Electrical and Computer Engineering ETDs

Publication Date



This thesis explores the use of the archetypical pulsed power magnetic switching devices in alternative and novel methods. The primary motivator for investigating these applications are for the purpose of simplifying electrohydraulic drill and electrocrushing designs meant for extreme environment operation, outside of the normal operating parameters of most switching technologies available to the modern electrical engineer. Since the nonlinear behavior of saturating magnetics allows a switch type action, a diode like behavior, and a delay type behavior, a number of architectures can be constructed from extremely robust and simplistic designs. A number of these designs were simulated, built, and tested in the laboratory. These fully realized solutions are documented and explored herein. The designs were implemented on a 1-2 kJ pulse modulator built for the purposes of testing a number of effects on the drilling process. The modulator was built in a number of fashions in order to experiment with the various architectures made possible by this work. The proven designs were later implemented in a laboratory machine running extensive testing. These successful designs were based upon a parallel magnetic compression circuit, a magnetic diode circuit, a pulsed primary switch circuit, and a magnetic delay trigger circuit. Further work utilizing nonlinear magnetics in the field of electrocrushing and electrohydraulic drilling is recommended, particularly where these components can replace devices that need cooling to operate within their normal parameters. This technology proves useful in any system exposed to extremes of pressure and temperature.


Pulse Power, Magnetic Switching, Nonlinear Magnetics


Tetra Corporation

Document Type




Degree Name

Electrical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Lehr, Jane

Second Committee Member

Prasad, Sarita