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Marx Impulse Generators

Professional Equipment for Serious Research

Applications

  1. Generation of high-power microwave using virtual cathode oscillator devices
  2. Lightning testing on cables and insulators at 1.2/50 ms and 8/20 ms
  3. Material and dielectric testing
  4. Breaking of raw diamonds in mineralogy
  5. High voltage and magnetic pulser
  6. High repetition rate high power CO2 lasers
  7. Generating EMP on parallel plate transmission lines
  8. Bridge wire exploding
  9. Electron injection into nuclear reactors
  10. Electron accelerators
  11. Kilo amp linear accelerators
  12. Current injection and generation
  13. Radiation generator for high voltage steep pulser
  14. Flash x-ray generation
  15. Pulsed electron generation
  16. Short duration luminous flash for ultra high speed photography
  17. Firing boxes for pyrotechnic substance reliability testing
  18. Exploding unattended munitions
  19. Nuclear electromagnetic pulse generator
  20. Generation of plasma focusing
  21. Generation of axial plasma for injection purposes
  22. Remote de-programming of processors used in computers and other control circuitry
  23. Educational demonstration of electrical pyrotechnics, etc.

Marx Generator

The Marx impulse generator can simulate a lightning strike. As an example, most lightning discharges are in the order 1 to 100 kilo-amps with 500 kilo-amps a rarity. The electric charge associated is usually 5 to 50 Coulombs. At a voltage of 50 to 500 million volts this transforms to a considerable amount of discharged energy. Even though this equates out to a destructive event, the current rise is not as fast as the man-made impulse generator. The output of the Marx is under 100 kilo-amps but its current rise is faster than a natural lightning bolt. The rise time of the discharge is usually 1 to 10 microseconds with a fall time of 20 to 50 microseconds. (The reason for the relatively slow rise is due to the atmosphere not approaching an ideal spark gap switch.) In other words Mother Nature got us in joules but not in nanoseconds!

Materials testing such as cables transformers and power systems can be verified for integrity against lightning. Flash x-rays and the simulating of electro magnetic pulse (EMP) from nuclear detonations are possible using this device. The output can be coupled into a suitable load, parallel flat line antenna, etc. For flash x-rays you must couple the output to a suitable x-ray tube.

How It Works
Marx generators are basically simple in theory: a stack of capacitors is charged in a parallel configuration to a voltage "E" and then discharged in series with a voltage of "nE" where "n" in the number of capacitors charged. Simple in theory, but in reality several problems must be addressed. Selection of the capacitors will determine the peak current and rate of current rise during the discharge cycle that are now figures of merit for the system. Not only must we select the value of capacity and voltage, but now must consider the discharge loop inductance and peak current handling of this part. Needless to say, this is far more expensive than normal oil-filled filter capacitors. These capacitors once charged must be discharged in a series configuration through special precisely-spaced spark gap switches for each capacitor. Open air tungsten or molybdenum electrodes with Bruce or Rogowski discharge surfaces now switch the required currents with low "jitter" Switching times are fast but can be improved in a nitrogen atmosphere or doping the electrodes with a radioactive isotope such as cesium 137 or nickel 63.

The initial charging of the capacitors is best done via a controlled current source. A good approach is the use of a current limited transformer operating at line frequency or a standard high voltage transformer with a current controlled reactor in series with the primary for higher power units. The use of semiconductors usually requires special circuit precautions and shielding from the EMP generated by most of the discharges.

The output of the transformer is rectified and voltage multiplied to the appropriate charging value and applied to the capacitors by high voltage resistors. Output is continuously variable with a variac. The system is triggered manually or by a +5 volt level that generates a high voltage pulse to a third trigger electrode of the bottom spark switch. This now commences where all spark switches now simultaneously fire dumping the total charge in nanoseconds.

Our basic Marx generators have charging resistors. Discharge resistors can be selected by the user dependent on the desired wave shape. Standard parallel plate transmission line with a gap of 300 mm or 500 mm is available to enable the user to couple the Marx for obtaining steep field strength of 100 Kv to 400 Kv per meter.

Available Systems From Our Labs
All systems allow charging voltage from zero to full value with manual and +5 volt fire control. Systems are complete and require 115 or 230 vac for operation. Discharge shaping resistors are available per your requirement or use as is for fast discharge.

Typical charging times/cycles is 4 to 7 events per minute with a rise time of 5 to 8ns and pulse duration of 50ns. System must not be in proximity to electronic equipment without suitable discharge shaping resistors.

Our Marx Impulse Generators are Available to Qualified Researchers on a Rental Basis with Option to Buy
Contact us for pricing options.

IU1045 - 450KV @ 400 JOULES..........................$2500.00/60 days
IU1080 - 800KV @ 3200 JOULES........................$4000.00/60 days

Download IU1045 Instructions
Download IU1080 Instructions
Download Terms of Rental Contract

Model

 

Energy

 

Volts

 

Stages

 

Caps

Stage

Rep

Rate

Rise

Type

Dwell

Type

LTotal

 

Gap

 

Ipk

 

Wpk

 

Size/Wgt

 

Erected

C'tance

Del

 

Price

USD

IU1045

400J

450KV

10

40nf

20pph

< 10ns

160ns

300uh

air

4.5kA

2GW

1.2m/80kg

4nf

8wks

$17350

IU1045HR

Hi Rep

400J

450KV

10

40nf

20pph

< 10ns

N.P.

.4uh

gas

8kA

3.5GW

2.5m/700kg

4nf

16wks

$67750

IU1045

Low L

400J

450KV

10

40nf

20pph

< 5ns

50ns

350nH

gas

10kA

4.5GW

1.5m/900kg

4nf

16wks

$28255

IU1080

3.2KJ

450KV

10

150nf

20pph

< 20ns

300ns

400nH

air

8kA

6.4GW

2.2m/600kg

15nf

12wks

$29617

IU1080

Low L

3.2KJ

800KV

10

100nf

10pph

< 20ns

220-400ns

600nH

gas

20kA

16GW

2.2m/800kg

10nf

20wks

$46590

IU10100

5KJ

1MV

10

100nf

5pph

< 100ns

220-600ns

UM

gas

10kA

10GW

3.5m/1200kg

10nf

24wks

$55320

IU2045

800J

1.8MV

20

40nf

3pph

UM

UM

800nH

gas

6kA

10.8GW

3m/200kg

2nf

16wks

$32550

IU20100

10kJ

1.8MV

20

100nf

3pph

UM

UM

UM

gas

14kA

25.2GW

4m/1900kg

5nf

24wks

$98540

IU2080

6.4kJ

1.5MV

20

150nf

3pph

UM

UM

1uH

gas

12kA

18GW

4m/1900kg

7.5nf

24wks

$65450

MINIMARX1

20J

200kV

10

10nf

10pph

< 10ns

UM

UM

gas

2kA

.4GW

.7m/20kg

1nf

16wks

$6750

MINIMARX2

40J

200kV

10

20nf

10pph

< 10ns

UM

UM

gas

4kA

.8GW

.8m/28kg

2nf

16wks

$8500


For all of the above Marx Generators, the Medium is air and the Wave Shape is not predictable (load dependent).

UM: Unmeasured (cannot comment)
NOTE: All parameters are measured in short circuit mode and will change with load


Systems Come Crated, With All Setup Instructions.

Contact us for any required options or extras you may require (shaping resistors, etc.): 603-673-4730.