Klystron Fabrication Using Additive Manufacturing

Period of Performance: 06/12/2017 - 03/11/2018


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Calabazas Creek Research, Inc.
690 Port Drive Array
San Mateo, CA 94404
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Research Institution

North Carolina State University
Campus Box 7514
Raleigh, NC 27695
Institution POC


The cost of high power RF sources exceeds available funding for several large accelerator systems. The ILC, for example, will require more than 700 multiple beam klystrons. The complexity of the klystron currently requires hundreds of individually machined parts, in addition to tens of bonding processes. The high cost is preventing construction of new accelerator systems. Calabazas Creek Research Inc. in collaboration with North Carolina State University proposes to investigate additive manufacturing, commonly referred to as 3D printing, for fabrication of klystron circuits, collectors, and other subassemblies. The goal will be to reduce the number of machined parts by 80% and the number of bonding operations by 75%. The program will develop designs consistent with additive manufacturing equipment and capabilities and generate structures for RF and mechanical testing. If successful, this technology will be applicable to a broad range of RF sources, including traveling wave tubes, inductive output tubes, and backward wave oscillators. Applications include radar, communications, electronic warfare, medical equipment, and industrial and scientific accelerators