Microwave and millimeter wave Vacuum Electron Devices (VED), or vacuum tubes, as they are also known, are one of the last links to the dawn of the electronic era in the early and mid-twentieth century. While using basic vacuum tube principles, complex internal geometries and adjacent magnetic fields are also at play in these types of VEDs.
These devices can either be amplifiers or oscillators and are capable of generating extremely high-power RF that can reach to the multi-megawatt range. Without going into too much detail, there are five basic microwave and millimeter wave VEDs that comprise the modern marketplace. They are:
Actual operation of these tubes can be quite involved and, while some may consider them an anachronism to a bygone era, they are actually multi-disciplinary in both design and manufacture. The technologies are wide-ranging and include precision machining, glass/metal and ceramic/metal seals, high-vacuum technology, rare-earth …
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