CER News:
UCSD researchers awarded $818k to study IFE targets

16 August 2006

In a partnership with General Atomics Energy Group, Drs. Mark Tillack and René Raffray have been awarded a three-year grant beginning in June 2007 to perform basic research on targets for laser-driven inertial fusion. This research involves a range of topics related to target fabrication, target thermomechanical response and target engagement.

Extracting energy from inertial fusion requires the repetitive (approximately 5 Hz) injection of cryogenic (approximately 16 K) capsules containing the deuterium and tritium used to produce fusion reactions. These capsules must be fabricated with extremely high precision, injected into a hot environment without degrading the properties of the cryogenic fuel, and tracked with a high degree of precision in order to allow multiple laser beams to compress and heat the fuel to ignition. In each of these cases, the level of precision is of the order of microns.

Our research will focus on producing high-quality layering of DT fuel, studies of the effect of rapid heating in the chamber on the DT fuel, and precision tracking of injected targets to allow engagement by lasers with 10-micron precision at a repetition rate of 5-10 Hz at a stand-off distance of about 10 meters. For more information on this research, contact Mark Tillack or René Raffray.