Model validation of low-density foams wetted with liquid deuterium and tritium for inertial fusion target optimization

January 17, 2023

In the proton fast ignitor inertial fusion scheme, the assembly of a high-density inertial fusion target and the subsequent heating of a small “ignition spark” region are separated. The former being driven by a spherically distributed configuration of nanosecond-scale laser beams while the latter derives from a high-intensity, picosecond-scale laser which accelerates protons that subsequently deposit their energy into the ignition spark region temporally near peak compression. With the compression and heating phases separated, the symmetry and thermodynamic requirements associated with producing an isobaric central hot spot are eliminated, allowing for more robust and higher gain designs. Traditional inertial fusion targets are created using a multi-day manufacturing process called beta-layering which relies on the slow nuclear decay of tritium into $^3$He. In order to create an inertial fusion power plant on par with existing electrical power plants, a new target manufacturing process must be used that can scale with the necessary shot rate of an inertial fusion reactor. One such manufacturing process uses low-density foams wetted with deuterium and tritium. This process greatly reduces manufacturing times and minimizes fabrication oversight. For this process to become viable, high-resolution, three-dimensional model validation must be done using state-of-the-art radiation-hydrodynamics codes to characterize the compressive behavior of this heterogeneous material, which could then be used in the computational design of inertial fusion reactor targets.

Focused Energy Inc.

DUNS / SAM UEI: 118411704

Leonard Jarrott, [email protected]

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)

Dr. Elijah Kemp, Dr. Elijah Kemp