High-Power Wideband Low-Cost Limiters Using Cold Plasma

A novel circuit design for implementing high-power, wideband limiters with inexpensive, off-the-shelf components is introduced. A microstrip line is periodically loaded with shunt attached gas discharge tubes, self-contained plasma cell devices. Cost considerations are discussed in comparison to other high-power technologies. A proof-of-concept prototype is fabricated to demonstrate the limiting effects of the technology. Simulated and measured results from the test article are presented; 50-W CW power handling from 3–6 GHz with greater than 15 dB of limiting isolation and insertion loss less than 1.5 dB are observed. Extensions to diversify the feature set of this design are considered.