Custom Trigger Generators


While our standard trigger generator performs well with our smaller trigatron switches, a custom trigger generator is necessary with

Our standard trigger systems such as the PG-103D generator and OEM trigger modules rely upon a pulse transformer to produce output voltages typically in the 25-40 kV range with rise times measured in the hundreds on nanoseconds. Our custom trigger generators utilize a voltage multiplying, pulse forming line (PFL) to produce considerably faster pulses of higher amplitude. The example shown here is capable of peak voltages up to 120 kV with a rise time of only 3 ns.

Our larger field-distortion switches, such as the SG-184M, require a trigger pulse rise time <10 ns and peak trigger voltage >50 kV. Although our smaller field-distortion switches (e.g., SG-124M) can be fired by transformer based generators, their performance will improve dramatically with a custom trigger generator. With switches operating in parallel, it is usually more cost effective to employ a custom trigger generator when the number of simultaneously operating switches exceeds 4, even with trigatron switches. When laser triggering is not an option, extremely low-jitter operation of any of our switches demands development of a custom trigger source. Multichannel trigger generators have been constructed with as many as 32 channels.

Custom trigger generators are available only when purchasing a complete pulse power system, i.e., switch(es) and trigger generator, and when we have primary responsibility for engineering the system. We do not manufacture these generators as standard products. Proper switch operation demands an integrated approach and therefore we do not sell any custom trigger generator as a stand-alone product.

Representative Custom System

The massively paralleled PG-107 system is designed to fire 24 custom model SG-182 trigatron switches with an intrachannel jitter of <500 ps. The system produces negative 30-120 kV pulses with a fall time of ~3-4 ns. This trigger generator was developed for a major pulsed power installation (240 kJ stored energy, 2.6 MA peak current) at a US national laboratory.

PG-107 generator (24 channels)
showing HN-68 output connectors
and integral power supply

SG-182 trigatron switch (60 kV, 160
kA, 0.4 coul) with capacitor coupler

PG-107 trigger head assembly
and PFL terminator

SG-182 coaxial shield canister with
trigger head and HN-88 connectors

Representative unloaded output pulse (12.5 ns/div, 10 kV/div) from the PG-107 trigger generator; measured fall time is limited by probe response (3-4 ns).

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Last revision: Wed, 21 Dec 2016 10:04:21 -0500