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A contoured-gap coaxial gun system for a 60-jet plasma liner experiment

Author: F. Douglas Witherspoon
Requested Type: Consider for Invited
Submitted: 2014-05-30 15:53:12

Co-authors: S. Brockington, A. Case, J.T. Cassibry, S.C. Hsu

Contact Info:
HyperV Technologies Corp.
13935 Willard Road
Chantilly, VA   20151

Abstract Text:
Arrays of supersonic, high momentum flux plasma jets have been suggested as standoff compression drivers for generating spherically imploding plasma liners for driving magneto-inertial fusion [1,2], hence the name plasma-jet-driven MIF (PJMIF). HyperV has been developing plasma jets for PJMIF in both linear and coaxial plasma gun configurations. Linear plasma railguns were previously tested on the Plasma Liner Experiment (PLX) at Los Alamos National Laboratory [3], and further developed at HyperV [4] where Minirailguns achieved the goal of 8000 ug of argon plasma at 50 km/s [5]. Prior work on contoured-gap coaxial guns demonstrated an approach to eliminate the blowby instability [6] and achieved substantial performance improvements. A future proposed 60-jet plasma liner formation experiment will use contoured-gap coaxial guns with small Minirailgun injectors. I will describe background work on the Minirailguns, design criteria and simulations of the contoured-gap coaxial gun using both Mach2 and UAH's SPH code, the advantages of a coaxial gun for impurity control, high velocity, and better axisymmetry, uniformity and compactness, and finally describe approaches to implement a coaxial gun system that can achieve high gun efficiency (>50%) using tailored impedance-matched pulse-forming-networks.

Work supported by US DOE DE-FG02-05ER54810.

[1] Y.C.F. Thio et al., in Proc. 2nd Intl. Symp. on Current Trends in Intl. Fusion Res., ed. by E. Panarella (NRC Canada, Ottawa, 1999), p. 113; Y.C.F. Thio et al., J. Fusion Energy 20, 1 (2001).
[2] S.C. Hsu et al., IEEE Trans. Plasma Sci. 40, 1287 (2012).
[3] S.C. Hsu et al., Phys. of Plasmas 19, 123514 (2012).
[4] A. Case et al., Phys. of Plasmas 20, 012704 (2013).
[5] S. Brockington et al., to be submitted to Rev. Sci. Instrum.
[6] F.D. Witherspoon et al., Rev. Sci. Instrum. 80, 083506 (2009).

Characterization: 1.1,4.0

Please group with companion talks by Hsu and Cassibry in the order:
1) Hsu
2) Witherspoon
3) Cassibry

Workshop on Exploratory Topics in Plasma and Fusion Research (EPR) and US-Japan Compact Torus (CT) Workshop
August 5-8, 2014
Madison, Wisconsin

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