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A corona-stabilised plasma closing switch

Beveridge, J.R. and MacGregor, S.J. and Given, M.J. and Timoshkin, I. and Lehr, J.M. (2009) A corona-stabilised plasma closing switch. IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, 16 (4). pp. 948-955. ISSN 1070-9878

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Corona-stabilised plasma closing switches, filled with electronegative gases such as SF6 and air, have been used in pulsed-power applications as repetitive switching devices for the last 10 years. Their high repetition-rate capabilities coupled with their relatively simple design and construction have made them suitable alternatives to thyratrons and semi-conductor switches. As well as having repetitive switching capabilities, corona-stabilised plasma closing switches have the potential to operate at elevated voltages through the incorporation of multiple electrode sets. This allows high-voltage operation with inherent voltage grading between the electrodes. A further feature of such switches is that they can have relatively low jitter under triggered condition. This paper reports on some of the operational features of a new design of corona-stabilised, cascade switch that utilises air as the insulating gas. At pressures between 0 and 1 bar gauge the switch has be shown to operate over the voltage range of 40 to 100 kV with a jitter below 2 ns.