Inductive Plasma Accelerator
75650-For the plasma jet liner approach to magnetized target fusion, a plasma accelerator is required that is capable of launching a plasma jet with a mass of 0.2 mg to 0.4 mg and a diameter no larger than about 20 cm. In addition, the accelerator must be capable of attaining plasma/plasmoid velocities in excess of 200 km/s, a timing precision better than a microsecond down to nanoseconds, and a controllable density profile of high uniformity and purity. This project will achieve the desired acceleration parameters by designing and constructing an inductive plasmoid accelerator based on a propagating magnetic wave. The approach will use previous results with compact toroid acceleration, together with numerical modeling and a novel solid state accelerator design, to develop the accelerator efficiently and at low cost. In Phase I, the inductive plasma accelerator will be analyzed analytically and numerically to determine the optimal configuration for application to the plasma jet liner. Testing of key electrical circuitry will also be performed, and a design for the inductive plasma accelerator, to be built in Phase II, will be detailed. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The inductive plasma accelerator (IPA) should have a natural application to high power electric propulsion in space. The IPA also could be readily adapted as a fueler for future fusion reactors such as the international fusion reactor, ITER, now being planned. It could also find application in current tokamak experiments, adding rotational momentum and velocity shear for enhanced stability and transport control.
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16436 SE 39th Place Bellevue, WA 98008
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