Although this is the era of solid state semiconductor devices, microwave tubes are still extensively employed in certain areas for applications where their solid state counterparts are not able to compete as far as delivering the required power at microwave to millimetric wavelengths. These applications vary from electron cyclotron resonance heating of plasmas in fusion reactors to the sintering of industrial ceramics. This unique ability to produce hundreds of kilowatts of pulsed to continuous waves (CW) at, frequencies greater than 1 GHz has made microwave tubes an indispensable source for high power and high frequency applications. Microwaves are electromagnetic waves whose frequencies fall approximately in the range 1–300 GHz. Microwaves are used for a great variety of applications. Some of these are: all types of communications applications (from mobile to deep space), strategic applications (from radar to missile guidance), scientific applications (from particle accelerators to thermonuclear plasma fusion devices and plasma diagnostics), and industrial applications (from simple domestic ovens to various heating, drying and sintering purposes). As already mentioned, low power applications employ solid state microwave devices extensively as they are small in size and cost effective (long lifetime, no high voltage), whereas for high power applications, the only choice is microwave tubes.
KeywordsMicrowave Source Travel Wave Tube Electron Cyclotron Resonance Heating High Power Application High Frequency Application
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