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Experimental and Computational Progress on Liner Implosions for Compression of FRCs

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24 Author(s)
Degnan, J.H. ; Air Force Res. Lab., Kirtland AFB, Kirtland AFB, NM ; Amdahl, D.J. ; Brown, A. ; Cavazos, T.
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Magnetized target fusion (MTF) is a means to compress plasmas to fusion conditions that uses magnetic fields to greatly reduce electron thermal conduction, thereby greatly reducing compression power density requirements. The compression is achieved by imploding the boundary, a metal shell. This effort pursues formation of the field-reversed configuration (FRC) type of magnetized plasma, and implosion of the metal shell by means of magnetic pressure from a high current flowing through the shell. We reported previously on experiments demonstrating that we can use magnetic pressure from high current capacitor discharges to implode long cylindrical metal shells (liners) with size, symmetry, implosion velocity, and overall performance suitable for compression of FRCs. We also presented considerations of using deformable liner-electrode contacts of Z-pinch geometry liners or theta pinch-driven liners, in order to have axial access to inject FRCs and to have axial diagnostic access. Since then, we have experimentally implemented the Z-pinch discharge driven deformable liner-electrode contact, obtained full axial coverage radiography of such a liner implosion, and obtained 2frac12 dimensional MHD simulations for a variety of profiled thickness long cylindrical liners. The radiographic results indicate that at least 16 times radial compression of the inner surface of a 0.11-cm-thick Al liner was achieved, with a symmetric implosion, free of instability growth in the plane of the symmetry axis. We have also made progress in combining 2frac12-D MHD simulations of FRC formation with imploding liner compression of FRCs. These indicate that capture of the injected FRC by the imploding liner can be achieved with suitable relative timing of the FRC formation and liner implosion discharges.

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:36 ,  Issue: 1 )