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High gain GaAs photoconductive semiconductor switches for ground penetrating radar

By: O'Malley, M.W.; Helgeson, W.D.; Zutavern, F.J.; Buttram, M.T.; Aurand, J.F.; Loubriel, G.M.; Brown, D.J.;

1996 / IEEE / 0-7803-3076-5

Description

This item was taken from the IEEE Periodical ' High gain GaAs photoconductive semiconductor switches for ground penetrating radar ' The ability of high gain GaAs photoconductive semiconductor switches (PCSS) to deliver high peak power, fast risetime pulses when triggered with small laser diode arrays makes them suitable for their use in radars that rely on fast impulses. This type of direct time domain radar is uniquely suited for observation of large structures underground because it can operate at low frequencies and at high average power. This paper summarizes the state-of-the-art in high gain GaAs switches and discusses their use in a radar transmitter. The authors also present a summary of an analysis of the effectiveness of different pulser geometries that result in transmitted pulses with varying frequency content. To this end, they developed a simple model that includes transmit and receive antenna response, attenuation and dispersion of the electromagnetic impulses by the soil and target cross-sections.