While Noah Schactman of Wired complains of Pentagon reluctance to release technical details of its crowd-singeing pain ray technology, the guts of the system are being bragged about elsewhere- here's the skinny on a microwave beam source that shoots 2,000 times the power of your breakfast table muffin zapper:
High power operation of 110 GHz gyrotron at 1.2 MW on the JT-60 ECRF system Naka Fusion Research Establishment, Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute & Electron tubes and devices division, Toshiba Co., Otawara Japan Abstract
A high power operation of 1.2 MW for 4 s was obtained by a 110 GHz gyrotron with depressed collector on the JT-60 ECRF system, where the cathode voltage is −58 kV without voltage regulation and the acceleration voltage is +85 kV with regulation. The gyrotron is featured by a diamond output window and a RF absorber in its beam tunnel. The RF absorber suppresses the parasitic oscillation, which limited the performance of the gyrotron without the RF absorber less than 1 MW×2 s.
The operation was done with the JT-60 tokamak plasma as a dummy load, where the EC wave was transmitted through a diamond antenna window on the corrugated waveguide. The edge temperature of the antenna window without cooling was in proportion to the pulse duration. The maximum efficiency of the gyrotron was about 42% in the depressed collector operation on the JT-60 ECRF system.In plain English, given the right antenna, the high power gyrotrons being developed to heat plasmas for hot fusion research could cook a pizza in your pocket at 100 yards