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The Atlas project-a new pulsed power facility for high energy density physics experiments

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Atlas is a facility being designed at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to perform high-energy-density experiments in support of weapon physics and basic research programs. It is designed to be an international user facility, providing experimental opportunities to researchers from national laboratories and academic institutions. For hydrodynamic experiments, it will be capable of achieving a pressure exceeding 30 Mbar in a several cubic centimeter volume. With the development of a suitable opening switch, it will be capable of producing more than 3 MJ of soft X-rays. The capacitor bank design consists of a 36 MJ array of 240 kV Marx modules. The system is designed to deliver a peak current of 45-50 MA with a 4-5-μs rise time. The Marx modules are designed to be reconfigured to a 480-kV configuration for opening switch development. The capacitor bank is resistively damped to limit fault currents and capacitor voltage reversal. An experimental program for testing and certifying prototype components is currently under way. The capacitor bank design contains 300 closing switches. These switches are a modified version of a railgap switch originally designed for the DNA-ACE machines. Because of the large number of switches in the system, individual switch prefire rates must be less than 10-4 to protect the expensive target assemblies. Experiments are under way to determine if the switch-prefire probability can be reduced with rapid capacitor charging

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:25 ,  Issue: 2 )