Can intentional electrical discharges be used for HPM protection?
Paper i proceeding, 2011
The possibility to protect electronics against High Power Microwaves (HPM) using an intentional electrical discharge triggered by the HPM pulse has been investigated. The case considered is a resonant slot, located e.g. in an antenna array or in a Frequency Selective Surface (FSS). The reduction of the pulse energy transmitted through the slot is regarded to be the most important parameter of merit. Experimental and theoretical research showed that a spark in the middle of a 46.3 0.1 mm resonant slot, induced by the incident HPM-pulse, gave a reduction of the transmitted pulse energy of about 24 dB. The studies showed that the investigated approach can provide a quite good level of protection that at least reduces the requirements on additional protection components such as limiters integrated in receivers located behind the slot. In order to achieve a sufficiently strong enhancement of the electric field to initiate breakdown in wide slots one presumably has to introduce a small pointed gap in the middle of the slot. This may in turn require that a radioactive sample is located close to the gap in order to produce a sufficient number of seed electrons necessary for triggering the discharge. © 2011 IEEE.