Innovative Rugged High Power RF Sources for Compact RF Warheads
This work describes an innovative approach to the development of a"frozen wave RF source"with only one active component an ultrafast spark switch. This technique represents a major improvement over existing state of the art by eliminating the need for multiple light activated custom solid state switches and the associated laser trigger generator. The key item, an ultra-fast spark switch must be designed to have the same wave impedance as the transmission line segments that constitute the frozen wave ensemble. Switches with the appropriate turn on characteristics have been demonstrated where switch compactness and wave impedance were not factors. The ability to impedance match in compact frozen wave geometry will be a major focus of the project. Using a frozen wave generator as the RF converter, in this single switch geometry, allows most of the space in a warhead application to be devoted to energy source for radiation and antenna system rather than for a massive laser and optical power train necessary for precision triggering of the solid state switch elements. A systems analysis and study is proposed that will determine packaging constraints and techniques to survive high stresses of launch for warhead applications.
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