The Third IEEE International Vacuum Electronics Conference (IVEC) was held in Monterey, California, April 23-25, 2002. With nearly 400 attendees and over 200 presented papers, IVEC 2002 established a new Conference record.

Vacuum Electron Devices (VEDs), which include microwave tubes, essentially involve the extraction of RF energy from free electrons in a vacuum. VEDs are powerful, efficient, reliable and affordable devices which are used in a wide range of modern and legacy system applications. Some of these applications include military/defense, space and ground communications, radar, particle accelerators, plasma heating, homeland security, meteorology, displays, and food processing. IVEC 2002 General Chairman, Dr. Richard True of Northrop Grumman Electron Devices, San Carlos, California (formerly Litton) had this to say after the meeting: "The future for vacuum electronics and vacuum electron devices appears indeed bright."

IVEC 2002 opened with a Plenary Session chaired by Technical Program Chairman, Dr. Dan Goebel of Boeing Electron Dynamic Devices, Torrance, California. Seven distinguished scientists presented talks on a wide area of vacuum electronics science.

In the first presentation, Dr. Wayne Harvey of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California discussed the history and future requirements of downlink TWTAs for missions such as the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. As well, observational systems for applications such as cloud profiling radar, oceanic altimeters, and atmospheric ozone detection were described requiring high power, high frequency sources available only through vacuum electronics technology. Dr. Harvey predicted an increased use of vacuum devices in NASA space systems as the interest and stringent source requirements for such applications grow in future years.

The second plenary session presentation was given by Dr. Goebel on requirements for future high data rate communication applications. Higher-order modulation schemes such as 8PSK and 64QAM were described as well as TWT development efforts needed to realize amplifier performance required of systems utilizing these techniques. Streaming digital video from space missions, high-definition Internet television, and digital satellite radio are a few of the myriad of applications which will benefit from the development of this technology.

The third speaker, Dr. Manfred Thumm of Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe in Karlsruhe, Germany described current state-of-the-art high-power vacuum devices used for both particle accelerators and fusion systems in Europe. Particle accelerators use klystrons operating up to 65 MW pulsed at S-Band frequencies and up to 1MW CW at 500 MHz. In addition, fusion systems using vacuum devices for ion cyclotron, electron cyclotron, and lower hybrid resonant heating exist throughout Europe. These RF vacuum devices, including gyrotrons, klystrons and tetrodes, generate RF power at frequencies between 20 MHz and 170 GHz at power levels of 1 MW CW to 100 MW in microsecond pulses.

After the morning coffee break, the fourth plenary talk, presented by Dr. James Dayton, Jr. from GENVAC Aerospace in Cleveland, Ohio, described the results of an informal survey circulated among young professionals in the vacuum electronics field designed to gain insight into the issues surrounding the training of the next generation in our field. By and large, professionals in the field are drawn by the quality of the people in the vacuum electronics industry, and by the challenge of a science that covers so many disciplines.

Next, Dr. Kyu-Suk Chang from Samsumg Electronics in Suwon City, Korea presented a history of the development and mass production of magnetrons for microwave ovens. No doubt many in the audience were envious of Samsung's ability to produce sophisticated magnetrons at a per-item item cost of $7.

Dr. Bruce Miller of SureBeam Corporation in San Diego, California then described the technology of food irradiation using electron accelerators. He focused on key issues such as how the volume and type of food that must be processed dictate the energy of the radiation and the type of device necessary to adequately irradiate the food. He emphasized the large amount of research which has concluded that food irradiation is not only safe, but has significantly benefited public health.

In the final plenary talk, presented by Dr. John Booske from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, the new opportunities for microfabricated vacuum electronic devices were presented. The new opportunities he mentioned were primarily focused on precise, reliable, high-yield fabrication techniques. He mentioned the impressive progress on field emitter arrays and the growing research in microfabricated vacuum electronic devices, or "mVED's." Research is underway to develop high power W-band klystron amplifiers using LIGA, which involves a combination of xray lithography and electrodeposition.

In addition to the plenary talks, there were ten keynote talks (including two invited papers) presented in the 24 IVEC Oral Sessions. The titles of these talks and the presenters are listed below. The session number is listed in parentheses, and the invited papers are flagged with an asterisk:

"Application and Validation of the ONR/NRL/SAIC Helix TWT Design-Code Suite," by C.L. Chang of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in McLean, Virginia (1.1).

"Realization of High Efficiency in a Plasma-Assisted Microwave Source with Two-Dimensional Electron Motion," by Y. Carmel of the University of Maryland (5.1).

"Challenges zand New Applications in Vacuum Microelectronics: A Look at IVMC-2001," by C.E. Hunt of the University of California at Davis (6.1*).

"Simulation-Based Design Methodology for Affordable Performance of Vacuum Electron Devices," by B. Levush of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, DC (7.1).

"Development of Ku-band Frequency Doubling Coaxial Gyroklystrons for Accelerator Applications," by W. Lawson of the University of Maryland (8.1).

"Characterization of Field-Emitter Arrays Operating in a TWT Amplifier," by D. Whaley of Northrop Grumman in Rolling Meadows, Illinois (11.1*).

"A Novel Technology for Linearizing TWT Amplifiers," by Y. Goren of Teledyne Electronic Technologies in Rancho Cordova, California (15.1).

"TWT Amplifier Model to Predict High Order Modulation Intersymbol Interference," by C.L. Kory of Analex Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio (18.1).

"A 140 GHz 1 MW CW Gyrotron for Fusion Plasma Heating," by G. Dammertz of Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe in Karlsruhe, Germany (20.1).

"A Broadband Efficient Low-Relativistic Gyro-TWT with a Helically Grooved Waveguide," by G.G. Denisov of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Novgorod, Russia (23.1).

In addition to the Plenary and Oral Sessions at IVEC this year, there were two large Poster Sessions in which authors had a chance to present their work and interact with interested participants on a more personalized basis. These sessions went very well, and people were justifiably impressed by the papers presented in them.

You can read more about the material presented at the conference by visiting the IVEC 2002 website, http://ivec2002.org, where a more complete summary is posted. At the website, you will also find links to future and previous IVEC web sites. You can reference the digest of IVEC 2002 abstracts under IEEE Catalog Number 02EX524, ISBN 0-7803-7256-5, Library of Congress: 2001095310. In addition, Dr. Dan Goebel, VED Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices (T-ED) has asked authors to submit IVEC papers to IEEE T-ED, so watch there for upcoming publications from IVEC 2002.

IVEC is scheduled to repeat every other year in the USA, rotating to Europe and Asia every fourth year. IVEC 2003 will be held in Seoul, Korea, on May 28, 29, and 30 and will be held in tandem with the International Conference on Plasma Science (ICOPS). In 2004, IVEC will return to Monterey, and in 2005 it will be held in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.