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The National ignition facility: Status and performance of the world’s largest laser system for the high energy density and inertial confinement fusion

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30 Author(s)
C. A. Haynam ; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 7000 East Avenue, CA, 94550, USA ; P. J. Wegner ; G. M. Heestand ; E. Moses
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The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has been designed to support a wide variety of high energy density science (HEDS) experiments, including the demonstration of inertial fusion ignition and burn. To meet this goal, its 192-beam frequency-converted neodymium-glass laser must deliver up to 1.8-MJ total energy at 351 nm, with peak power of 500 TW and precisely-controlled temporal pulse shapes spanning two orders of magnitude. Over the past two years, a series of detailed measurements have been performed on one beamline of the NIF laser at 1omega(1053 nm), 2omega(526.5 nm), and 3omega(351 nm). Results of these experiments lend confidence to the expectation that NIF will meet its laser performance design criteria and that it will be able to simultaneously deliver the temporal pulse shaping, focal spot conditioning, peak power, shot-to-shot reproducibility, and power balance required for indirect-drive fusion ignition campaigns. The NIF final optics system has also been demonstrated to be capable of operating at 2omega energies of up to 17.9 kJ/beamline-3.4 MJ for a similarly configured 192-beam NIF. We discuss the status of NIF commissioning, and the nature and results of these measurement campaigns.

Published in:

Lasers and Electro-Optics, 2008 and 2008 Conference on Quantum Electronics and Laser Science. CLEO/QELS 2008. Conference on

Date of Conference:

4-9 May 2008