Microwave tubes are also known as power grid tubes or traveling wave tubes (TWTs). The microwave tubes are popular as microwaves producing lamps. They are also known as the electron guns which generate linear beam tubes. Microwave tubes amplify and generate higher frequencies in the microwave range of frequency system. A microwave tube when energized, the electrons get emitted from the cathode and remain focused on the control grid. Emitted electrons are then focused on a low control grid. To accelerate the electron beams, an extremely high positive DC voltage is applied on the accelerator and the buncher grid, which then super-impose AC volt over the DC volt, thereby creating an electrostatic field in between the two buncher grids. The frequency present in the microwave tube cavity governs the direction of the electrostatic field. The acceleration and deceleration in the electronic beam depend on the continuous exchange in the electrostatic field.
The ability of microwave tubes to support all the three platforms i.e. air, land, and sea; is fueling the growth of its market. The rapid growth in infrastructure in the developing economies wherein microwave tubes have useful applications, is also fueling the market growth. The increasing number of versatile applications of microwave tubes coupled with the fact that existing applications are finding new markets; is contributing to the growth of global microwave tubes market. However, the high initial cost of investment is a restraining factor for the growth of its market. The manufacturing of the microwave tubes is in compliance with the specification standards of the Institute of Electricals and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which in turn also widens market scope, as that is a mark of the reliability of the product. One of the latest trends amongst microwave tube manufacturers is the acquiring of ISO9001 and ISO14001 certification for their manufacturing plants. Manufacturers are also trying to acquire the European “Centre of Excellence” for cathode as well as electron gun design. The use of highly-reliable dispenser cathode technology, for the manufacture of microwave tubes, also widens the scope for future growth.
The klystrons are available in a variety of sizes. The small sized units of klystrons produce m-watts of power, and the large sized units of klystrons generate a thousand watts of power. The klystrons are used at UHF and 100 GHz frequency operation band. Two cavity klystrons are used for a huge number of communication equipment and radar applications. For master oscillator powerful amplifier applications, cross field amplifiers are used. Magnetrons, on the other hand, are combinations of incredibly powerful permanent magnets and simple diode vacuum tube with cavity resonators. Microwave tubes are also used worldwide as a source of X-rays in cancer radiotherapy machines.
The global microwave tubes market geographically is segmented as North America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific excluding Japan, Japan, and Middle East & Africa. North America and Europe hold a significant market share of microwave tubes market owing to the developed defense technologies. Furthermore, the increase in R & D activities related to aerospace and automobiles, wherein microwave tubes are useful components, aids in boosting the growth of microwave tubes market in the region. The market in the APEJ region is more inclined towards growing demand for microwave tubes because of the increasing advancement in telecommunication technology.
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