Microwave vacuum tubes come in many shapes, sizes, and output-power ratings. As detailed in Klystrons, Traveling Wave Tubes, Magnetrons, Crossed-Field Amplifiers, and Gyrotrons by A.S. Gilmour, Jr., the technologies behind these devices are quite mature, largely dating to the time of and before World War II. Although they are mature, microwave vacuum tubes have proven their reliability. For that reason, they are often employed in deep-space applications including in satellite communications (satcom) systems. Microwave vacuum tubes are also quite efficient in turning bias energy into high-frequency output power—much more so than their solid-state counterparts.
Gilmour provides a wealth of knowledge pertaining to the vacuum tubes listed in his title, including historical references, cross-sectional diagrams, and circuit equations. In his chapter on traveling-wave tubes (TWTs), for example, he explores the design limitations for peak and average output power levels, for gain, and for efficiency. He also provides examples of the specifications required for these devices when used in different types of applications, such as in electronic-countermeasures (ECM) and radar systems.
For those interested in microwave vacuum tubes, this is 859 pages of invaluable content for any bookshelf.
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