Pulsed Power Physics Branch (Code 6770)

Experimental and theoretical research in pulsed power physics is performed to advance technology in the areas of pulsed power relevant to ONR, DoD, BMDO, and DoE applications. The research program is concerned with the development of high energy pulsed power systems employing capacitive and inductive energy storage, and the production and application of pulsed plasmas and intense high-power, charged particle beams. It provides the technological basis for high-energy-density plasma experiments, high-power switching, advanced radiation sources, and it advances applications of this technology to areas such as nuclear weapon effects simulation and directed energy weapons. The research encompasses three major activities: 1) Theory and analysis - concerned with providing theoretical and numerical support and guidance for the experimental groups and for sponsoring agencies; 2) Plasma and Beam Experiments - concerned with performing experiments using the pulsed power generators for applications involving pulsed plasmas and/or intense particle beams; and 3) Advanced Systems - concerned with the development of advanced, compact, high-power pulsed systems that integrate vacuum inductive storage, plasma opening switch techniques, and loads, such as bremsstrahlung x-ray diodes and plasma radiation sources. The experimental facilities include a variety of pulsed power sources to generate electron and ion beams, powerful discharges and various types of radiation.


Gamble II in ion beam mode with working telescope in front end (left; 331K), PAWN test bed in a few percent of Gamble II's volume (center; 283K), and the HAWK facility (right; 297K).

Plasma opening switch simulation.

Plasma Physics Division

Naval Research Laboratory