Shock ignition target design for inertial fusion energy

Schmitt, Andrew J.; Bates, Jason W.; Obenschain, Steven P.; Zalesak, Steven T.; Fyfe, David E.
April 2010
Physics of Plasmas;Apr2010, Vol. 17 Issue 4, p042701
Academic Journal
Continuing work in the design of shock ignition targets is described. Because of reduced implosion velocity requirements, low target adiabats, and efficient drive by short wavelength lasers, these targets produce high gain (>100) at laser energies well below 1 MJ. Effects of hydrodynamic instabilities such as Rayleigh–Taylor or Richtmyer–Meshkov are greatly reduced in these low-aspect ratio targets. Of particular interest is the optimum ratio of ignitor to compression pulse energy. A simple pellet model and simulation-derived coupling coefficients are used to analyze optimal fuel assembly, and determine that shock ignition allows enough control to create theoretically optimum assemblies. The effects on target design due to constraints on the compression and ignitor pulse intensities are also considered and addressed. Significant sensitivity is observed from low-mode perturbations because of large convergence ratios, but a more powerful ignitor can mitigate this.


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