Center for Pulsed Power & Power Electronics



The Center for Pulsed Power & Power Electronics is a 15,000 square foot facility that focuses on research in pulsed power, plasma, and power electronics. The laboratory facility, which was completed in 1998, is funded by nearly $4.5 million in research annually.

Research Areas Include:

  • Electrical space propulsion devices
  • Breakdown in liquids and solids
  • Industrial applications of pulsed power technology
  • Various novel switch concepts
  • The interaction of arc channels with electrodes and insulators
  • High power microwave studies
  • The surface physics of insulators
  • Electrodes and insulator development for electromagnetic launchers
  • Insulators for H.V. applications in space
  • Solid state power electronics
  • Erosion resistant materials for space propulsion
  • Sub-nanosecond pulse phenomena
  • Electron beam generation
  • Inductive Energy Storage
  • Explosive Generation of Pulsed Power
  • Explosive magnetic flux compression generators
  • Explosive ferromagnetic and piezoelectric generators
  • Corona formation and mitigation
  • Circuit and rotating machine modeling
  • Liquid Breakdown

If your project requires research or support in any of the above areas, please feel free to contact us. We will gladly put you in touch with personnel that may be able to help you with your project.


Lightning Impulse Testing

The Center for Pulsed Power & Power Electronics can perform two types of lightning impulse testing. The first is conducted impulse testing which utilizes an impulse current generator (low output impedance <1ohm) with output current capability exceeding 200kA. This is a standard test that simulates a lightning strike impulse directly onto the HV bus. A range of applied currents (and pulse energy) from a few kA to >200kA can be used in this testing. Our laboratory is fully equipped to provide the equipment (high voltage probes, high current transducers, Marx banks, high voltage power supplies and high voltage capacitors) and expertise required to perform and interpret the results.

The second type of testing is radiated EMI susceptibility. This testing utilizes a pulsed power type of impulse generator that produces strong radiated EMI emissions similar to a nearby cloud to ground lightning strike. This type of testing is useful for evaluating solid-state circuit susceptibility to electronic upset. Again, our laboratory is fully equipped to provide accurate field measurements at the DUT and to record such events using calibrated B-Dot and D-Dot probes.