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Spherically Imploding Plasma Liners as a Standoff Driver for Magnetoinertial Fusion

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11 Author(s)
Hsu, S.C. ; Phys. Div., Los Alamos Nat. Lab., Los Alamos, NM, USA ; Awe, T.J. ; Brockington, S. ; Case, A.
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Spherically imploding plasma liners formed by merging an array of high Mach number plasma jets are a proposed standoff driver for magnetoinertial fusion (MIF). This paper gives an updated concept-level overview of plasma liner MIF, including advanced notions such as standoff methods for forming and magnetizing the fuel target and liner shaping to optimize dwell time. Results from related 1-D radiation-hydrodynamic simulations of targetless plasma liner implosions are summarized along with new analysis on the efficiency of conversion of the initial liner kinetic energy to stagnation thermal energy. The plasma liner experiment (PLX), a multi-institutional collaboration led by the Los Alamos National Laboratory, plans to explore the feasibility of forming spherically imploding plasma liners via 30 merging plasma jets. In the near term, with modest pulsed power stored energy of ≲1.5 MJ, PLX is focusing on the generation of centimeter-, microsecond-, and megabar-scale plasmas for the fundamental study of high energy density laboratory plasmas. In the longer term, PLX can enable a research and development path to plasma liner MIF ultimately requiring compressing magnetized fusion fuel to ≳100 Mbar.

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:40 ,  Issue: 5 )