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Automated Batch Characterization of ICF Shells with Vision-Enabled Optical Microscope System

H. Huang, R. B. Stephens, D. W. Hill, C. Lyon, A. Nikroo, D. A. Steinman

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 45 / Number 2 / March 2004 / Pages 214-217

Technical Paper / Target Fabrication /

Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) shells are mesoscale objects with nano-scale dimensional and nanosurface finish requirements. Currently, the shell dimensions are measured by white-light interferometry and an image analysis method. These two methods complement each other and give a rather complete data set on a single shell. The process is, however, labor intensive. We have developed an automation routine to fully characterize a shell in one shot and perform unattended batch measurement. The method is useful to the ICF program both for production screening and for full characterization. It also has potential for Inertial Fusion Energy (IFE) power plant where half a million shells need to be processed daily.

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