A Proton Collimator for IEC Fusion Propulsion
The proposed research will study and develop an efficient method for directed energy extraction from an Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) fusion plant, enabling efficient space propulsion. The concept proposed would collect and collimate the high-energy fusion ions from the IEC using a unique system of magnetic fields. This beam of high-energy particles could be coupled to a direct energy converter ro produce electrical output, or be focused onto a target, directly forming a plasma exhaust. To enable early laboratory studies of the concept, an experiment is proposed using electrons to simulate fusion products, e.g. 14-MeV protons from D-He3 fusion. The approach proposed is to design an initial experimental collimator during Phase I. This experiment would utilize a low energy electron gun source to simulate fusion products. This Phase I design study would serve as the basis for the construction and testing of the electron collimator during Phase II. It is estimated that such an experiment could be done with a small fraction of the money required to build the full-scale proton collimator. Yet it would firmly establish the physics and engineering necessary to build an integrated IEC-proton collimator in Phase III.
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