A novel particle time of flight diagnostic for measurements of shock- and compression-bang times in (DHe)-He-3 and DT implosions at the NIF

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.
Review of Scientific Instruments (Impact Factor: 1.61). 07/2012; 83(10). DOI: 10.1063/1.4731000


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.

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    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.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · The Review of scientific instruments
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    ABSTRACT: The National Ignition Campaign (NIC) was a multi-institution effort established under the National Nuclear Security Administration of DOE in 2005, prior to the completion of the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in 2009. The scope of the NIC was the planning and preparation for and the execution of the first 3 yr of ignition experiments (through the end of September 2012) as well as the development, fielding, qualification, and integration of the wide range of capabilities required for ignition. Besides the operation and optimization of the use of NIF, these capabilities included over 50 optical, x-ray, and nuclear diagnostic systems, target fabrication facilities, experimental platforms, and a wide range of NIF facility infrastructure. The goal of ignition experiments on the NIF is to achieve, for the first time, ignition and thermonuclear burn in the laboratory via inertial confinement fusion and to develop a platform for ignition and high energy density applications on the NIF. The goal of the NIC was to develop and integrate all of the capabilities required for a precision ignition campaign and, if possible, to demonstrate ignition and gain by the end of FY12. The goal of achieving ignition can be divided into three main challenges. The first challenge is defining specifications for the target, laser, and diagnostics with the understanding that not all ignition physics is fully understood and not all material properties are known. The second challenge is designing experiments to systematically remove these uncertainties. The third challenge is translating these experimental results into metrics designed to determine how well the experimental implosions have performed relative to expectations and requirements and to advance those metrics toward the conditions required for ignition. This paper summarizes the approach taken to address these challenges, along with the progress achieved to date and the challenges that remain. At project completion in 2009, NIF lacked almost all the diagnostics and infrastructure required for ignition experiments. About half of the 3 yr period covered in this review was taken up by the effort required to install and performance qualify the equipment and experimental platforms needed for ignition experiments. Ignition on the NIF is a grand challenge undertaking and the results presented here represent a snapshot in time on the path toward that goal. The path forward presented at the end of this review summarizes plans for the Ignition Campaign on the NIF, which were adopted at the end of 2012, as well as some of the key results obtained since the end of the NIC.
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    ABSTRACT: Clear evidence of the transition from hydrodynamiclike to strongly kinetic shock-driven implosions is, for the first time, revealed and quantitatively assessed. Implosions with a range of initial equimolar D^{3}He gas densities show that as the density is decreased, hydrodynamic simulations strongly diverge from and increasingly overpredict the observed nuclear yields, from a factor of ∼2 at 3.1 mg/cm^{3} to a factor of 100 at 0.14 mg/cm^{3}. (The corresponding Knudsen number, the ratio of ion mean-free path to minimum shell radius, varied from 0.3 to 9; similarly, the ratio of fusion burn duration to ion diffusion time, another figure of merit of kinetic effects, varied from 0.3 to 14.) This result is shown to be unrelated to the effects of hydrodynamic mix. As a first step to garner insight into this transition, a reduced ion kinetic (RIK) model that includes gradient-diffusion and loss-term approximations to several transport processes was implemented within the framework of a one-dimensional radiation-transport code. After empirical calibration, the RIK simulations reproduce the observed yield trends, largely as a result of ion diffusion and the depletion of the reacting tail ions.
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