Design of a Command-Triggered Plasma Opening Switch for Terawatt Applications

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Inductive energy storage systems can have high energy density, lending to smaller, less expensive systems. The crucial element of an inductive energy storage system is the opening switch. This switch must conduct current while energy is stored in an inductor, then open quickly to transfer this energy to a load. Plasma can perform this function. The Plasma Opening Switch (POS) has been studied for more than two decades. Success with the conventional plasma opening switch has been limited. A system designed to significantly improve the performance of vacuum opening switches is described in this paper. The gap cleared of plasma ... continued below

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6 p.

Creation Information

SAVAGE,MARK E.; MENDEL,C.W. & SEIDEL,DAVID B. October 29, 1999.

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This article is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 12 times . More information about this article can be viewed below.

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  • Sandia National Laboratories
    Publisher Info: Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM, and Livermore, CA
    Place of Publication: Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Description

Inductive energy storage systems can have high energy density, lending to smaller, less expensive systems. The crucial element of an inductive energy storage system is the opening switch. This switch must conduct current while energy is stored in an inductor, then open quickly to transfer this energy to a load. Plasma can perform this function. The Plasma Opening Switch (POS) has been studied for more than two decades. Success with the conventional plasma opening switch has been limited. A system designed to significantly improve the performance of vacuum opening switches is described in this paper. The gap cleared of plasma is a rough figure-of-merit for vacuum opening switches. Typical opened gaps of 3 mm are reported for conventional switches. The goal for the system described in this paper is more than 3 cm. To achieve this, the command-triggered POS adds an active opening mechanism, which allows complete separation of conduction and opening. This separation is advantageous because of the widely different time scales of conduction and opening. The detrimental process of magnetic field penetration into the plasma during conduction is less important in this switch. The opening mechanism duration is much shorter than the conduction time, so penetration during opening is insignificant. Opening is accomplished with a fast magnetic field that pushes plasma out of the switch region. Plasma must be removed from the switch region to allow high voltage. This paper describes some processes important during conduction and opening, and show calculations on the trigger requirements. The design of the switch is shown. This system is designed to demonstrate both improved performance and nanosecond output jitter at levels greater than one terawatt. An amplification mechanism is described which reduces the trigger energy. Particle-in-cell simulations of the system are also shown.

Physical Description

6 p.

Notes

OSTI as DE00014379

Medium: P; Size: 6 pages

Source

  • Journal Name: IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science; Other Information: Submitted to IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science

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  • Report No.: SAND99-2839J
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 14379
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc628115

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  • October 29, 1999

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • April 11, 2017, 12:58 p.m.

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SAVAGE,MARK E.; MENDEL,C.W. & SEIDEL,DAVID B. Design of a Command-Triggered Plasma Opening Switch for Terawatt Applications, article, October 29, 1999; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc628115/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.