A novel trigger generator for operating a pseudospark switch has been developed based on a modified modular multilevel converter topology using insulated gate bipolar transistors. The trigger generator can be operated in either single- or high-repetition rate shot mode. It is characterized by a fast rise time and low temporal jitter between the output trigger pulses of less than 1 ns. It produces pulses of 4.5 kV and 1 µs duration into a 50 Ω load that can trigger a single pseudospark switch. By minimizing the high-voltage components, faster high-voltage switching takes place and the power density of the unit is increased. Furthermore, the overall volume of the trigger generator is reduced. Using this pseudospark trigger generator, it is possible to trigger single or multiple pseudospark gaps without the requirement to use a pulse shaping circuit.

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