Submillimeter backward wave oscillators
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NASA Lewis Research Center is engaged in a program to develop a series of backward wave oscillators (BWO's) for the frequency range 500 to 2000 GHz. Generically BWO's are electron beam traveling wave tubes operating in a dispersive regime in which the group velocity and the phase velocity of the induced electromagnetic wave are in opposite directions. The oscillation frequency of a BWO is controlled by the electron beam velocity (anode voltage).
Such tubes because of their frequency tunability, phase locking capability, and large bandwidth are ideal local oscillators for heterdyne receiver/spectrometers.
The design of the BWO's will be discussed with emphasis on the etched slow wave structure, zero compression electron beam, long life cathode, and moderate operating voltages.
KeywordsElectron Beam Slow Wave Wave Structure Operating Voltage Frequency Tunability
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