Laser triggering of water switches in terrawatt-class pulse power accelerators.

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Focused Beams from high-power lasers have been used to command trigger gas switches in pulse power accelerators for more than two decades. This Laboratory-Directed Research and Development project was aimed at determining whether high power lasers could also command trigger water switches on high-power accelerators. In initial work, we determined that focused light from three harmonics of a small pulsed Nd:YAG laser at 1064 nm, 532 nm, and 355 nm could be used to form breakdown arcs in water, with the lowest breakdown thresholds of 110 J/cm{sup 2} or 14 GW/cm{sup 2} at 532 nm in the green. In laboratory-scale ... continued below

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45 p.

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Woodworth, Joseph Ray; Johnson, David Lee (Titan Pulse Sciences, San Leandro, CA); Wilkins, Frank (Bechtel Nevada, Las Vegas, NV); Van De Valde, David (EG&G Technical Services, Albuquerque, NM); Sarkisov, Gennady Sergeevich (Ktech Corporation, Albuquerque, NM); Zameroski, Nathan D. et al. December 1, 2005.

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Description

Focused Beams from high-power lasers have been used to command trigger gas switches in pulse power accelerators for more than two decades. This Laboratory-Directed Research and Development project was aimed at determining whether high power lasers could also command trigger water switches on high-power accelerators. In initial work, we determined that focused light from three harmonics of a small pulsed Nd:YAG laser at 1064 nm, 532 nm, and 355 nm could be used to form breakdown arcs in water, with the lowest breakdown thresholds of 110 J/cm{sup 2} or 14 GW/cm{sup 2} at 532 nm in the green. In laboratory-scale laser triggering experiments with a 170-kV pulse-charged water switch with a 3-mm anode-cathode gap, we demonstrated that {approx}90 mJ of green laser energy could trigger the gap with a 1-{sigma} jitter of less than 2ns, a factor of 10 improvement over the jitter of the switch in its self breaking mode. In the laboratory-scale experiments we developed optical techniques utilizing polarization rotation of a probe laser beam to measure current in switch channels and electric field enhancements near streamer heads. In the final year of the project, we constructed a pulse-power facility to allow us to test laser triggering of water switches from 0.6- MV to 2.0 MV. Triggering experiments on this facility using an axicon lens for focusing the laser and a switch with a 740 kV self-break voltage produced consistent laser triggering with a {+-} 16-ns 1-{sigma} jitter, a significant improvement over the {+-} 24-ns jitter in the self-breaking mode.

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45 p.

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  • Report No.: SAND2005-6990
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/883475 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 883475
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc892642

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • December 1, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 23, 2016, 2:42 p.m.

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  • Dec. 8, 2016, 8:28 p.m.

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Woodworth, Joseph Ray; Johnson, David Lee (Titan Pulse Sciences, San Leandro, CA); Wilkins, Frank (Bechtel Nevada, Las Vegas, NV); Van De Valde, David (EG&G Technical Services, Albuquerque, NM); Sarkisov, Gennady Sergeevich (Ktech Corporation, Albuquerque, NM); Zameroski, Nathan D. et al. Laser triggering of water switches in terrawatt-class pulse power accelerators., report, December 1, 2005; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc892642/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.