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Survey of pulse shortening in high-power microwave sources

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Observations show that the ubiquitous pulse shortening in high-power microwave (HPM) devices arises from the formation of plasma, electron streaming, high-E-field breakdown, and beam disruption. We review recent experiments in terms of these causes. Linear beam devices exhibit all of these mechanisms; in particular, beam disruption by E × B drifts in the strong microwave fields and diffusion in turbulent electric fields appear common. In relativistic magnetrons, the dominant effect is resonance destruction by cathode plasma motion, possibly from water contamination of the surface. Wall plasma effects shorten pulses in most sources. We call for the introduction of improved surface conditioning, cathodes which do not produce plasmas, and increased effort on the measurements of the high-field and plasma properties of HPM sources. Because of the broad nature of the phenomena in pulse shortening, we appeal for increased participation of the plasma, intense particle beam, and traditional microwave tube communities in pulse-shortening research. © 1997 IEEE.

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