Klystrons, Traveling Wave Tubes, Magnetrons, Crossed-Field Amplifiers, and Gyrotrons

April 6, 2012

Microwave vacuum tubes come in many shapes, sizes, and output-power ratings. As detailed in Klystrons, Traveling Wave Tubes, Magnetrons, Crossed-Field Amplifiers, and Gyrotrons by A.S. Gilmour, Jr., the technologies behind these devices are quite mature, largely dating to the time of and before World War II. Although they are mature, microwave vacuum tubes have proven their reliability. For that reason, they are often employed in deep-space applications including in satellite communications (satcom) systems. Microwave vacuum tubes are also quite efficient in turning bias energy into high-frequency output power—much more so than their solid-state counterparts.

Gilmour provides a wealth of knowledge pertaining to the vacuum tubes listed in his title, including historical references, cross-sectional diagrams, and circuit equations. In his chapter on traveling-wave tubes (TWTs), for example, he explores the design limitations for peak and average output power levels, for gain, and for efficiency. He also provides examples of the specifications required for these devices when used in different types of applications, such as in electronic-countermeasures (ECM) and radar systems.

For those interested in microwave vacuum tubes, this is 859 pages of invaluable content for any bookshelf.

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About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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