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089-2021-9220 - Improved Marx Pulse Generator for HPM Systems

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-21-C-0851
Agency Tracking Number: N212-121-0466
Amount: $239,811.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N212-121
Solicitation Number: 21.2
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-10-20
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-01-20
Small Business Information
6300 Gateway Dr.
Cypress, CA 90630-4844
United States
DUNS: 614108918
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Sam Dickerson
 (719) 302-3117
Business Contact
 Ruth Craig
Phone: (714) 224-4410
Research Institution

High power microwave (HPM) systems require high voltage, high current, nanosecond duration pulses to generate radio frequency (RF) signals. These sources have seen a great deal of advancement in recent years, allowing for the deployment of next generation HPM weapons. To adequately demonstrate these next generation HPM sources, reliable, long lifetime, and easy to use pulsed power systems are required to drive them. The well-known Marx generator is commonly used in such cases. However, traditional Marx generators, relying on spark gap switches and cumbersome gas plumbing systems have limitations to system lifetime and maximum repetition rate. These limitations can be mitigated with development of new Marx generator concepts. Taking a new look at the standard gas insulated, spark gap switched topology could improve system lifetime and reliability by taking advantage of cutting-edge spark gap electrode profiles and materials, as well as advanced gas flow analysis and techniques to reduce required plumbing connections. Further, employing a more innovative approach, a new Marx generator concept could capitalize on the recent advancements in solid state switching technology, allowing for fully solid-state GW class HPM drivers. Herein, SARA Inc. proposes the development of a new Marx generator concept intended to drive HPM sources. The described development begins with a SWAP-C trade study between a spark gap switched Marx generator topology and a completely solid-state Marx generator with a semiconductor opening switch (SOS) output stage. The ideal topology will be down selected and a complete design for an advanced Marx generator is developed.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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