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Fabrication of Double Shell Targets with a Glass Inner Capsule Supported by SiO2 Aerogel for Shots on the Omega Laser in 2006

Matthew Bono, Don Bennett, Carlos Castro, Joe Satcher, John Poco, Bill Brown, Harry Martz, Nick Teslich, Robin Hibbard, Alex Hamza, Peter Amendt, Harry Robey, Jose Milovich, Russell Wallace

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 51 / Number 4 / May 2007 / Pages 611-625


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Indirectly driven double shell implosions are being investigated as a possible noncryogenic path to ignition on the National Ignition Facility. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has made several technological advances that have produced double shell targets that represent a significant improvement to previously fielded targets. The inner capsule is supported inside the ablator shell by SiO2 aerogel with a nominal density of 50 mg/cm3. The aerogel is cast around the inner capsule and then machined concentric to it. The seamless sphere of aerogel containing the embedded capsule is then assembled between the two halves of the ablator shell. The concentricity between the two shells has been improved to less than 1.5 m. The ablator shell consists of two hemispherical shells that mate at a step joint that incorporates a gap with a nominal thickness of 0.1 m. Using a new flexure-based tool holder that precisely positions the diamond cutting tool on the diamond turning machine, step discontinuities on the inner surface of the ablator of less than 0.5 m have been achieved. New methods have been used to comprehensively characterize each of the targets using high-resolution x-ray imaging systems.

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