Inductive Plasma Accelerator
75650S 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 (IPA). In addition, two IPAs will be merged to form a suitable target plasmoid that will be compressed to high density and temperature with a suitable plasma liner, providing the first experimental test of the plasma liner fusion concept. In Phase I, the inductive plasma accelerator was analyzed analytically and numerically to determine an optimal configuration for application to the plasma liner approach to target fusion. A complete design of the inductive plasma accelerator to be built was executed. Additional analysis and design was conducted on an experimental testbed for merging accelerated plasmoids and compressing with a plasma liner. Phase II will construct a plasmoid accelerator and produce a magnetized plasmoid that is suitable for the formation of the target plasmoid as well as for later compression by an array of similar plasmoids. An interaction chamber will be constucted that is capable of producing a plasma liner for compression experiments. Simulations will be performed for all three components of the experimental work: the acceleration of two plasmoids, their merging, and the formation of a plasma liner followed by the radial implosion of the plasma liner onto the colliding plasmoids. 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 should be readily adapted as a fueler for future fusion reactors such as the international fusion reactor (ITER) now being planned. It also could find application in current tokamak experiments, in order to add 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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