JED - March 2018 - 31

LEAP AHEAD TECHNOLOGY
Both the HAVOC and INVEST programs are dramatically forward looking in terms of the technologies they

One approach to coldcathode beam emission
is the application of a
strong electric field at
the surface between the
emitter and the vacuum.
are exploring and developing, and although, as Palmer says, it's not DARPA's
role to invest directly in support of the

manufacturing industry, "it certainly
does play a role in calling attention to
the need for a manufacturing base capable of bringing these technology capabilities to reality. And, not just the
capabilities of the technology today, but
also enabling continuous advancement
of vacuum electronics in the future as
we keep moving up in frequency. You
could work on this stuff your entire life
and if you're lucky you'll get to the point
where you can really understand how it
works and appreciate the capability." a
The Journal of Electronic Defense | March 2018

a heater, but also the time required to
warm it up.
In his 2012 IEEE Spectrum article
entitled "The Quest for the Ultimate
Vacuum Tube," Carter Armstrong, vice
president of engineering at L-3 Electron
Devices, says, "Cold-cathode vacuum devices would usher in a new generation
of ultra-compact, high-fidelity, highefficiency amplifiers, which could be
used, for instance, in powerful yet tiny
RF transmitters on small satellites."
One approach to cold-cathode beam
emission is the application of a strong
electric field at the surface between the
emitter and the vacuum. This inwarddirected electric field exerts an outward force on the electrons and lowers
the barrier at which electrons will be
released. With most existing technologies, however, such a "field emission"
approach would require massively high
voltage levels. Nanofabrication techniques are seen as offering a solution
to the problem. Since the strength of
an electric field between two conducting electrodes gets stronger as the electrodes are brought closer together, by
shrinking emitter features to nanometer
scales, the field-emitter enhancement
can be increased dramatically, allowing
for operation at much lower voltages.
Two teams are looking at cold cathode technology as part of DARPA's INVEST program. MIT is exploring silicon
nanowire field emission cold cathodes,
while SRI International (Menlo Park,
CA) is further exploring "Spindt" field
emission cold cathodes. Says Palmer,
"(Cold cathode technology) is the technology of the future. If you can actually get a cold cathode that is robust
enough to withstand a tube environment, it would simplify the design of
the tube greatly. Right now, you effectively have to design a tube that can
hold a thousand degree hot rock in
the middle of the electron gun and not
have everything move too much when
it heats up and cools down. If you could
instead get a cold cathode, that would
be a big step forward."

Reliability
isn't an
option - it's a
requirement.

31

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JED - March 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - March 2018

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor - DOD Rolls Out $686 Billion FY2019 Budget
World Report - Russia Developing More Sophisticated Approach to EW
The Domain of the Tube – Millimeter Wave and Beyond
A Wild Weasel EWO Kills a SAM – from an AC-130E Gunship
Resilient and Ready: NATO JEWCS in Transition
EW 101
2018 AOC Industry & Institute/ University Member Guide
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - March 2018 - intro
JED - March 2018 - cover1
JED - March 2018 - cover2
JED - March 2018 - 3
JED - March 2018 - 4
JED - March 2018 - 5
JED - March 2018 - The View From Here
JED - March 2018 - 7
JED - March 2018 - Conferences Calendar
JED - March 2018 - 9
JED - March 2018 - Courses Calendar
JED - March 2018 - 11
JED - March 2018 - From the President
JED - March 2018 - 13
JED - March 2018 - 14
JED - March 2018 - The Monitor - DOD Rolls Out $686 Billion FY2019 Budget
JED - March 2018 - 16
JED - March 2018 - 17
JED - March 2018 - 18
JED - March 2018 - 19
JED - March 2018 - 20
JED - March 2018 - 21
JED - March 2018 - World Report - Russia Developing More Sophisticated Approach to EW
JED - March 2018 - insert1
JED - March 2018 - insert2
JED - March 2018 - 23
JED - March 2018 - The Domain of the Tube – Millimeter Wave and Beyond
JED - March 2018 - 25
JED - March 2018 - 26
JED - March 2018 - A Wild Weasel EWO Kills a SAM – from an AC-130E Gunship
JED - March 2018 - 28
JED - March 2018 - 29
JED - March 2018 - 30
JED - March 2018 - 31
JED - March 2018 - Resilient and Ready: NATO JEWCS in Transition
JED - March 2018 - 33
JED - March 2018 - 34
JED - March 2018 - 35
JED - March 2018 - 36
JED - March 2018 - 37
JED - March 2018 - 38
JED - March 2018 - 39
JED - March 2018 - 40
JED - March 2018 - 41
JED - March 2018 - EW 101
JED - March 2018 - 43
JED - March 2018 - 44
JED - March 2018 - 45
JED - March 2018 - 2018 AOC Industry & Institute/ University Member Guide
JED - March 2018 - 47
JED - March 2018 - 48
JED - March 2018 - 49
JED - March 2018 - 50
JED - March 2018 - 51
JED - March 2018 - 52
JED - March 2018 - 53
JED - March 2018 - 54
JED - March 2018 - 55
JED - March 2018 - 56
JED - March 2018 - 57
JED - March 2018 - 58
JED - March 2018 - 59
JED - March 2018 - 60
JED - March 2018 - 61
JED - March 2018 - 62
JED - March 2018 - 63
JED - March 2018 - 64
JED - March 2018 - 65
JED - March 2018 - 66
JED - March 2018 - 67
JED - March 2018 - 68
JED - March 2018 - 69
JED - March 2018 - 70
JED - March 2018 - AOC News
JED - March 2018 - 72
JED - March 2018 - Index of Advertisers
JED - March 2018 - JED Quick Look
JED - March 2018 - cover3
JED - March 2018 - cover4
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