Accession Number : ADA291300

Title :   A Study of Power Diode Failure Mechanisms in the U.S. Army Research Laboratory 30-mm Solid Propellant Electrothermal-Chemical (SPETC) Gun Facility,

Descriptive Note : Final rept. Apr 93-Sep 94,

Corporate Author : ARMY RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD

Personal Author(s) : Katulka, Gary L. ; White, Kevin J.

PDF Url : ADA291300

Report Date : FEB 1995

Pagination or Media Count : 38

Abstract : Experiments have been performed with a 100-kJ Pulse Forming Network (PFN) at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) for the purpose of characterizing semiconductor diodes which serve as capacitor.protecting crowbar devices. These devices are viewed as critical electronic power components required for electric gun research that is currently in progress within the U.S. Army and elsewhere. As part of this study, computer techniques were used to refine and develop the understanding of the dynamic, or switching, behavior of PFN diodes. In combination with experimental results, the computer simulations helped to define particular conditions within a given electric gun system that can cause vulnerable or stressful situations for the semiconductor devices under test. It was determined from analyses of the various data collected, that when operated in a PFN under specific loading conditions (simulated here with fixed resistive loads), diodes are subject to transient or high frequency voltage peaks. In some experimental cases at the ARL, the magnitude of the rate of change in voltage (dV/dt) across the devices was such that catastrophic failure was observed. The details of the boundary conditions necessary for device failure are described and several solutions that will circumvent operational problems including device grouping, choice of diode reverse recovery time, and selection of capacitive and inductive circuit parameters are discussed in detail. Background information describing some fundamental physics of semiconductor diodes and their role in electrothermal-chemical (ETC) propulsion technology is provided first. jg

Descriptors :   *FAILURE, *SEMICONDUCTOR DIODES, *POWER, *ENERGY STORAGE, *SOLID PROPELLANTS, *ELECTRIC GUNS, COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION, METHODOLOGY, HIGH FREQUENCY, RECOVERY, ARMY RESEARCH, FACILITIES, ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT, VOLTAGE, TIME, PROPULSION SYSTEMS, PHYSICS, REVERSIBLE, CATASTROPHIC CONDITIONS, ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT, CRITICALITY(GENERAL), HIGH VOLTAGE, CAPACITORS, RECTIFIERS, ELECTRIC SHUNTS.

Subject Categories : Electrical and Electronic Equipment
      Physical Chemistry
      Energy Storage
      Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
      Guns

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE