During injection, inertial fusion energy (IFE) direct drive targets are subjected to heating from energy exchange with the background gas and radiation from the reactor wall. This thermal loading could cause phase change (vaporization and/or melting) of the deuterium-tritium (DT). In the past, it was assumed that any phase change would result in a violation of the stringent smoothness and symmetry requirements imposed on the target. This work summarizes the results from a one-dimensional finite difference model that was created to simulate the coupled thermal and mechanical response of a direct drive target to an imposed heat flux.

The objective of this work is to investigate methods of increasing the thermal robustness of targets.