AFRL Researcher Granted All-Cavity Magnetron Axial Extractor Patent
By Plans and Programs Directorate, AFRL/XP
/ Published December 12, 2006
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- AFRL directed energy expert Dr. Andrew Greenwood earned a US patent entitled "All-Cavity Magnetron Axial Extractor." The patented technology is a key enabler for packaging a relativistic magnetron high-power microwave (HPM) source into a compact, airborne platform.
Previous schemes for extracting microwave energy from a magnetron source required radially directed waveguides, which do not fit into existing airborne platforms. The all-cavity magnetron axial extractor solves this problem, bringing the relativistic magnetron to the forefront of technologies enabling compact airborne electronic attack systems. This emerging technology provides the means to attack enemy electronics in a nonlethal manner using HPM energy, a method with potential application to attacks against enemy command and control facilities when collateral damage is unacceptable.
Dr. Greenwood's all-cavity magnetron axial extractor design underwent initial test via high-performance computer simulation using ICEPIC--an AFRL-developed improved concurrent electromagnetic particle-in-cell code for massively parallel virtual prototyping of HPM systems. The simulation revealed that the scheme, in addition to being compact, improved the relativistic magnetron operation by equally loading each cavity of the device. The success of the initially simulated device prompted AFRL to employ ICEPIC code for further enhancements, and laboratory experiments are now underway to assess the improved, optimized device.