Experimental observations and a theoretical analysis of periodic radiation bursts and macropulse formation in the startup phase of a free-electron laser (FEL) oscillator are presented. This microwave FEL uses a long pulse electron beam with a slowly decaying voltage. The output radiation consists of a superposition of bell-shaped macropulses, each of which is composed of a periodic sequence of short micropulses. The micropulses are separated by a cavity round-trip time. Each bell-shaped macropulse has a random startup time and amplitude. The startup of the radiation macropulses is correlated with random current spikes on the continuous electron beam. The observed macropulse signal agrees with a theoretical calculation of the impulse response of the FEL oscillator when the shift in the FEL resonance frequency arising from the slow voltage drop of the electron beam is included in the analysis. Possible applications of the macropulse formation phenomena in the FEL are discussed.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics|
|State||Published - Dec 1991|