A High Power THz Gyrotron

Period of Performance: 07/21/2006 - 07/21/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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


Research is confirming that terahertz (THz) radiation can be used to detect chemical, biological, and explosive agents. These materials possess spectral signatures in this frequency regime that can be used for identification. Unfortunately, there are no practical, high power, RF sources of THz radiation available to excite these materials for detection. For stand-off detection of dangerous agents and explosives, very high power RF sources are required to achieve sufficient range to adequately protect personnel and equipment. Russian scientists recently reported high frequency, high power operation of an experimental gyrotron using a 25 Tesla pulsed magnet. The experimental gyrotron produced RF power ranging from 130 kW at 333 GHz to 40 kW at 650 GHz. These values significantly exceed reported performance from other RF sources in this frequency range. Calabazas Creek Research, Inc. proposes to develop a 40 T pulsed magnet and a gyrotron producing more than 5 kW peak power and 10 W average power at frequencies up to 2 THz. This will allow rapid detection of dangerous materials at distances exceeding 100 meters. The program will include consultation with spectrometer developers to insure compatibility with robust, practical detection systems.