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Question and Answers on Reflex Klystron

1. Why can’t conventional tubes be used at microwave frequencies?

Ans. Conventional tubes can’t be used at microwave frequencies because of transit time effect. Lead
inductance and inter electrode capacitance of the devices will finally limit the output which may
even be zero.

2. What is transit time?

Ans. It is the time taken by the electrons to travel from cathode to anode.

3. What is the operating principle of reflex klystron?

Ans. It works on the principle of velocity modulation and current modulation. The operating
principle of reflex klystron is clearly explained from the following figure:

4.What is velocity and current modulation in a reflex klystron?

Ans. Variation in velocities of the electrons in the electron beam is called velocity modulation
variation in the current density of the electron beam is referred to as current modulation.

5. How does bunching occur in a reflex klystron?

Ans. A reference electron passing the gap when the gap voltage is zero travels with no change in
velocity. An electron leaving the gap earlier during slightly positive voltage would travel further into

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repeller space and hence would take longer time then the reference e to return to the gap. An
electron leaving the gap later will face slightly negative voltage & gets retarded. So it returns back
after a shorter travel in the repeller space. Thus all the electrons would arrive back to the gap in
bunches. Bunching around reference electron takes place once per cycle of RF oscillations.

6. Why do different modes of operation exist for a reflex

ans. There are several combinations of repeller voltage and anode voltage that provide favourable
conditions for bunching. Accordingly there may exist several modes of operation, expressed by N + ¾
where N is an integer.

7. What modes are generally used in a reflex klystron?

Ans. 1 ¾ and 2 ¾ are the most commonly used modes in a practical reflex klystron.

8. What is the operating frequency and power output of a reflex klystron?

Ans. Frequency range: 4GHz – 200GHz Output power: maximum 3W in X-band to 10mW at 220GHz.

9. What is the maximum theoretical efficiency of the reflex klystron?

Ans. 22.7% for 1 ¾ mode.

10. What is mechanical tuning and electronic tuning in a reflex klystron?

Ans. Variation in frequency of resonance of cavity by varying its dimension by a mechanical

method like adjusting screws is called as mechanical tuning. Variation of frequency by the method of
adjusting repeller voltage is called electronic tuning.

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