Pulse Power Overview



Saturable reactors utilize the large change between unsaturated and saturated permeabilities of their cores to delay current for a preset period of time. Similarly, once saturated in the forward direction, they act as a diode temporarily blocking current in the reverse direction. (Figure 1)


MSP devices made with Metglas®cores have dramatically enhanced the reliability and overall lifetime of pulse power systems. By using a saturable reactor in series with either a semiconductor or thyratron switch, the circuit designer can reduce losses in the switch and extend its life. The saturable reactor is designed to hold-off current until the switch becomes fully conductive (Figure 2). This delay reduces the overlap between current and voltage in the switch, thereby reducing power absorber in the switch. MSP also offers other advantages. Higher di/dt's to the load are safely achieved by waiting for full conductivity in semiconductor switches. The diode-like characteristic of a saturated reactor provides time for switch recovery.

Figure 1. RL Circuit

Pulse Power Core Charts

Figure 2. RL Circuit Current & Voltage Output












Magnetic Pulse Compression (MPC) utilizes reactors (L1, L2, L3…) in conjunction with capacitors (C1,CL2,CL3…) to shape input pulses into narrow output pulses of much higher current (See figure 3 & 4). The MPC, therefore, allows the designer to use less expensive input switches with lower current ratings. MPC can also extend the lifetime of the input switch. Advanced MPC devices - capable of generating power levels of multi-terawatts in tens of nanoseconds - have been realized utilizing Metglas® cores.

Figure 3. Magnetic Pulse Compression

Magnetic Pulse Compression

Figure 4. Magnetic Pulse Compression Current & Voltage Output

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