The magnetron, shown in figure 1, is a self-contained microwave oscillator that operates differently from linear-beam tubes, such as the twt and the klystron. Figure 2 is a simplified drawing of the magnetron. crossed-electron and magnetic fields are used in the magnetron to produce the high-power output required in radar and communications equipment.
The magnetron is classed as a diode because it has no grid. A magnetic field located in the space between the plate (anode) and the cathode serves as a grid. The plate of a magnetron does not have the same physical appearance as the plate of an ordinary electron tube. Since conventional inductive-capacitive (LC) networks become impractical at microwave frequencies, the plate is fabricated into a cylindrical copper block containing resonant cavities which serve as tuned circuits. The magnetron base differs considerably from the conventional tube base. The magnetron base is short in length and has large diameter leads that are carefully sealed into the tube and shielded.
The cathode and filament are at the center of the tube and are supported by the filament leads. The filament leads are large and rigid enough to keep the cathode and filament structure fixed in position. The output lead is usually a probe or loop extending into one of the tuned cavities and coupled into a waveguide or coaxial line. The plate structure, shown in figure 3, is a solid block of copper. The cylindrical holes around its circumference are resonant cavities. A narrow slot runs from each cavity into the central portion of the tube dividing the inner structure into as many segments as there are cavities. Alternate segments are strapped together to put the cavities in parallel with regard to the output. The cavities control the output frequency. The straps are circular, metal bands that are placed across the top of the block at the entrance slots to the cavities. Since the cathode must operate at high power, it must be fairly large and must also be able to withstand high operating temperatures. It must also have good emission characteristics, particularly under return bombardment by the electrons. This is because most of the output power is provided by the large number of electrons that are emitted when high-velocity electrons return to strike the cathode.
The cathode is indirectly heated and is constructed of a high- emission material. The open space between the plate and the cathode is called the interaction space. In this space the electric and magnetic fields interact to exert force upon the electrons. The magnetic field is usually provided by a strong, permanent magnet mounted around the magnetron so that the magnetic field is parallel with the axis of the cathode. The cathode is mounted in the center of the interaction space.
Other Articles That You May Be Interested In: