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Plasma opening switch

United States Patent

October 16, 2001
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
A command triggered plasma opening switch assembly using an amplification stage. The assembly surrounds a coaxial transmission line and has a main plasma opening switch (POS) close to the load and a trigger POS upstream from the main POS. The trigger POS establishes two different current pathways through the assembly depended on whether it has received a trigger current pulse. The initial pathway has both POS's with plasma between their anodes and cathodes to form a short across the transmission line and isolating the load. The final current pathway is formed when the trigger POS receives a trigger current pulse which energizes its fast coil to push the conductive plasma out from between its anode and cathode, allowing the main transmission line current to pass to the fast coil of the main POS, thus pushing its plasma out the way so as to establish a direct current pathway to the load.
Savage; Mark E. (Albuquerque, NM), Mendel, Jr.; Clifford W. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
09/ 606,664
June 28, 2000
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH This invention was made with Government support under Contract DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government as certain rights in the invention.