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Rep-Rated Target Injection for Inertial Fusion Energy

D. T. Frey et al.

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 47 / Number 4 / May 2005 / Pages 1143-1146

Technical Paper / Fusion Energy - Inertial Fusion Technology

Inertial Fusion Energy (IFE) with laser drivers is a pulsed power generation system that relies on repetitive, high-speed injection of targets into a fusion reactor. To produce an economically viable IFE power plant the targets must be injected into the reactor at a rate between 5 and 10 Hz.

To survive the injection process, direct drive (laser fusion) targets (spherical capsules) are placed into protective sabots. The sabots separate from the target and are stripped off before entering the reactor chamber. Indirect drive (heavy ion fusion) utilizes a hohlraum surrounding the spherical capsule and enters the chamber as one piece.

In our target injection demonstration system, the sabots or hohlraums are injected into a vacuum system with a light gas gun using helium as a propellant. To achieve pulsed operation a rep-rated injection system has been developed. For a viable power plant we must be able to fire continuously at 6 Hz. This demonstration system is currently set up to allow bursts of up to 12 targets at 6 Hz. Using the current system, tests have been successfully run with direct drive targets to show sabot separation under vacuum and at barrel exit velocities of ~400 m/s.

The existing revolver system along with operational data will be presented.

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