M.G. Mayes, J.R. Mayes, M.B. Lara,
Applied Physical Electronics, L.C., Austin TX
U.S. Space and Missile Defense Command, Huntsville AL
Numerous dielectrics have been developed for various high-voltage high-power microwave applications. The primary goals for HPM insulation are to provide adequate insulation over the lifetime of the device, provide high dielectric strength at low volume and weight, and function with minimal maintenance and ancillary components. Current testing methods for dielectric materials are antiquated processes developed around the 60 Hz machine world and prove inadequate for high-voltage high-frequencies pulses. We report the development of an insulation processing and testing system for engineering and verifying solid and resin/epoxy dielectric insulators for high-voltage radar systems in the pulse regime. The system tests material properties at high voltages over a frequency range of 100 MHz to 10 GHz. A second procedure characterizes breakdown and partial discharge thresholds. The system targets in-situ inspection of the dielectric liner within an HPM generator housing to verify insulator integrity prior to deployment.