Electrical and Computer Engineering ETDs


Sarita Prasad

Publication Date



The magnetron has been a major component of radar systems since its introduction in World War II. The newer radar techniques require high peak power (GW) and short microwave pulses (few ns). To serve as a microwave source for short-pulse applications it is imperative that the magnetron needs to have both fast start and fast rate of build-up of oscillations. Both of these factors are contingent on the cathode geometry. The transparent cathode was invented at the University of New Mexico in an endeavor to improve the start time and increase the rate of build-up of oscillations in short-pulse relativistic magnetrons. The construction of the transparent cathode involves the removal of longitudinal strips of material from a hollow cathode. The resultant geometry has manifold advantages the first and the foremost of which is that it makes the cathode transparent to E_theta, thereby greatly increasing its amplitude where electrons are emitted. Hence one would expect faster rate of build-up of oscillations. Secondly, this geometry simultaneously gives rise to several different forms of priming: cathode priming, electrostatic priming and magnetic priming. The number of cathode strips is chosen so that it would excite a particular mode of interest (e.g. 6 strips would favor the formation of 6 spokes). The cathode strips may be oriented azimuthally in a manner that the electron bunches from the cathode strips would be released into the favorable phase of the mode of interest where efficient exchange of energy between the electrons and the RF fields could take place. The highlights of this dissertation are proof-of-concept computer simulations demonstrating the benefits of the transparent cathode in an A6 magnetron driven by a transparent cathode that have validated the simulations.


Magnetrons--Computer simulation., Cathodes--Computer simulation.

Document Type




Degree Name

Electrical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Buchenauer, C. Jerald

Second Committee Member

Fuks, Mikhail

Third Committee Member

Gilmore, Mark

Fourth Committee Member

Christodoulou, Christos

Fifth Committee Member

Prinja, Anil