UW Madison Generates Large Savings

Federal Surplus Generates Large Savings for UW-Madison Plasma Physics Research Group

Dr. Jay Anderson, a scientist with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Plasma Physics Research Group uses multiple high-performance Hewlett Packard RF signal generators to drive large traveling wave tube (TWT) amplifiers that inject hundreds of kilowatts of RF power into the plasma in the Madison Symmetric Torus (MST) device.

The MST is a major plasma physics experiment funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fusion Energy Sciences (http://www.science.doe.gov/) and is directed by Professor Stewart Prager of the Department of Physics (http://www.physics.wisc.edu/). 

Dr. Anderson saved our research group over $400,000 by purchasing these HP signal generators, directional couplers, Hughes 20 watt TWT amplifiers, RF connectors, RF cables, and even the electronics rack in the photo, through the Wisconsin Division of Federal Property over the past couple of years.

Our RF engineer, Paul Nonn, originally purchased the large Varian TWT amplifiers that Dr. Anderson is using today in 1977 at Federal Surplus.  He paid $500 for a total of 10 amplifiers, while the original acquisition cost to the federal government had been $48,565 for each amplifier.

Our group will continue working with the staff at WDFP to screen useful electronics, mechanical supplies, optical components and laboratory test equipment that can aid our research and save tax dollars.

Thank you,
Dale Schutte
Program Administrator
Plasma Physics Research Group