Development of a Miniature Dielectric Traveling-Wave Tube

Period of Performance: 02/18/2004 - 06/17/2006


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Microwave Technologies, Inc.
Burke, VA 22015
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

George Mason University
4400 University Drive MS 4C6
Fairfax, VA 22030
Institution POC


We propose the prototype development of a novel miniature dielectric traveling-wave tube (DTWT) that will provide short-wavelength electromagnetic radiation for numerous military and civilian applications. The DTWT is based on an efficient interaction between a small-diameter electron beam and the electromagnetic fields of a traveling wave inside a very compact and novel dielectric waveguide. During Phase I we conducted thorough analytical, numerical and computer simulation studies of the proposed amplifier which showed that the DTWT can deliver hundreds of watts of high-frequency radiation with high efficiency and an amazingly broad bandwidth. The efficiency provided by the DTWT should be at least twice as high as that of current state-of-the-art counterparts. The DTWT can replace the current less-efficient helix TWT and will consume half of the power while offering backward compatibility with existing systems (plug-and-play). Based on the outstanding Phase I results obtained, we are now ready to move towards prototype development of the DTWT. We propose the development of a 100-watt, 40%-efficient X-band DTWT during Phase II. Once successfully developed, the DTWT will be the basis for a new generation of millimeter-wave sources capable of producing ultrahigh frequency radiation with high efficiency in a very compact and lightweight package.