):1124 - 1127 Vol.2
Abstract:  In recent years, researchers have investigated methods of liquid sterilization by applying pulsed high electric fields with some degree of success. The mechanism by which microorganisms are damaged has been shown to be a function of the local electric field and exposure time while independent from thermal and electrolytic effects from the applied pulse. Most published experiments have employed electrical pulses of 10's of kV and microsecond long pulse lengths. We are employing electrical pulses in the 100's of kV range with 100 nanosecond long pulse lengths. This type pulse should be more effective at killing microorganisms and minimize energy losses due to thermal processes in the liquid media.

[PDF]

+ Single-Shot and Overstressing of High Voltage Capacitors for Compact Arkadiev-Marx Genertor
  "Single-Shot and Overstressing of High Voltage Capacitors for Compact Arkadiev-Marx Genertor", Proc.14th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, Dallas, TX, June 16-19, 2003 p. 723 (with S. Shkuratov, E. Talantsev, and J. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Small sized MFCG for driving a high impedance load
  Hernandez, J.-C.; Neuber, A.A.; Dickens, J.C.; Kristiansen, M.; Digest of Technical Papers. PPC-2003. 14th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, 2003. Volume 2, 15-18 June 2003 Page(s):1065 - 1068 Vol.2
Abstract:  End-initiated small volume magnetic flux compression generators (MFCG) have at least one order of magnitude higher energy density (by weight or volume) than capacitive energy storage with similar discharge time characteristics. Since the prime energy is built into the MFCG in form of HE, the capacitor looses even more ground if the necessary prime energy source and the charging supply are included in the weight/volume balance. However, simple MFCGs with a single helix produce high output energy only into low inductance loads, thus producing several 100 kA of current at a voltage level of only a few 10 kV. Many pulsed power devices require less current but a considerably higher voltage level. Two approaches for achieving a higher output voltage level, both utilizing two staged MFCGs, have been reported in the open literature. The first employs a more traditional transformer coupling; the second relies on a dynamic transformer or flux-trapping scheme. Although the traditional transformer coupling has theoretically the better efficiency, we chose the latter approach for our generator design, mostly since it requires a smaller number of components. Our generator has a total length of 250 mm, a helix inner diameter of 51 mm, and is wound with Teflon insulated stranded wire of different sizes in the range from AWG 12 to AWG 22. We have presently achieved an energy gain of /spl sim/ 8 and will discuss the generator performance based on experimental current/voltage waveforms.

[PDF]

+ Space Charge Limited Current for a 1-D Cylindrical Diode
  "Space Charge Limited Current for a 1-D Cylindrical Diode", Proc. 14th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, Dallas, TX, June 16-19, 2003 p. 467 (with X. Chen, J. Dickens, E. Choi).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Surface flashover across ceramic disks in vacuum at cryogenic temperatures
  Keene, H.; Dickens, J.; Neuber, A.; Krompholz, H.; Digest of Technical Papers. PPC-2003. 14th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, 2003. Volume 1, 15-18 June 2003 Page(s):305 - 308 Vol.1
Abstract:  As superconducting technology becomes more viable in the marketplace, especially in high power applications, the need for a well researched high thermal conductivity electrical insulator is needed. The electrical failure mode for these types of insulators is often surface flashover at subatmospheric temperature and pressure. Testing of two such insulators, aluminum nitride and aluminum oxide, for this failure mode is done for two differing electrode geometries. In addition three coats of GE 7031 dielectric varnish are applied to the exposed parts of the insulator for comparison testing with nonvarnished samples. In general the testing shows an increasing breakdown voltage trend with decreasing temperature. These results indicate a temperature related dependence of the secondary electron emission and electron induced outgassing, which is a component in the process of surface flashover. The addition of the varnish results in a lowered breakdown voltage. The research also covers the effect of electrode conditioning, and presents optical diagnostics of the gas species involved during breakdown.

[PDF]

Publication Year:  2002
+ All-Explosive Pulsed Power Generator System
  A. Neuber, S. Shkuratov, E. Talantsev, J. Walter, T. Holt, J. Dickens, and M. Kristiansen, “All-Explosive Pulsed Power Generator System,” at the Ninth International Conference on Megagauss Magnetic Field Generation and Related Topics, Moscow – St. Petersburg, July 7-14, 2002.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Dependence of Flux Losses on MCG Helix Geometry
  A. Neuber, T. Holt, J. Hernandez, J. Dickens, and M. Kristiansen, “Dependence of Flux Losses on MCG Helix Geometry,” presented at the 14th International Conference on High-Power Particle Beams, Albuquerque, NM, June 23 - 28, 2002.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Electric breakdown in liquid nitrogen
  Krompholz, H.; Neuber, A.; Haustein, M.; Dickens, J.; Proceedings of 2002 IEEE 14th International Conference on Dielectric Liquids, 2002. ICDL 2002. 7-12 July 2002 Page(s):167 - 170
Abstract:  The phenomenology of breakdown in liquid nitrogen is investigated with high-speed electrical and optical diagnostics (temporal resolution down to several 100 ps). The discharge apparatus uses a cable discharge into a coaxial system with axial discharge, and a load line to simulate a matched terminating impedance. Main experiments are done in self-breakdown mode in supercooled liquid nitrogen. Transmission line type current sensors and capacitive voltage dividers with fast amplifiers/attenuators cover an amplitude range of 0.1 mA to 1 kA with a time resolution of 300 ps, providing complete information about discharge voltage and current. The light emission is measured with fast photomultiplier tubes (risetime 800 ps), and these optical measurements will be supplemented by high-speed photography and spectroscopic investigations on a nanosecond time scale. First results on self-breakdown with a gap width of 1 mm and electrodes with 5 mm radius of curvature (breakdown voltage 42 kV) show a three-phase development: the current rises from an unknown level to several mA during 2 ns, stays approximately constant for 100 ns with superimposed ns-duration spikes, and shows a final exponential rise to the full impedance limited current amplitude during several nanoseconds. Detailed optical and spectroscopic diagnostics along with the high-speed electrical diagnostics will in particular address the physical mechanisms initiating/assisting the liquid nitrogen volume breakdown, such as bubble formation during the pre-breakdown phase.

[PDF]

+ Explosive-Driven Generation of Transient Antennas
  A. Neuber, N. Schoeneberg, J. Dickens, and M. Kristiansen, “Explosive-Driven Generation of Transient Antennas,” presented at the Ninth International Conference on Megagauss Magnetic Field Generation and Related Topics, Moscow – St. Petersburg, July 7-14, 2002.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Fast dielectric volume breakdown in liquid nitrogen
  Neuber, A.; Krompholz, H.; Haustein, M.; Dickens, J.; IEEE Conference Record - Abstracts. The 29th IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science, 2002. ICOPS 2002. 26-30 May 2002 Page(s):196
Abstract:  Summary form only given, as follows. Miniaturization of electrical components along with growing superconductor technology requires a better understanding of the phenomenology of breakdown in liquid nitrogen. It is known that the time delay between breakdown-onset and final impedance-limited arc current can occur within a few nanoseconds. For a temporal resolution down to several 100 ps, a discharge apparatus was built and tested that uses a cable discharge into a coaxial system with axial discharge, and a load line to simulate a matched terminating impedance. Main experiments are done in self-breakdown mode in supercooled liquid nitrogen, pulsed breakdown at high over-voltages in standard electrode geometry is investigated as well. Transmission line type current sensors and capacitive voltage dividers with fast amplifiers/attenuators cover an amplitude range of 0.1 mA to 1 kA with a time resolution of 300 ps, providing complete information about discharge voltage and current. The light emission is measured with fast photomultiplier tubes (risetime 800 ps), and these optical measurements will be supplemented by high-speed photography and spectroscopic investigations on a nanosecond time scale. Preliminary results on self-breakdown in the surface flashover mode with a gap width of 2 mm and electrodes with 5 mm radius of curvature (breakdown voltage /spl sim/ 60 kV) show a three-phase development: the current rises from an unknown level to several mA during 2 ns, stays approximately constant for 100 ns with superimposed ns-duration spikes, and shows a final exponential rise to the full impedance limited current amplitude during several nanoseconds. The detailed optical and spectroscopic diagnostics along with the high-speed electrical diagnostics will in particular address the physical mechanisms initiating/assisting the liquid nitrogen volume breakdown, such as bubble formation during the pre-breakdown phase.

[PDF]

+ Feasibility study of an explosively formed transient antenna
  Neuber, A.; Schoeneberg, N.; Dickens, J.; Kristiansen, M.; Conference Record of the Twenty-Fifth International Power Modulator Symposium, 2002 and 2002 High-Voltage Workshop. 30 June-3 July 2002 Page(s):374 - 377
Abstract:  The feasibility of utilizing the chemical energy stored in high explosives to generate an antenna capable of radiating for several microseconds is studied. Crucial parameters such as conductivity as a function of time, maximum achievable antenna length for given initial device volume and weight, and material dependence are assessed by sub microsecond optical and electrical diagnostics. By utilizing a rotating framing mirror camera with up to 4 Megaframes per second, which produces a color image sequence consisting of 125 frames, possible premature breakup of the transient antenna rod is measured with adequate spatial and temporal resolution, thus revealing a rod growth velocity of a few millimeters/microsecond. Electrical diagnostic, primarily aimed at the conductivity between selected points along the rod propagation, enables to make a connection with the observed behavior based on the optical diagnostics. Maintaining electrical contact at the base of the device while the rod is fully formed is crucial and will be discussed in detail.

[PDF]

+ Geometry Impact on Flux Losses in MFCGs
  A. Neuber, T. Holt, J. Hernandez, J. Dickens, and M. Kristiansen, “Geometry Impact on Flux Losses in MFCGs,” presented at the Ninth International Conference on Megagauss Magnetic Field Generation and Related Topics, Moscow – St. Petersburg, July 7-14, 2002.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ High Voltage, Sub Nanosecond Feedthrough Design for Liquid Breakdown Studies
  M. Cevallos, J. Dickens, A. Neuber, H. Krompholz, “High Voltage, Sub Nanosecond Feedthrough Design for Liquid Breakdown Studies,” presented at the 14th International Conference on High-Power Particle Beams, Albuquerque, NM, June 23 - 28, 2002, AIP conference Proceedings, Vol. 650, p. 73-76.
Abstract:  Experiments in self-breakdown mode and pulsed breakdown at high over-voltages in standard electrode geometries are performed for liquids to gain a better understanding of their fundamental breakdown physics. Different liquids of interest include liquids such as super-cooled liquid nitrogen, oils, glycerols and water. A typical setup employs a discharge chamber with a cable discharge into a coaxial system with axial discharge, and a load line to simulate a matched terminating impedance, thus providing a sub-nanosecond response. This study is focused on the feed-through design of the coaxial cable into this type of discharge chamber, with the feed-through being the critical element with respect to maximum hold-off voltage. Diverse feedthroughs were designed and simulated using Maxwell 3-D Field Simulator Version 5. Several geometrically shaped feed-through transitions were simulated, including linearly and exponentially tapered, to minimize electrostatic fields, thus ensuring that the discharge occurs in the volume of interest and not between the inner and outer conductor at the transition from the insulation of the coaxial cable to the liquid. All feedthroughs are designed to match the incoming impedance of the coaxial cable. The size of the feedthroughs will vary from liquid to liquid in order to match the coaxial cable impedance of 50. The discharge chamber has two main ports where the feed-through will enter the chamber. Each feed-through is built through a flange that covers the two main ports. This allows the use of the same discharge chamber for various liquids by changing the flanges on the main ports to match the particular liquid. The feedthroughs were designed and built to withstand voltages of up to 200 kV. The feedthroughs are also fitted with transmission line type current sensors and capacitive voltage dividers with fast amplifiers/attenuators in order to attain a complete range of information from amplitudes of 0.1mA to 1 kA with a temporal resolution of 300 ps. ©2002 American Institute of Physics

[PDF]

+ Liquid Nitrogen As Fast High Voltage Switching Medium
  J. Dickens, A. Neuber, M. Haustein, H. Krompholz, “Liquid Nitrogen As Fast High Voltage Switching Medium,” presented at the 14th International Conference on High-Power Particle Beams, Albuquerque, NM, June 23 - 28, 2002, AIP conference Proceedings, Vol. 650, p. 95-98.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Microwave breakdown studies of He-N² mixtures in a pillbox cavity from 760 to 3040 torr
  Hemmert, D.; Neuber, A.; Dickens, J.; Conference Record of the Twenty-Fifth International Power Modulator Symposium, 2002 and 2002 High-Voltage Workshop. 30 June-3 July 2002 Page(s):232 - 235
Abstract:  Microwave breakdown of various He-N/sub 2/ mixture combinations is investigated utilizing an S-band double window pillbox cavity. The objective is to determine the best combination of the two gases to maximize the mixture's ability to cool a dielectric surface while maintaining high breakdown thresholds. Helium is known to be an excellent source to dissipate heat from a dielectric, but it also has a low microwave breakdown threshold. Nitrogen does not transport heat as well, but has a much higher breakdown threshold. The studies focused on generating a series of E-field vs pressure curves for breakdown to help identify optimum He-N/sub 2/ mixture ratios. The S-band double window pillbox has a 333 cm/sup 3/ cavity with two ports to flow the gas mixture through. The pillbox is placed in a traveling wave resonant ring (TWRR) coupled to a 2.85 GHz, 4 MW, magnetron. This combination of double window pillbox and TWRR allows for testing power levels up to 40 MW. High speed diagnostics are used to measure the incident/reflected power and discharge luminosity. Coupled mass flow controllers maintain the gas mixture ratio and continuous gas flow through the cavity. Investigations can be conducted with single or multiple pulsed operations. Results ranged from a minimum of 5 MW for pure helium at 760 torr, to greater than 40 MW for pure nitrogen at 3040 torr.

[PDF]

+ Surface Flashover Across Ceramic Disks in Vacuum at Cryogenic Temperatures
  Keene, H.; Dickens, J.; Neuber, A.; Conference Record of the Twenty-Fifth International Power Modulator Symposium, 2002 and 2002 High-Voltage Workshop. 30 June-3 July 2002 Page(s):293 - 296
Abstract:  Not Available
Publication Year:  2001
+ Calculation of air temperature and pressure history during the operation of a flux compression generator
  Xiaobin Le; Rasty, J.; Neuber, A.; Dickens, J.; Kristiansen, M.; Pulsed Power Plasma Science, 2001. PPPS-2001. Digest of Technical Papers Volume 2, 17-22 June 2001 Page(s):939 - 942 vol.2
Abstract:  During the operation of magnetic flux compression generators (MFCG), the gas-plasma, shocked by the rapidly expanding armature, could lead to electrical arcing across the gas between the armature and the stator at locations where physical contact between the armature and stator has not yet occurred. This will result in a loss of magnetic flux and a decrease in the electrical efficiency of the MFCG. Therefore, knowledge of the ensuing gas temperature and pressure histories is necessary for identification of loss mechanisms in an effort to optimize the efficiency of MFCGs. This paper describes the procedure for estimating the air temperature and pressure histories via finite element (FE) simulation of the armature expansion and its ensuing contact with the stator in an MFCG. First, the validity of the FE model was verified by comparing deformation contours obtained from the simulations to those obtained experimentally via high-speed photography. Utilizing the pressure history data obtained from the FE results, the air temperature was theoretically calculated. The results indicate that the air pressure and temperature in an MFCG, having a compression ratio of 1.8, could be as high as 30 MPa and 4000/spl deg/ Kelvin, respectively.

[PDF]

+ Compact explosive driven shock wave ferromagnetic generators
  Shkuratov, S.I.; Talantsev, E.F.; Kristiansen, M.; Dickens, J.; Hernandez, J.C.; Neuber, A.; Digest of Technical Papers, Pulsed Power Plasma Science, 2001. PPPS-2001. Volume 1, 17-22 June 2001 Page(s):158 - 161 vol.1
Abstract:  The results are presented of tests with compact, explosively driven shock wave ferromagnetic generators. The shock wave from a high explosive charge is passed along the axis of a cylindrical, hard magnet. Two types of permanent magnets were used in the experiments: rare-earth NdFeB cylinders (D = 2.5 cm, L = 1.9 cm) and hard ferrite BaFe/sub 2/O/sub 3/ cylinders (D = 2.2 cm, L = 2.5 cm). The shock wave demagnetizes the cylinder, reducing the flux from the remnant value to zero. This change in flux generates a voltage in the winding. The current generated in the loads of the generators yielded a peak of 0.75 kA. The operation of the shock wave ferromagnetic generators was analyzed by the Maxwell 3D code. An analysis is given on the specific features of pulse generation in a system like this.

[PDF]

+ Conductivity measurements of MFCG armature material under shock and high strain rates utilizing a split-hopkinson pressure bar apparatus
  Hemmert, D.; Rasty, J.; Neuber, A.; Dickens, J.; Le, X.; Kristiansen, M.; Digest of Technical Papers, 2001 Pulsed Power Plasma Science, PPPS-2001. Volume 1, 17-22 June 2001 Page(s):265 - 268
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Effect of Electron-Beam Pulse Length on Microwave Efficiency of Coaxial Vircator
  "Effect of Electron-Beam Pulse Length on Microwave Efficiency of Coaxial Vircator", Proc. 13th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference and the 28th IEEE Conference on Plasma Science, Las Vegas, NV, June 17-22, 2001 (with W. Jiang, K. Woolverton, and J. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Experimental and numerical investigation of armature/stator contact in magnetic flux compression generators
  Rasty, J.; Xiaobin Le; Neuber, A.; Dickens, J.; Kristiansen, M.; Digest of Technical Papers, Pulsed Power Plasma Science, 2001. PPPS-2001. Volume 1, 17-22 June 2001 Page(s):106 - 109 vol.1
Abstract:  The efficiency of a magnetic flux compression generators (MFCG) is highly dependent on the expanding characteristics of the exploding armature and the nature of contact between the armature and the surrounding stator coil. A hydrodynamic finite element (FE) model was developed to simulate the expansion characteristics of the armature and its ensuing impact with the stator. The effectiveness of the FE model to simulate the explosive behavior of the armature was qualified by comparing the numerical results with experimentally measured parameters. Specifically, the radial displacement of the armature as well as the axial velocity of the armature/stator contact point were measured experimentally and compared with numerical results showing excellent agreement between the two. The results indicated that the radial and axial velocity with which the armature impacted the stator did not change through the length of the armature. However, the results showed that the velocity with which the contact point between the armature and the stator traveled along the length of the armature decreased as the explosion process went on. As expected, the axial propagation velocity of the contact point was found to be at its highest value (2.25 X detonation velocity) at the region close to the detonation end while approaching the detonation velocity at points away from the detonation end.

[PDF]

+ Experimental study of compact explosive driven shock wave ferroelectric generators
  Shkuratov, S.I.; Kristiansen, M.; Dickens, J.; Neuber, A.; Altgilbers, L.L.; Tracy, P.T.; Tkach, Y.; Digest of Technical Papers, Pulsed Power Plasma Science, 2001. PPPS-2001. Volume 2, 17-22 June 2001 Page(s):959 - 962 vol.2
Abstract:  The design of explosive driven ferroelectric generators is presented and experimental data are discussed. The active elements are lead zirconium titanate (PZT) disks with diameter D=25 mm and thicknesses H=2.5 mm and H=6 mm and PZT cylinders with D=21 mm and H=25 mm. The high explosive charge was varied from 4.2 g to 30 g. Two different ways to initiate shock waves in the active elements were used: explosively driven flyer plates and direct action of high explosives. The data presented is for the maximum power into a resistive load.

[PDF]

+ Experimental study of compact explosive-driven shock wave ferroelectric generators
  Shkuratov, S.; Kristiansen, M.; Dickens, J.; Neuber, A.; Altgilbers, L.L.; Tracy, P.T.; Tkach, Y.; IEEE Conference Record - Abstracts. Pulsed Power Plasma Science, 2001.17-22 June 2001 Page(s):227
Abstract:  Summary form only given. The design of shock wave ferroelectric generators driven by high explosives is presented and experimental data are discussed. The active elements are lead zirconium titanate (PZT) disks with diameter D=25 mm and thickness L=2.5 mm, and PZT cylinders with D=21 mm and L=25 mm. The high explosive charge was varied from 4.2 g to 30 g. Two different ways to initiate shock waves in the active elements were used: explosively driven flyer plates and direct action of high explosives. The data are presented on the maximum power released in the resistive load and on the effect of the load inductance and the load capacitance on the amplitude of the pulse produced. The experimental results are discussed in comparison to numerical simulation with the commercial circuit simulator PSPICE. An analysis is given of the specific features of pulse generation in a system like this

[PDF]

+ Explosive-Driven Moving Magnet Generators
  "Explosive-Driven Moving Magnet Generators", Proceedings of 13th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, June 2001, p. 227 (with S.I. Shkuratov, M. Kristiansen, and J.C. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ High Voltage Testing of Capacitors
  "High Voltage Testing of Capacitors", Proceedings of 13th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, June 2001, p. 1563 (with S.I. Shkuratov, J.C. Dickens and E. Horrocks).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Impact of helix geometry on MCG flux losses [magneto cumulative generators]
  Holt, T.; Neuber, A.; Dickens, J.; Kristiansen, M.; Digest of Technical Papers, Pulsed Power Plasma Science, 2001. PPPS-2001. Volume 2, 17-22 June 2001 Page(s):905 - 908 vol.2
Abstract:  Explosively driven magnetic flux compression has been the object of research for more than three decades. Recently heightened interest has been focused on the basic physical mechanisms that determine the performance of helical magneto cumulative generators (MCGs). Two single-pitch helical flux compression generators of different sizes have been tested using current-voltage probes and optical diagnostics. The main parameters used to characterize the experimental performance of the flux compression generators were the flux conservation and theoretical current gain of each type of generator. Helices with constant pitch and differing separation between wires as well as wires with different insulation thickness were tested and analyzed with respect to their flux conservation and theoretical current gain. Preliminary results show that the insulation thickness plays only a minor role for a change in flux conservation due to geometry in the range from 0.01 to 0.5 mm provided that no internal breakdown occurred. Additionally, the overall physical dimension of the generator was modified to allow for a substantial increase in initial inductance. The outer diameter of the generator armature was held constant at 1.5 inches and the coil diameter was varied from 2.6 to 3.5 inches (expansion ratio of 1.7 or 2.3, respectively). The results gained from the conservative expansion ratio of 1.7 were used as a base to compare to the generator performance at the more aggressive expansion ratio of 2.3. First results show that an expansion ratio of 2.3 produces viable results for a partially annealed Aluminum armature with a Gurney angle of approximately 15 degrees.

[PDF]

+ The Current Mode of Pulsed Power Generation in Moving Magnet Systems
  "The Current Mode of Pulsed Power Generation in Moving Magnet Systems", Proceedings of 13th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, June 2001, p. 228 (with S.I. Shkuratov, M. Kristiansen, J.C. Dickens, and J.C. Hernandez).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Theoretical Treatment of Explosive Driven Ferroelectric Generators
  "Theoretical Treatment of Explosive Driven Ferroelectric Generators", Proceedings of 13th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, June 2001, p. 231 (with L.L. Altgilbers, Y. Tkach, S.I. Shkuratov, M. Kristiansen, J.C. Dickens, P.T. Tracy).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Thermodynamic state of the magnetic flux compression generator volume
  Neuber, A.A.; Holt, T.A.; Dickens, J.C.; Kristiansen, M.; IEEE Conference Record - Abstracts, 2001 IEEE Conference on Pulsed Power Plasma Science, 17-22 June 2001 Page(s):151
Abstract:  Summary form only given, as follows.The knowledge of the thermodynamic state of the gas trapped in a helical flux compression generator is crucial for the assessment of flux loss due to internal electrical breakdown/arcing. Besides the helix deformation and armature deceleration at extremely high current amplitudes approaching 1 MA, the thermodynamic state of the shocked and compressed gas causes problems in the prediction of the generator output current vs. time towards the end of generator operation. Such a breakdown is experimentally detected as an abrupt change in the time derivative of the current waveform and it is easily distinguished from partial turn skipping by its sharper fall and non-periodic occurrence. The thermodynamic state of the generator was measured using primarily optical emission spectroscopy. Three main stages of operation are discussed: (1) The initial stage, which can be represented by a freely expanding armature, that shows fairly low gas temperatures, possibly as low as 2,000 K. (2) The intermediate stage during 14 to 4 microseconds before generator burnout that exhibits mainly an atomic copper line transition at about 0.8 eV. (3) The last few microseconds that reveal a highly compressed gas with temperatures of about 5,000 K and pressures of about 200 bar. Most experiments were conducted in air initially at STP, some results are given for SF6 initially at one atmosphere. In order to link the thermodynamic state to the breakdown sensitivity, additionally, simple conductivity measurements were conducted in current-free flux compression generator models

[PDF]

Publication Year:  2000
+ 3-D PIC Simulation of a Coaxial Vircator
  "3-D PIC Simulation of a Coaxial Vircator", 13th International Conference on High-Power Particle Beams, June 2000, Nagaoka, Japan (with W. Jiang, (Nagaoka University of Technology), and Jim Dickens.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Energy Balance of Shock Wave Ferromagnetic Generators
  "Energy Balance of Shock Wave Ferromagnetic Generators", Proceedings of 12th Symposium on High Current Electronics, Tomsk, Russia, Sept. 24-29, 2000 (with S.I. Shkuratov and J. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Fundamental Studies of a Helical Magnetic Flux Compression Generator
  A. Neuber, J. Dickens, M. Giesselmann, B. Freeman, J. Rasty, H. Krompholz, and M. Kristiansen: Fundamental Studies of a Helical Magnetic Flux Compression Generator. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on High-Power Particle Beams, June 25-30, 2000, Nagaoka, Japan.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Fundamental studies of a simple helical magnetic flux compression generator
  Neuber, A.; Dickens, J.; Giesselmann, M.; Freeman, B.; Rasty, J.; Krompholz, H.; Kristiansen, M.; IEEE Conference Record - Abstracts. The 27th IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science, 2000. ICOPS 2000. 4-7 June 2000 Page(s):276
Abstract:  Summary form only given, as follows. The design of a helical flux compression generator, driven by 150 g of high explosives, for basic studies is presented and experimental results are discussed in comparison to numerical simulations. Simulation of the electric current output with the commercial circuit simulator PSPICE shows that this generator conserves the magnetic flux ideally in the low current mode, <30 kA. At current amplitudes in excess of 100 kA heating and melting of the single wound helix wire, AWG 12, limit the current flow. The volume between armature and stator is spectroscopically probed with fiber optics and valuable insight into the state of the shocked and compressed gas is gained. The same fiber optic probes are used to measure the velocity of the armature-stator contact along the generator axis. This contact velocity is largely affected by armature end effects, mainly due to the pressure loss at the detonator end. Both gas temperature and contact velocity have been successfully simulated with LS-DYNA3D, a three dimensional finite element hydrodynamic code. The generator's magnetic field structure is briefly discussed and magnetic field probe measurements are presented

[PDF]

+ Helical Flux Compression Generator for Basic Research
  A. Neuber, J. Dickens, M. Giesselmann, B. Freeman, P. Worsey, H. Krompholz, and M. Kristiansen, “Helical Flux Compression Generator for Basic Research,” 12th Symposium on High Current Electronics, September 25-29, 2000, Tomsk, Russia.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ High Power Microwave Window Breakdown under Vacuum and Atmospheric Conditions
  A. Neuber, D. Hemmert, J. Dickens, H. Krompholz, L. L. Hatfield, and M. Kristiansen: High Power Microwave Window Breakdown under Vacuum and Atmospheric Conditions. Proceedings of the SPIE conference, vol. 4031, pp. 90-98, Aerosense 2000, 24-28 April 2000, Orlando Florida.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ High-Power Microwave Generation by a Coaxial Vircator
  "High-Power Microwave Generation by a Coaxial Vircator", 13th International Conference on High-Power Particle Beams, June 2000, Nagaoka, Japan (with W. Jiang (Nagaoka University of Technology), and Jim Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Studies on a Helical Magnetic Flux Compression Generator
  A. Neuber, J. Dickens, B. Freeman, P. Worsey, H. Krompholz, and M. Kristiansen: Studies on a Helical Magnetic Flux Compression Generator. Proceedings of the SAE Power Systems Conference, October 31-November 2, 2000, San Diego, CA.
Abstract:  Not Available
Publication Year:  1999
+ Development of improved triggered vacuum switches
  Warren, T.; Dickens, J.; Neuber, A.; Kristiansen, M.; Frazier, G.; McNab, I.R.; Digest of Technical Papers. 12th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, 1999. Volume 2, 27-30 June 1999 Page(s):1264 - 1267 vol.2
Abstract:  Triggered vacuum switches (TVS) are being evaluated for use in energizing electrical loads that require rapid and efficient switching of currents on command as well as the ability to interrupt at current zero crossing. Relatively few switching alternatives are available at the high currents (>250 kA) and voltages (>10 kV) needed. The TVSs used in recent pulsed power systems have demonstrated an ability to switch significant currents and interrupt at the zero current crossing, but they are not yet as effective as desired. In particular, higher current operation and faster dielectric recovery would be beneficial. The intent of this research is to expand the understanding of the physics of the vacuum switch (especially the opening phase) and to extend the operating parameters

[PDF]

+ Energy Efficiency Analysis of an Inductive Storage System
  J. Kim, J. Zhang, M. Giesselmann, J. Dickens, J. Mankowski, M. Kristiansen, “Energy Efficiency Analysis of an Inductive Storage System”, Proceedings of the 12th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, Monterey, California, June 27-30, 1999.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Energy efficiency analysis of an inductive storage system
  Kim, J.; Zhang, J.; Giesselmann, M.; Dickens, J.; Mankowski, J.; Kristiansen, M.; Digest of Technical Papers. 12th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, 1999. Volume 2, 27-30 June 1999 Page(s):1445 - 1448 vol.2
Abstract:  In this paper, the simulation and evaluation of energy efficiency and voltage amplification in an inductive energy storage system with resistive, capacitive and diode loads is presented. A numerical simulation with Mathcad shows that by proper reduction of the storage energy inductance and of the exploding fuse interruption time, the energy efficiency and voltage amplification can be greatly improved

[PDF]

+ High voltage subnanosecond corona inception
  Mankowski, J.; Dickens, J.; Kristiansen, M.; Lehr, J.; Prather, W.; Gaudet, J.; Digest of Technical Papers. 12th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, 1999. Volume 2, 27-30 June 1999 Page(s):1392 - 1395 vol.2
Abstract:  Corona discharges in ultra-wideband radiating systems can have adverse effects on performance such as reflection, phase dispersion, and significant power losses. A test-bed has been assembled to experimentally observe corona created by voltage pulses similar to ultra-wideband systems. The current work involves the voltage attenuation of an incident pulse after propagation through a self-initiated corona and relative measurements of visible light emission from the photoionization produced during streamer development. Several gas dielectrics, including ambient air, N2, H2 , and SF6, were tested

[PDF]

+ High-Power Microwave Generation by Coaxial Vircator
  "High-Power Microwave Generation by Coaxial Vircator", Proc. 12th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, Monterey, CA, June 27-30, 1999 (with W. Jiang, K. Woolverton, J. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Influence of the microwave magnetic field on high power microwave window breakdown
  Hemmert, D.; Neuber, A.; Dickens, J.; Krompholz, H.; Hatfield, L.L.; Kristiansen, M.; IEEE Conference Record - Abstracts. 1999 IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science, 1999. ICOPS '99. 20-24 June 1999 Page(s):229
Abstract:  Summary form only given. Effects of the microwave magnetic field on window breakdown are investigated at the upstream and downstream side of a dielectric interface. Simple trajectory calculations of secondary electrons in an RF field show significant forward motion of electrons parallel to the microwave direction of propagation. The Lorentz-force due to the microwave magnetic field on high-energy secondary electrons might substantially influence the standard multipactor mechanism. As a result, the breakdown power level for the downstream side of a window would be higher than for the upstream side. This hypothesis was tested utilizing an S-band traveling wave resonant ring, powered by a 3 MW magnetron at 2.85 GHz, leading to a total power greater than 60 MW. Breakdown was studied on an interface geometry consisting of a thin alumina slab in the waveguide, oriented normal to the microwave propagation direction

[PDF]

+ Measurement of dynamic electrical conductivity of MFCG armature material under conditions of shock and high strain rate loading
  Rasty, J.; Xiaobin Le; Neuber, A.; Jiande Zhang; Dickens, J.; Digest of Technical Papers. 12th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, 1999. Volume 2, 27-30 June 1999 Page(s):708 - 711 vol.2
Abstract:  Characterization of changes in the conductivity during the shock loading process is of paramount importance in estimating the efficiency of magnetic flux compression generators (MFCG). In this study, the main emphasis was the characterization of dynamic conductivity of the armature material during the shock-loading phase. A Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar apparatus was utilized to subject as-received and annealed specimens of OFHC copper to various shock pressures. Experiments conducted to measure the resistivity of Cu specimens indicated that resistivity initially decreases, followed by a sharp increase before decreasing to a steady state value. Depending on the magnitude of the shock pressure, resistivity changes in excess of 200% were recorded

[PDF]

+ Optical Diagnostics on Helical Flux Compression Generators
  A. Neuber, J. Dickens, H. Krompholz, and M. Kristiansen: Optical Diagnostics on Helical Flux Compression Generators. 12th IEEE Int. Pulsed Power Conference, Monterey, CA (1999)
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Pulse Power Conditioning with a Transformer for an Inductive Energy Storage System
  M. Giesselmann, J. Zhang, T. Heeren, E. Kristiansen, J. Dickens, D. Castro, D. Garcia, M. Kristiansen, “Pulse Power Conditioning with a Transformer for an Inductive Energy Storage System”, Proceedings of the 12th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, Monterey, California, June 27-30, 1999.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Pulsed Power Generation Using Ferromagnetic Circuits
  "Pulsed Power Generation Using Ferromagnetic Circuits", Proc. 12th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, Monterey, CA, June 27-30, 1999 (with S.I. Shkuratov, J. Dickens, L.L. Hatfield, and R. Martin).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Pulsed, High Energy Testing of Resistors
  "Pulsed, High Energy Testing of Resistors", Proc. 12th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, Monterey, CA, June 27-30, 1999 (with S.I. Shkuratov, J. Dickens, L.L. Hatfield, and E. Horrocks).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Simulation, Design and Test of a MOV Pulse Shaping Device for High Power Microwave Generators
  M. Giesselmann, T. Heeren, E. Kristiansen, J. Dickens, D. Castro, D. Garcia, M. Kristiansen, “Simulation, Design and Test of a MOV Pulse Shaping Device for High Power Microwave Generators”, Proceedings of the 12th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, Monterey, California, June 27-30, 1999.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ The design of a compact pulse transformer
  Zhang, J.; Dickens, J.; Giesselmann, M.; Kim, J.; Kristiansen, E.; Mankowski, J.; Garcia, D.; Kristiansen, M.; Digest of Technical Papers. 12th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, 1999. Volume 2, 27-30 June 1999 Page(s):704 - 707 vol.2
Abstract:  To improve the pulse shape and to obtain μs order pulse duration on a diode load in an inductive energy storage system, an oil-submerged compact pulse transformer with diameter of 20 cm and length of 70 cm has been designed and tested. From theoretical calculations, the parameters with primary inductance Lp=3.4 μH, secondary inductance Ls=90 μH, and coupling coefficient K=0.772 are obtained. To prevent breakdown, a conical secondary design is adopted. Under the condition of 500 kV operation voltage, the maximum electric field in the transformer is 205 kV/cm (in oil). The axial voltage distribution on the secondary is linear. Experiments have been done to test the insulation, the mechanical force and the coupling coefficient. The test results are consistent with the design parameters

[PDF]

+ The Design of a compact Pulse Transformer
  J. Zhang, J. Dickens, M. Giesselmann, J. Kim, E. Kristiansen, J. Mankowski, D. Garcia, M. Kristiansen, “The Design of a compact Pulse Transformer”, Proceedings of the 12th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, Monterey, California, June 27-30, 1999.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ The Role of Outgassing in Surface Flashover under Vacuum
  A. Neuber, J. Dickens, H. Krompholz, and M. Kristiansen: The Role of Outgassing in Surface Flashover under Vacuum. 12th IEEE Int. Pulsed Power Conference, Monterey, CA (1999), invited.
Abstract:  Not Available
Publication Year:  1998
+ Breakdown of dielectric/vacuum interfaces caused by high power microwaves
  Neuber, A.; Dickens, J.; Hemmert, D.; Krompholz, H.; Hatfield, L.L.; Kristiansen, M.; IEEE Conference Record - Abstracts. 1998 IEEE International on Plasma Science, 1998. 25th Anniversary. 1-4 June 1998 Page(s):205
Abstract:  Summary form only given. Physical mechanisms leading to microwave breakdown on dielectric/vacuum interfaces are investigated for power levels on the order of 100 MW at 2.85 GHz. A 3 MW magnetron with 3.5 μs pulse width, is coupled to an S-band traveling wave resonator which is kept at a pressure of 10-8 Torr. The investigation is focused on an interface geometry comprising a thin dielectric polymer slab in the waveguide, oriented vertical to the direction of wave propagation, and two field enhancement tips placed in the middle of each waveguide broad wall. This ensures an almost purely tangential field at the interface surface and a localized breakdown

[PDF]

+ High voltage subnanosecond dielectric breakdown
  Mankowski, J.; Dickens, J.; Kristiansen, M.; IEEE Conference Record - Abstracts. 1998 IEEE International on Plasma Science, 1998. 25th Anniversary. 1-4 June 1998 Page(s):270
Abstract:  Summary form only given, as follows. Present day ultra-wideband (UWB) radiation sources a produce Megavolt pulses at 100's of picosecond (ps) risetimes. Empirical data on the breakdown characteristics for dielectric media at these short time lengths and high voltages are either extremely limited or non-existent. In support of the design of these UWB sources, we are investigating the breakdown characteristics, at these voltages and time lengths, of several liquids and gases. These include air, N2, H2, He, SF6, and transformer oil. The two voltage sources used in the experiments are capable of delivering 400 and 700 kV with a 400 ps risetime into an open load. These pulses are applied to the test gap area, capable of housing various gases and liquids at pressures from less than 1 to 150 atm. An empirical relationship of E-field versus breakdown time for the observed dielectrics is presented. Several other breakdown phenomena at these fast risetimes are observed. Dielectric breakdown strength dependence on polarity is investigated. Streak camera images of arc formation are captured, providing information on gap closure velocity. Also observed is the effect of ultraviolet radiation on the statistical lag time of breakdown for gas dielectrics at various pressures

[PDF]

+ Simulation, Design and Construction of a Pulsed Power Supply for High Power Microwaves Using Explosively Driven Magnetic Flux Compression
  M. Kristiansen, J. Dickens, T. Hurtig, M. Giesselmann, E. Kristiansen, “Simulation, Design and Construction of a Pulsed Power Supply for High Power Microwaves Using Explosively Driven Magnetic Flux Compression”, Proceedings of the 1998 MegaGauss Conference, ISBN 982-256-016-5, Tallahassee, Florida, October 18 – 23, 1998, p. 425…428.
Abstract:  Not Available
Publication Year:  1997
+ A subnanosecond high voltage pulser for the investigation of dielectric breakdown
  Mankowski, J.; Dickens, J.; Kristiansen, M.; Pulsed Power Conference, 1997. 1997 11th IEEE International Digest of Technical Papers. Volume 1, 29 June-2 July 1997 Page(s):549 - 554 vol.1
Abstract:  A high voltage, sub-nanosecond pulser is designed and built for the purposes of investigating dielectric breakdown. The requirement for the pulser is a voltage pulse of several hundred kilovolts, pulsewidth less than a few nanoseconds, and a risetime <400 psec. This is achieved by using pulse sharpening techniques on the output of a 500 kV Marx bank. Originally designed to stimulate a lightning strike, the voltage waveform from the Marx generator has a slow decay time of tens of μsec. In order to obtain a more desirable pulse, the Marx bank is modified. By removing a lumped-element resistor a higher peak output voltage with a faster risetime can be obtained. Circuit simulations have shown the capability of achieving an 800 kV output in less than 40 nsec to a charging (pulse forming) line. The 50 Ω impedance, oil-filled, pulse forming line consists of a peaking gap and pulse slicing gap. The peaking gap decreases the risetime of the applied pulse down to about 300 psec. The pulse slicing gap is included to short the voltage applied to the delay line and test chamber

[PDF]

+ Evaluation of a Russian SOS Diode for Use in a Compact Modulator System
  "Evaluation of a Russian SOS Diode for Use in a Compact Modulator System", Proc. 11th IEEE Int’l. Pulsed Power Conf., Baltimore, MD June 29-July 2, 1997 (with J. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Evaluation of a Russian SOS Diode for use in a Compact Modulator System
  J. Dickens, M. Kristiansen, M. Giesselmann and J.G. Kim, "Evaluation of a Russian SOS Diode for use in a Compact Modulator System", Proceedings of the 11th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, Baltimore, Maryland, June 29 - July 02, 1997.
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Window and Cavity Breakdown caused by High Power Microwaves
  A. Neuber, J. Dickens, D. Hemmert, H. Krompholz, L. L. Hatfield, and M. Kristiansen: Window and Cavity Breakdown caused by High Power Microwaves. International Workshop on High Power Microwave Generation and Pulse Shortening, Edinburgh UK (1997)
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Window and Cavity Breakdown caused by High Power Microwaves
  A. Neuber, J. Dickens, D. Hemmert, H. Krompholz, L. L. Hatfield, and M. Kristiansen: Window and Cavity Breakdown caused by High Power Microwaves. IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science, San Diego (1997)
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Window and Cavity Breakdown caused by High Power Microwaves
  A. Neuber, J. Dickens, D. Hemmert, H. Krompholz, L. L. Hatfield, and M. Kristiansen: Window and Cavity Breakdown caused by High Power Microwaves. 11th IEEE Int. Pulsed Power Conf., Baltimore (1997)
Abstract:  Not Available
Publication Year:  1996
+ Breakdown at window interfaces caused by high power microwave fields
  J.C. Dickens, J. Elliott, L.L. Hatfield, M. Kristiansen, H. Krompholz, “Breakdown at window interfaces caused by high power microwave fields”, International Symposium on Optical Science, Engineering, and Instrumentation - SPIE’s Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, August 4-9, 1996, published in SPIE proceedings Volume 2843, “Intense Microwave Pulses IV”, pg.153
Abstract:  Not Available
+ Compact Modulator Using Inductive Energy Storage and a Solid State Opening Switch
  "Compact Modulator Using Inductive Energy Storage and a Solid State Opening Switch", 1996 22nd International Power Modulator Symposium, Boca Raton, FL, June 24-27, 1996 (with James C. Dickens and John Bridges).
Abstract:  Not Available
Publication Year:  1995
+ Plume Model of Hall Effect Plasma Thrusters with Temporal Consideration
  "Plume Model of Hall Effect Plasma Thrusters with Temporal Consideration", XXIV International Electric Propulsion Conference, Moscow, Russia, Sept. 19-23, 1995 (with J.C. Dickens, E. O’Hair and M. Kristiansen).
Abstract:  Not Available
Publication Year:  1993
+ Electrode Performance of a Three Electrode, Triggered, High Energy Spark Gap Switch
  "Electrode Performance of a Three Electrode, Triggered, High Energy Spark Gap Switch", 9th IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, Albuquerque, NM, June 21-23, 1993 (with J.C. Dickens and T.G. Engel).
Abstract:  Not Available
Publication Year:  1992
+ Insulator and Electrode Mass Erosion and Surface Voltage Holdoff Recovery for Transient, High Current Surface Discharges
  "Insulator and Electrode Mass Erosion and Surface Voltage Holdoff Recovery for Transient, High Current Surface Discharges", 6th Electromagnetic Launch Technology, April 28-30, 1992, Austin, TX (with T.G. Engel and J.C. Dickens).
Abstract:  Not Available

Book

Publication Year:  2005
+ Power Conditioning, In: Explosively Driven Pulsed Power, Helical Magnetic Flux Compression Generator
  T. Heeren, M. Giesselmann, J. C. Dickens and A. Neuber, “Power Conditioning,” In: Explosively Driven Pulsed Power, Helical Magnetic Flux Compression Generator, A. Neuber Edtr., Springer Berlin Heidelberg New York, ISBN 3-540-26051-X, 2005.
Abstract:  Not Available