High Power Magnetrons: Strengthening Strategic, Medical and Industrial Domains of India

The design and development work on magnetron at CSIR-CEERI started since the establishment of the laboratory in the year 1953. A series of magnetrons, mostly in the S-band at different power and frequencies, have been designed, developed and delivered to the users. The device has been successfully developed by the collaborative efforts of CSIR CEERI and our sponsoring partners like the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), DRDO, BRNS (DAE) Government of India.

During 1996-2006, CSIR-CEERI has designed and produced a 2 MW S-band magnetron (two versions at 2.998 GHz and 2.856 GHz) in limited numbers and delivered to RRCAT, Indore for their LINACs/Microtron program. During the same period, a glass version of 3 MW magnetron in S-band (2.998 GHz) was also developed and delivered to RRCAT, Indore. BRNS, BARC Mumbai, sponsored both the projects.

LINAC based X-ray machines are extensively used for industrial, medical and security applications. BARC, Mumbai, in association with ECIL, Hyderabad, has initiated the development of such cargo screening machines to be employed near borders. These LINAC based X-ray machines use high power microwave sources such as klystrons and magnetrons for the acceleration of the particles. CSIR-CEERI has designed, developed and delivered 3 MW S-band (2.885 GHz) pulse magnetron to BARC, Mumbai, for these applications with technical know-how. The frequency tuning of these magnetrons from a remote location was always a challenging problem. CSIR-CEERI has developed a PLC based motorized tuning mechanism to tune the frequency of the magnetron from a remote location so that exposure of X-ray to the operator can be avoided.

In addition to these magnetrons, an R&D project entitled “Design & Development of 2.6 MW S-Band Tunable Pulse Magnetron’ was carried out at CSIR-CEERI, Pilani, sponsored by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Govt. of India in collaboration with SAMEER, Mumbai during 2008-2013. The project's scope was to design and develop a glass version water-cooled tunable magnetron with an operating frequency of 2998 MHz and minimum peak power of 2.6 MW up to the successful laboratory prototype stage. The developed magnetron was required to retrofit an existing LINAC system, thereby replacing a foreign commercial magnetron. CSIR-CEERI successfully developed and delivered these magnetrons to SAMEER, Mumbai.

The developed magnetron was tested on the LINAC system at SAMEER, Mumbai setup, and the required X-ray dose was achieved. Recently, the technical know-how of 2.6 MW magnetron has been transferred to M/s Panacea Medical Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Bengaluru for mass production and use in their radiation therapy machine for cancer treatment. The successful development of 2.6 MW magnetron technology has established and strengthened the technological base and capabilities for developing higher power magnetrons in our country. CSIR-CEERI’s know-how and research knowledge in magnetrons, with modern-day applications of magnetrons, together can bring radical advancement in industrial, medical, and strategic sectors.

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