Gigawatt Nonlinear Transmission Lines (GW-NLTL)

Period of Performance: 03/08/2010 - 12/08/2010


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

2309 Renard Place SE, Suite 220
Albuquerque, NM 87106
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Michigan
3003 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Institution POC


Nonlinear transmission lines offer new vistas in the generation of high power microwave wave (HPM) signals. All electromagnetic sources use an active medium to convert electrical energy to high frequency waves and ultra-wide band signals that can perform useful work. Traditional methods rely on electron beams for the active medium. Nonlinear transmission lines use nonlinear circuit elements to replace these beams, offering highly robust, reproducable, and tunable sources of coherent radiation. By combining world-class theory, simulation, and experimental capabilties, NumerEx and the University of Michigan will extend nonlinear transmission lines to gigawatt-class power levels. We focus on using UM''s Linear Transformer Driver, a next generation mega-amp current source, to drive nonlinear magnetic elements. This combition offers the potential for extremely high power sources at modest voltages (10-100kV), thereby suggesting highly compact devices for industrial and military applications. BENEFIT: Novel electromagnetic sources, such as gigawatt nonlinear transmission lines (GW-NLTL), offer commercial applications in both industrial and military settings. First, the field of communications, including personal cell phones, would benefit from high power, efficient, and flexible generators of electromagnetic signals. This offers both greater range and enhanced signal diversity for high data rate communication. In the military arena, radar, communication, and electronic counter-measures technology all rely on high power and efficient sources of coherent radiation. GW-NLTL technology bridges these markets by offering the high power associated with vacuum electronics with the reliability of solid-state technology popular in industrial applications. NumerEx and the University of Michigan will work with industrial partners to advance the fundamental results of this STTR to commercial devices.