Two-electrode gas switch with electrodynamical acceleration of a discharge channel

B. M. Kovalchuk, A. V. Kharlov, E. V. Kumpyak, N. V. Tsoy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number123504
    JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Instrumentation

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