Status of the Nevada Shocker at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Robert A. Schill Jr., University of Nevada, Las Vegas
William G. Culbreth, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Claudene Nielsen, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
M. Popek
Nathan Sipe, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
B. Blackstone
Stan Goldfarb
W. Fitzgerald
J. Larson
M. Walker
S. Nosal
G. Lull
Jason Viggato, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
T. Raymond
Satishkumar Subramanian, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Richard Kant
Balasubramanian Murugan
S. Capar

Conference held: Dallas, TX, USA, 15-18 June 2003


The Nevada shocker is a 540 kV, 7 /spl Omega/, 50 ns pulsed power device based on Marx bank and Blumlein technologies. The Marx bank is composed of nine 60 kV capacitors charged in series with a gamma high voltage source connected by means of Ross relays in an air environment. A trigatron switch energized with an isolated mini capacitor bank is used to erect the Marx bank. The trigatron switch and erecting electrodes are contained in a gas manifold pressurized to 20 /spl plusmn/ 1 psi with dry air. The energy is released sequentially through an inductor and a water filled charging transmission line to the Blumlein immersed in deionized water. The Blumlein shapes and compresses the energy into a 50 ns pulse upon discharge. A self-breaking water switch initiates the release of energy in the Blumlein. The energy flows through a water filled discharging transmission line to the diode end of the Nevada Shocker. The current diode end of the Blumlein supports vacuum pressures as low as 6.5 /spl times/ 10/sup -6/ Torr. The chamber is pumped with the aid of a roughing pump and a cryogenic vacuum pump. The vacuum section of the Nevada Shocker is currently being rebuilt to incorporate mechanical and thermal loading capabilities with sensors located at the experiment. A number of diagnostic developments are currently underway to support flash over studies on plastics. Resistive probe and differential B-dot diagnostics with the aid of a 6 GHz 20 GS/s TDS 6604 real time scope is documented demonstrating the capability of the machine.