U.S. Particle Accelerator School
U.S. Particle Accelerator School
Education in Beam Physics and Accelerator Technology

Pulsed Power Engineering course

Sponsoring University:

Old Dominion University


Pulsed Power Engineering


Craig Burkhart and Mark Kemp, SLAC National Accelerator Lab

Purpose and Audience
This course provides an introduction to the techniques, technology and applications of pulsed power in the field of charged particle acceleration. It is appropriate for students and scientists with a background in accelerator technology who are interested in furthering their understanding of pulsed high voltage techniques and power modulator design.

Students will be assumed to have basic knowledge of electrical circuits and accelerator technology.

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that they meet the course prerequisites or have equivalent experience.

The students are expected to learn the fundamental topologies, technologies, tools and design rules employed in the design of power modulators. Upon completion of this course, they will be able to apply this knowledge to the modulators commonly found in charged particle accelerators.

Instructional Method

The course will consist of seven lecture sessions, two computer labs and a comprehensive final examination. The lectures will introduce fundamental concepts, work practical examples and provide a forum for group discussions. The labs will provide an opportunity for the student to become familiar with commercial numerical tools that are commonly used in pulsed power analysis. There will be four homework sets, each applicable to that days material, to be solved during the evening and returned for credit the following day. There will be an open-book exam during the last afternoon session. The instructor will be available at all times.

Course Content
The course will introduce the basic components used in accelerator pulsed power systems; capacitors, inductors, resistors, transmission lines, transformers, and switches. Subsequent lectures will focus on how these elements are combined to create common modulator circuit topologies. The solutions to the governing equations for these circuits will be discussed. The first computer lab will apply numerical solvers to more complex circuits. The next lecture set will focus on high voltage design; constraints, techniques, and material properties. The second computer lab will introduce students to the use of numerical electromagnetic field solvers in high voltage design. The final lecture will focus on state-of-the-art solid state modulator topologies that are emerging for “next generation” applications

Reading Requirements
The text for this year’s course (to be provided by the USPAS) will be “Pulsed Power Systems: Principles and Applications” by Hansjoachim Bluhm (2006) Springer Publishers. Additionally, the course will use lecture notes, published papers and reports (to be provided by the USPAS). The course will also make use of numerous on-line resources; texts, formularies, and free student-version software, which the participants will download during the applicable sessions.

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated based on performance as follows: homework assignments (40% of final grade), class participation (20% of final grade), computer lab (20% of final grade), and final exam (20% of final grade).

IU/USPAS course: Physics 671