Focus fusion project getting greater repeatability and higher current beams


Lawrenceville Plasma Physics is getting major improvement in repeatability of fusion yield and beam production. Repeatable fusion yield is now within a factor of 4 of predictions. Clues found from data and simulation on improving filamentation, ending the early-beam problem and boosting yield up to predictions.

Any small deviation from symmetry greatly reduced yield and repeatability. When we changed the number of capacitors firing from 10 to 8, variability dropped dramatically, with the range of fusion yields dropping first to 3 to 1 and then to ±15% (around a yield of 5×10^10 neutrons). While 10 capacitors are not symmetrically arranged and 8 are, the current spreads out to make asymmetries quite small, so this effect told us that we could still improve the symmetry of the initial conditions of firing.

2. Lawrenceville plasma physics is getting greater repeatability and reduced variability and larger current in the beam measured by the upper Rogowski coil (URC) and by our photo-multiplier tubes (PMTs), which measure hard X-rays generated by the electron beam. Their highest current beams, seen twice on May 11, have current of almost 300 kA, and most of the beams observed are within a factor of 3 of that current

The observations are right in line with their prediction of energies of 0.9 MeV and current of 280 kA, proving again they are getting good transference of energy into the plasma and into the beam, but not quite enough compression to get high density. The greater reliability of the beams means LPP’s DPF technology can generate more reliable bursts of high intensity X-rays.

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