We describe the experimental implementation of a superluminal (i.e., faster than light in vacuo) polarization current distribution that both oscillates and undergoes centripetal acceleration. Theoretical treatments predict that the radiation emitted by each volume element of the superluminally moving distribution pattern will comprise a Čerenkov-like envelope with two sheets that meet along a cusp. Correspondingly, the emission from the experimental machine is found to be tightly beamed in both the azimuthal and polar directions. The beaming is frequency independent and has a sharply defined and unchanging geometry determined only by the speed and path of the moving distribution pattern, i.e., by the parameters governing the structure of the Čerenkov-like envelopes. In addition, over a restricted range of angles, we detect the presence of cusps in the emitted radiation. These, which are due to the focusing of wave fronts on a propagating space curve, result in the reception, during a short time period, of radiation emitted over a considerably longer period of (retarded) source time. The intensity of the radiation at these angles was observed to decline more slowly with increasing distance from the source than would the emission from a conventional antenna. The angular distribution of the emitted radiation and the properties associated with the cusps are in good quantitative agreement with theoretical models of superluminal sources once the effect of reflections from the earth’s surface are taken into account. In particular, the prediction that the beaming and the slow decay should extend into the far zone has been tested to several hundred Fresnel distances (Rayleigh ranges). The excellent agreement between the theoretical calculations and the data suggests that the apparatus achieves precise and reproducible control of the polarization current and that similar machines could be of general interest for studying and utilizing the novel effects associated with superluminal electrodynamics.

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