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Traveling Wave Tubes

A traveling wave tube (TWT) is an electron device used for radio frequency (RF) amplification at microwave frequencies (above 500 MHz) and is the primary means of signal amplification utilized in communication satellites. TWTs are also used for ground broadcast stations, guidance systems and military aircraft radar. TWTs convert DC power to RF power by synchronizing the RF wave with an electron beam traveling in a vacuum.

If you listen to XM satellite radio, pay for gasoline with a credit card, watch DIRECTV® satellite television programming, make long-distance telephone calls, or watch TV broadcasts from other parts of the world (e.g., live sports events or news), our TWT products helped to make those things possible!

Traveling Wave Tube Designs

All modern designs incorporate this unparalleled experience, ensuring high reliability and optimized performance in harsh environments.

Primarily used in ground-based or airborne radar applications, L3Harris' coupled cavity TWTs are available at power levels up to 150 kW peak—5 kW average—in X-, Ku-, Ka-Bands.
Model Frequency Range (GHz) Output Power (kW) Duty 
(%)
Cathode Voltage (kV) Cathode Currrent (Amps) Saturated
Gain
(dB)
Cooling Collector
Voltage
(kV)
L6060 9.2 to 10.2 60 3.5 -34.5 7.6 45 Liquid 24.5/17.9
L5906 9.4 to 10 50 1.0 -34 7 55 Air 21.6/15.5
L5810 9.5 to 10 15 0.4 -22.8 to -25 4 60 Liquid 12 to 14
L5844 9.7 to 9.9 20 1.5 -23 4.5 60 Air 12.5
L5652 9.8 to 10.3 40 3.5 -35 6 60 Liquid 20.65/13.3/9.1
L5649  16 to 17 50 0.3 -37 6 50 Air Ground
L3Harris is an industry leader in the design and manufacture of pulsed and CW helix and ring loop TWTs for radar, electronic warfare (EW) and missile applications.

These TWTs operate in standard bands over the 2 to 18 GHz frequency range and provide superior performance and reliability.

Model Frequency (GHz) Output Power (kW) Duty Cycle
(%)
Gain
(dB)
Cathode Voltage (kV) Cathode Currrent (Amps) Collector
Voltages
(kV)
RF 
Output
Connector
Weight
(Pounds)
L5714 2 to 2.6 20 0.4 45 -20 5.2 Ground  7/8" coax 30.0
L2086 2 to 4 0.5 CW 30 -5.6 0.77 4 SC 14.0
L5843 7 to 16.5 0.3 7 48 -6.35 0.735 4.55 TNC 2.3
L6113 8 to 10 1 5 31 -7.5 1 5.36/4.25/2.06 TNC 2.5
L5850 8.5 to 10.5 2 6 60 -11 1.4 7.7 WR-90 7.7
L6028 8.7 to 9.4 8 2.5 60 -15 2.6 10.5 WR-90 4.5
L3Harris manufactures a line of ring bar TWTs in UHF and L-Bands with output powers up to 200 kW.

These TWTs are used in long-range array radars such as the FPS-108 Cobra Dane system, the PARCS space surveillance radar, U.S. and foreign shipboard surveillance radars and airport surveillance radars.

 


 
Specifications on High Power TWTs
Frequency
Product
Number
Frequency
MHz
Output
Power
Peak
kW
Output
Power
Average
Watts
Cathode
Voltage
kV
Cathode
Current
Amps
RF Duty
Cycle
%
Basic
Electronic
Efficiency
%
L-4920 420450 175 10,500 40 14.0 6 40
L-4922 12001415 140* 6,000 40 13.0 3.6 35
L-4923 11751375 175 10,500 42 14.0 6 33
L -4950 31003500 125 2,500 40 12.0 2 35
L-4966 12501350 155 6,000 40 14.5 3.6 36
L-4995 8501050 150 6,000 40 15.0 3.75 32
*Peak power levels of 200 (kW) are available in this frequency range
Prime Power Considerations
Product
#
Cathode Volt. kV Cathode Cur. Amps Grid Drive Volt. V Grid Bias Volt. V Grid Cur. mA Heater Volt. V Heater Cur. Amps 1st Stage Col. Cur. kV 1st Stage Col. Cur. Amps 2nd Stage Col. Volt. kV 2nd Stage Col. Cur. Amps
L-4920 40 14 1,300 -750 25.0 28 4 -12 12 -5 2
L-4922 40 13 1,250 -750 10.0 28 4 0 12.8 N/A N/A
L-4923 42 14 1,200 -750 14.0 28 4 -9 10 -3 4
L-4950 40 12 1,200 -750 10.0 28 4 0 11.8 N/A N/A
L-4966 40 14.5 1,400 -750 14.0 28 4 0 14.3 N/A N/A
L-4995 40 15 1,300 -750 14.0 28 4 0 14.8 N/A N/A
Electron Beam Focusing
Product # Method Solenoid
Volt. V
Solenoid
Cur. Amps
Slenoid Resistance
Ohms
Max Prime
Power Watts
Max DC 
Intercept Cur. mA
Max RF 
Intercept Cur. mA
Coolant
L-4920 INTEGRAL 72 13 5 1200.0 250 1250 WATER
L-4922 INTEGRAL 80 13 4.5 1100.0 200 400 WATER
L-4923 EXTERNAL 20 20 N/A 500.0 100 200 WATER
L-4950 INTEGRAL 50 13 5 1000.0 200 500 WATER
L-4966 INTEGRAL 80 13 4.5 1100.0 100 150 WATER
L-4995 INTEGRAL 80 13 4.5 1100.0 100 350 WATER
Extended RF Parameters
Product # Small
Signal
Gain dB
AM
Noise dB
PM
Noise dB
Noise Poer
Output
dBm/MHz
2nd
Harm. dBc
Insertion
Loss dB
Max RF 
Intercept Cur. mA
Coolant
L-4920 40 -80 -80 -107 -26 90.0 2000 25
L-4922 40 -80 -80 -107 -26 90.0 70 5
L-4923 40 -80 -80 -107 -26 90.0 2000 2
L-4950 40 -80 -80 -107 -26 90.0 500 2
L-4966 40 -80 -80 -107 -26 90.0 70 5
L-4995 40 -80 -80 -107 -26 90.0 300 10
Physical Description
Product # RF
Input Con.
RF
Output Conf.
Overall
Length inches
Body
Diameter inches
Weight
lbs
RF Output
Press. psia
Coolant
Con.
L-4920 SC 3-1/8 Coax 140 12 350 15 Quick
Disconnect
L-4922 N WR650 76 10 240 20 Quick
Disconnect
L-4923 N WR650-Half Height 68 9 110 15 Quick
Disconnect
L-4950 N WR284 55 10 120 20 Quick
Disconnect
L-4966 SC WR650 76 10 240 25 Quick
Disconnect
L-4995 SC WR975-Half Height 76 10 235 25 Quick
Disconnect

 

Design Notes:

  1. All tubes are control grid modulated and also incorporate a shadow grid to assist in the suppression of grid emission and grid intercept current.
     
  2. All L3Harris' TWTs are inherently capable of dual-stage collector depression should it be necessary to fulfill a particular system requirement.
     
  3. A mod anode connection is provided on all TWTs and may be utilized to accommodate system sensing circuits and also reduce the potential damage incurrred by cathode-to-anode high-voltage arcs. This protection is accomplished through the incorporation of an external anode-to-ground resistance of two kilohms.
     
  4. All cathode and collector voltages are referenced to ground.
Model

Frequency
Range 
GHz

Output
Power
Watts

Small
Signal Gain
dB

Cathode
Voltage
kV

Cathode
Current
mA

Collector
Voltage
kV

L-6120 26 to 36 100 27 -8.50 140 3.40/2.15/0.85
L-6122 30 to 36 50 30 -7.10 110 2.80/2.10/1.40
L-6112 40 to 46 40 30 -7.60 110 2.80/2.10/1.40
L3Harris has a complete line of mini-TWTs, covering multi-octave bandwidths over the 2 to 46 GHz frequency range with output powers of up to 200 watts.

The tubes have multi-stage collectors for high efficiency, are of rugged thermal design, and offer long life through superior gun optics and beam magnetics. A special line of low-gain, high-efficiency micro-TWTs have been developed for use in microwave power modules (MPMs).

Model Frequency Range (GHz) Output Power (Watts) Small Signal 
Gain (dB)
Cathode 
Voltage (kV)
Cathode 
Currrent (mA)
Collector
Voltages
(kV)
L6115 2 to 6 65 21 -2.67 180 2.02/1.52/0.81
L6066 4.5 to 18 35 30 -4.55 180 2.40/1.55
L6072 6 to 18 40 50 -3.90 135 1.90
L5928 6 to 18 65 46 -4.47 165 2.25
L6074 6 to 18 65 23 -3.80 155 2.25/1.95/0.72
L6130 6 to 18 100 to 125 20 -4.20 220 2.50/1.95/1.22/0.62
L6139 6 to 18 100 to 125 25 -4.20 220 2.55/1.70/1.06/0.63
L6152 6 to 18 200 30 -5.85 290 3.51/2.34/1.36
L5990 10 to 10.5 130 27 -4.10 165 2.25
L6108 13.75 to 14.5 90 38 -5.02 120 2.45/1.55
L6120 29 to 38 90 25 -8.50 120 3.40/2.12/0.85
L6122 30 to 36 50 30 -7.10 110 2.80/2.10/1.40
L6112 40 to 46 40 30 -7.60 110 2.80/2.10/1.40
L3Harris’ space traveling wave tubes (TWTs) are key components for communications satellites.

L3Harris has delivered more than 4,700 space TWTs and has over five decades of experience with developing TWTs for space-based applications.

Model Band Pout Approx. Efficiency Approx. Mass Delivered In Orbit
83200H L 80 to 250 W 63 to 70% 3500 g 4 4
8412HxR S 100 to 140 W 62 to 65% 1270 g 573 343
84250Hx/HxR S 200 to 300 W 65 to 74% 3200/3550 g 82 0
8555Hx C 20 to 120 W 65 to 69% 790 g 701 627
85100HxR C 80 to 140 W 64 to 68% 1165 g 16 12
86160Hx X 40 to 160 W 63 to 67% 895 g 201 156
86160HxR X 100 to 160 W 64 to 69% 1250 g 39 19
88150Hx Ku 35 to 205 W 60 to 71% 695 g 416 310
88150HxR Ku 35 to 180 W 60 to 71% 950 g 2,195 1,622
9110Hx* K 40 to 140 W 58 to 68% 770 g 110 35
9110HxR* K 40 to 140 W 63 to 68% 995 g 343 70
9250Hx/HxR K 150 to 300 W 63 to 68% 1400/1700 g 0 0
99xxH Ka/Q/V 10 to 200 W 30 to 60% 1500 g 36 5

TOTAL

4,719

3,203

* - 9110Hx/HxR quantities include the 9100Hx/HxR
Modern TWTs In Orbit:  > 3500 (> 155 million hours,  Spot FIT Rate:  < 150)

Certifications

  • Torrance, CA: ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100:2016
  • Williamsport, PA: ISO 9001:2015

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