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Author Archives: Kelli Noel

  1. A Brief Introduction to Radar Modulators

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    At Stangenes Industries, we specialize in the design and manufacture of high-voltage systems and electromagnetic components. By combining highly knowledgeable and skilled employees with state-of-the-art technologies, we deliver solutions for a wide range of industries and applications. One of the key markets we serve is the military industry. We supply various components and systems used in international static and mobile defense systems, including radar modulators.  We are particularly experienced in upgrading systems to be form-fit and functional replacements for legacy systems.  

    What Is a Radar Modulator?

    In radar systems, radio frequency energy is transmitted in short pulses of 1 to 50 microseconds or more. This design ensures there is ample time between the transmission of the initial pulse and receipt of the reflected pulse for the system to distinguish between them. Since energy travels at a constant velocity, the time between the transmission of the pulse and its return as a reflection can be used to measure the distance traveled. 

    The generation of these pulses requires the use of specialized modulators, which are referred to as radar modulators. These modulators produce high-power, high-voltage pulses for a transmitter tube at the time of transmission. The pulses must exhibit the proper shape and excite the transmitter tube at the proper frequency and power level to work correctly. 

    Types of Radar Modulators

    Radar modulators come in a variety of designs to suit different applications. The experts at Stangenes offer three modulator configurations and combinations, including: 

    Solid-State Marx Modulators

    The most agile Stangenes modulators feature our patented solid-state Marx designs with or without a coupled pulse transformer. These systems feature command charged switching power supplies.  The modulator and the power supplies are air-insulated.  The only oil in our systems is in the pulse transformer or klystron tank in the case without a pulse transformer.  They provide dynamic pulse width and pulse repetition rate control in radar klystron applications. Key features include capacities for up to 130 kV pulses, pulse widths ranging from 2 μs to greater than 3 ms, pulse current of greater than 80 A, and average pulse power up to 130 kW. They can be operated in continuous mode with dynamically changing pulse widths and pulse rates without sacrificing voltage stability (maintained at 0.2% with a duty factor up to 3.3%). Additionally, they ensure high availability with built-in redundancy and protection against load arcing.

    Thyristor-Based Modulators

    Thyristor-based modulators employ a pulse-forming network (PFN) to produce a short-duration pulse.  The PFN is slowly charged to the desired voltage and then discharged through a pulse transformer by the high-current thyristor switch assembly to generate the pulse for transmission. Stangenes modulators feature an air-insulated command charged switching power supply and a PFN. The pulse transformer and socket assembly tank are oil-filled. The modulator comes in one of two required three phase input voltage options, 400 Hz, 208 V or 50/60 Hz 380 V. Capabilities include supply capacities for 117 kV pulses, pulse widths up to 9 μs, pulse current of 80 A, and average pulsed power up to 25 kW.

    Learn More About Radar Modulators From the Experts at Stangenes

    Radar modulators are critical to the operation of radar systems. Want to learn more about these components? Ask the experts at Stangenes! Over the years, we developed a reputation as a leader in radar modulator technology. Our groundbreaking developments, such as high-power dynamically flexible pulse width radar modulators and ground-based radar modulators upgraded to a solid-state design, have helped pushed the industry forward. Contact us today for any questions or concerns you may have about these technologies. If you’re looking for radar modulators, request a quote.

  2. A Brief Introduction to Electromagnets

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    At Stangenes Industries, we are a premier supplier of electromagnetic products for customers across the globe. From our transformers to our pulse modulators to our power supplies, all of our products are well-known for their performance, reliability, and quality. Our commitment to product and service quality is supported by our strict quality control system, which complies with ISO 9001:2015 and MIL-1-45208 standards. For these reasons, our customers know they can rely on us to provide electromagnets suitable for their critical applications.

    History of Electromagnets

    Initially, scientists did not believe there was a connection between electricity and magnetism. However, in the 19th century, new research demonstrated the relationship between the two forces. Afterward, scientists began looking for ways to test, measure, and recreate electromagnetic fields. Ultimately, this led to the development of electromagnets, which have since become a key component in electronic devices and systems.

    What Are Electromagnets?

    guide to electromagnets

    An electromagnet is a device that creates a magnetic field when electricity is running through it. Similar to a permanent magnet, it has a north pole and a south pole, both of which repel like poles and attract dissimilar poles. Unlike a permanent magnet, it may or may not demonstrate these magnetic properties depending on whether electric current is flowing. If the current is flowing, the magnetic field exists. If the current is not flowing, the magnetic field does not exist. This characteristic enables users to turn the magnet on and off as needed.

    Key Components of Electromagnets

    In its most basic form, an electromagnet consists of a single loop of conductive material with a connected power source. The power source applies a current to the loop. As the electrical charges move through the material, it induces a magnetic field.

    In practical applications, multiple loops are stacked to increase the strength of the magnetic field. Typically, the loops are formed as a coil, with each loop in the coil increasing the strength of the magnetic field by a specific amount. In these electromagnet setups, the magnetic field exhibits the greatest strength and uniformity within the coil and diminishes in strength and uniformity with greater distance from the coil. The addition of a ferromagnetic core further increases magnetic field strength inside the coil and decreases the magnetic field strength outside the coil.

    Applications of Electromagnets

    Today, electromagnets find application in a wide range of electronic devices and systems. They are used for small-scale electronic devices, large-scale industrial machinery, and sensitive scientific and medical instruments. Typical uses include:

    • Automobiles
    • Computers
    • Dot matrix printers
    • Earphones and headphones
    • Fuel injectors
    • Hard disk drives
    • Loudspeakers
    • Maglev trains
    • Magnetic lifters
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines
    • Mass spectrometers
    • Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers
    • Particle accelerators
    • Pinball machines
    • Power transformers
    • Stoves
    • Tape recorders
    • VCRs

    Turn to the Experts at Stangenes for Your Custom Electromagnet Needs

    Need custom electromagnets? The experts at Stangenes have got you covered! We can simulate, design, manufacture, and test an AC, DC, or pulsed electromagnet tailored to your unique application requirements and restrictions. Whether you require high-range precision DC focusing and steering magnets or pulsed coils that operated at 300kA, we can deliver an appropriate solution.

    Our electromagnet capabilities include:

    • Wire wound electromagnets. These electromagnets are built from standard materials using standard tooling. They are economical in low quantities, making them an affordable option for prototyping operations. They offer the shortest first-unit delivery time. Options include copper or aluminum windings, square or rectangular wires, and various heat dissipation methods.
    • Foil wound electromagnets. These electromagnets are economical in large quantities. They have the highest field accuracy with the lowest transverse field, the highest fill and packing factor, the most compact weight and space-saving configuration, and the most flexible shape and size configuration. They also offer higher winding precision and better heat dissipation than wire wound electromagnets.
    • Hollow tube electromagnets. These electromagnets are the best for “brute strength” applications that require high power (20kG or more). They also offer high heat dissipation (for maximum heat dissipation) and high malleability (for greater design freedom).

    For additional information about our custom electromagnet capabilities, contact us today. To discuss your product requirements with one of our team members, request a quote. To find a distributor in your country, check out our distributor contact page.

  3. Pulse Modulation for Radiation Therapy

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    Stangenes Industries is a premier manufacturer of transformers and other electromagnetic components fundamental to the function of life-saving medical systems. For decades, Stangenes Industries has supplied the medical sector with electromagnets, pulse modulator systems, and pulse transformers for use in medical radiation therapy and imaging equipment.

    High Voltage Pulse ModulatorWhat is a Pulse Modulator?

    A pulse modulator generates shaped analog signals through a series of pulses rather than using a continuous signal (DC). This method generates the high peak powers necessary for various RF-generating devices while drawing a relatively low average power. By carefully controlling and arranging components such as switches and diodes, pulse rise-times and widths as short as 10s of nanoseconds and repetition rates as high as 10s of kilohertz can be realized.

    Pulse modulators are used as the first stage of power modulation to provide useful beams. At Stangenes Industries, the systems are custom designed according to the application which include:

    • Klystron Tubes
    • Magnetron Tubes
    • Electron Gun Tubes

    Additionally, the following testing is employed at our facility:

    • Magnetic Core Testing. Pulse power technology has evolved over time, yet Stangenes Industries has remained the industry-leader in pulse transformer technology for over four decades. The heart of the pulse transformer is the magnetic-material that couples the magnetic-flux from the primary to the secondary. This material must meet rigorous testing criteria before being qualified for use in our systems.
    • Dielectric Testing. Dielectric tests help to evaluate the efficacy of the insulating barrier materials used in electronic components. These materials protect human users from dangerous shocks and keep currents from travelling between paths within the device. High-power pulse modulation is used to apply pulsing electric fields to the barrier to see how it reacts.
    • Transformer Testing. Pulse transformers facilitate the shaping of electrical pulses for an expansive range of applications. Smaller transformers see use in telecommunications circuits, while large transformers are used extensively in power distribution.

    Pulse Modulators for Radiation Therapy

    Radiation therapy is a primary form of cancer treatment that bombards cancer cells with high-energy waves or particles. Unlike other types of cancer therapies, this type of treatment targets very specific areas where cancer is present to avoid exposing healthy parts of the body to harmful chemicals or surgeries.

    At Stangenes, we design and manufacture high-voltage pulse modulators used in radiation therapy equipment. Our pulse modulators are widely customizable, with features including:

    • Pulse from several kV up to over 200kV
    • Pulse widths ranging from 200ns up to 5ms
    • Repetition rates up to several kilohertz
    • Peak RF powers up to 20MW
    • Average power ratings up to 150kW
    • System parallelization for higher peak and average powers
    • Competitive pricing

    What is a Klystron and How Does it Work?

    Radio frequencies can be amplified using a linear-beam vacuum tube known as a klystron. Klystrons were initially designed to help airplanes land in low-visibility conditions, but now have much broader use cases in communications, radar, satellites, and oncology.

    Klystrons are radio-frequency (RF) devices that typically operate in a relatively narrow bandwidth range with very high gain. Converse to their narrow bandwidth, these tubes can be manufactured to be highly effective across an extremely broad range of frequencies, ranging from lower-end UHF and surpassing W-band microwave frequencies.

    At Stangenes, our product line includes Valhalla Klystron pulse modulators for radiation therapy. This klystron modulator uses solid-state IGBT switches based on a Marx generator topology with built-in droop compensation. The system is water cooled and mounts on an oil-filled pulse transformer tank. This modulator has a small footprint that allows it to fit into rotating gantries and incorporates features that facilitate easier maintenance and troubleshooting. The components are modular so the systems can be ganged to increase the peak and average powers.

    About Stangenes Industries

    Stangenes Industries designs and manufactures standard and custom pulse modulators used in applications across the medical, military, and industrial sectors. We can provide individual components or full turnkey systems based on your needs. To see how our pulse modulators can support your equipment, please contact us today.