High-energy switches and trigger generators are required for MJ-level capacitor banks. We have developed a compact gas switch and a matched series injection trigger generator. A series inductance is required for isolation of the trigger pulse from the surrounded circuit. A saturable inductor is employed here because low inductance is needed after the switch breakdown. The switch is of coaxial two-electrode design with electrodynamic acceleration of a spark channel. The switch operates at atmospheric pressure. The spark gap can be triggered reliably down to zero voltage (at 50 kV self-breakdown voltage) with less than 35 ns timing jitter. Energy losses in this spark gap have been accurately investigated. The main results are as follows: energy losses in the switch do not exceed 4% at voltages higher than 15 kV, i.e., when operation voltage exceeds ∼36% of the self-breakdown voltage. The spark gap is designed for 24 kV charging voltage, at a current up to 250 kA, and ∼70 C charge transfer. In this paper, we present a design for the spark gap, inductor and trigger generator. Test bed schematics and results of the tests are also described.
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