Design and Characterization of an Explosive Opening Switch for Flux Compression Generator Applications

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The study of an explosive opening switch (EOS), including the design and build of a test bed, is discussed in this thesis. An explosive opening switch (EOS) operates on the principle of a conductor’s mechanical destruction from the detonation of a high explosive (HE). Specifically, an explosive opening switch acting as a circuit disconnect capable of a 200 kA pulse just before opening and a voltage hold off of 50 kV for 100 us after opening is studied with application in a multipulse FCG. The EOS under discussion differs from the traditional use of EOSs, including but not limited to current pulse sharpening and power conditioning, with typical applications in MCGs and FCGs, or other explosive-type generators. This research considers two configurations of EOSs: a cylindrical EOS with detonating cord as the HE core and copper/aluminum tubing as the outer conductor and a flat configuration with copper/aluminum foil laying flat over detonating cord. Varying lengths and thicknesses of the conductors are studied. The switches’ effectiveness is studied using voltage and current measurements and high-speed imaging. This thesis discusses in detail a testbed comprised of a 36 uF capacitor, EOS housing structure, 50 kV pulse supply, high-speed cameras, and other equipment and tools for diagnostics and explosive detonation. This thesis contributes to the overall better understanding of explosive opening switches. Further, it reveals a sense of EOS parameters for applications where a circuit disconnect or circuit isolation is needed.

Embargo status: Restricted until 01/2174. To request the author grant access, click on the PDF link to the left.

Flux compression generator, Explosive opening switch