Charged-particle spectroscopy for diagnosing shock ρR and strength in NIF implosions

Plasma Science and Fusion Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.
The Review of scientific instruments (Impact Factor: 1.61). 10/2012; 83(10):10D901. DOI: 10.1063/1.4729672
Source: PubMed


The compact Wedge Range Filter (WRF) proton spectrometer was developed for OMEGA and transferred to the National Ignition Facility (NIF) as a National Ignition Campaign diagnostic. The WRF measures the spectrum of protons from D-(3)He reactions in tuning-campaign implosions containing D and (3)He gas; in this work we report on the first proton spectroscopy measurement on the NIF using WRFs. The energy downshift of the 14.7-MeV proton is directly related to the total ρR through the plasma stopping power. Additionally, the shock proton yield is measured, which is a metric of the final merged shock strength.

Download full-text


Available from: N. B. Meezan, Dec 19, 2013
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The particle-time-of-flight (pTOF) diagnostic, fielded alongside a wedge range-filter (WRF) proton spectrometer, will provide an absolute timing for the shock-burn weighted ρR measurements that will validate the modeling of implosion dynamics at the National Ignition Facility (NIF). In the first phase of the project, pTOF has recorded accurate bang times in cryogenic DT, DT exploding pusher, and D3He implosions using DD or DT neutrons with an accuracy better than ±70 ps. In the second phase of the project, a deflecting magnet will be incorporated into the pTOF design for simultaneous measurements of shock- and compression-bang times in D3He-filled surrogate implosions using D3He protons and DD-neutrons, respectively.
    Review of Scientific Instruments 07/2012; 83(10). DOI:10.1063/1.4731000 · 1.61 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Compact wedge-range-filter proton spectrometers cover proton energies ∼3-20 MeV. They have been used at the OMEGA laser facility for more than a decade for measuring spectra of primary D(3)He protons in D(3)He implosions, secondary D(3)He protons in DD implosions, and ablator protons in DT implosions; they are now being used also at the National Ignition Facility. The spectra are used to determine proton yields, shell areal density at shock-bang time and compression-bang time, fuel areal density, and implosion symmetry. There have been changes in fabrication and in analysis algorithms, resulting in a wider energy range, better accuracy and precision, and better robustness for survivability with indirect-drive inertial-confinement-fusion experiments.
    The Review of scientific instruments 10/2012; 83(10):10D908. DOI:10.1063/1.4732065 · 1.61 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Measurements have been made of the in-flight dynamics of imploding capsules indirectly driven by laser energies of 1–1.7 MJ at the National Ignition Facility [Miller et al., Nucl. Fusion 44, 228 (2004)]. These experiments were part of the National Ignition Campaign [Landen et al., Phys. Plasmas 18, 051002 (2011)] to iteratively optimize the inputs required to achieve thermonuclear ignition in the laboratory. Using gated or streaked hard x-ray radiography, a suite of ablator performance parameters, including the time-resolved radius, velocity, mass, and thickness, have been determined throughout the acceleration history of surrogate gas-filled implosions. These measurements have been used to establish a dynamically consistent model of the ablative drive history and shell compressibility throughout the implosion trajectory. First results showed that the peak velocity of the original 1.3-MJ Ge-doped polymer (CH) point design using Au hohlraums reached only 75% of the required ignition velocity. Several capsule, hohlraum, and laser pulse changes were then implemented to improve this and other aspects of implosion performance and a dedicated effort was undertaken to test the sensitivity of the ablative drive to the rise time and length of the main laser pulse. Changing to Si rather than Ge-doped inner ablator layers and increasing the pulse length together raised peak velocity to 93% ± 5% of the ignition goal using a 1.5 MJ, 420 TW pulse. Further lengthening the pulse so that the laser remained on until the capsule reached 30% (rather than 60%–70%) of its initial radius, reduced the shell thickness and improved the final fuel ρR on companion shots with a cryogenic hydrogen fuel layer. Improved drive efficiency was observed using U rather than Au hohlraums, which was expected, and by slowing the rise time of laser pulse, which was not. The effect of changing the Si-dopant concentration and distribution, as well as the effect of using a larger initial shell thickness were also examined, both of which indicated that instabilities seeded at the ablation front are a significant source of hydrodynamic mix into the central hot spot. Additionally, a direct test of the surrogacy of cryogenic fuel layered versus gas-filled targets was performed. Together all these measurements have established the fundamental ablative-rocket relationship describing the dependence of implosion velocity on fractional ablator mass remaining. This curve shows a lower-than-expected ablator mass at a given velocity, making the capsule more susceptible to feedthrough of instabilities from the ablation front into the fuel and hot spot. This combination of low velocity and low ablator mass indicates that reaching ignition on the NIF will require >20 μm (∼10%) thicker targets and laser powers at or beyond facility limits.
    Physics of Plasmas 12/2012; 19(12-12). DOI:10.1063/1.4769268 · 2.14 Impact Factor
Show more