Re: Scopes in nuclear testing - was Re: [TekScopes] Tek 7103 found at auction in NM


I went on a customer visit to EG&G at NTS some years after the Mighty Oak blast door failure accident. It took an act of Congress to authorize funding to replace the damaged instruments. The Tek sales engineer earned a huge commission check, which he used to buy a small sail boat which he christened "Mighty Oak".

His father was one of the engineers at EG&G who did pioneering research on understanding wave shape distortion of pulses proogating through several km of rigid coax, and how to phase match multiple channels. Normally, the transducers get vaporized and the instruments, mostly transient digitizers, survive as they are several km away in tunnels sealed with blast doors.

It is interesting to get your head around this: during a test, the pulse from the transducer is traveling down several km of rigid coax transmission line. Before it gets to the instruments to be measured, the transducer end of the coax that it had traveled through several hundred nanoseconds earlier is being vaporized! So the fact that the transmission line impedance is being distorted (as it turns to vapor) is OK as long as the part of the cable is still intact as the pulse travels through it!

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