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Author: David Kirtley
Requested Type: Consider for Invited
Submitted: 2009-12-29 20:17:23

Co-authors: John Slough

Contact Info:
8551 154th Avenue NE
Redmond, WA   98052

Abstract Text:
To take advantage of the smaller scale, higher density regime of MIF an efficient method for achieving the compressional heating required to reach fusion gain conditions must be found. This method needs to be simple and capable of repetitive operation. The macro-particle (macron) formed liner compression of the Field Reversed Configuration is such a method. The approach to be described employs an assemblage of small, gram scale, macrons to form a more massive liner that both radially and axially compresses and heats the FRC plasmoid to fusion conditions. The large (several MJ) liner energy required to compress the FRC is carried in the kinetic energy of the full array of macrons. The much smaller energy required for each individual macron is obtained by accelerating the macron to ~ 3 km/s which can be accomplished remotely using conventional inductive techniques. The macrons are then injected through small, gated ports external to the reactor blanket and chamber. The initial design employs an arrangement of 60 to 80 electromagnetic macron launchers that inject hollow Aluminum spheres in a manner so as to converge at the central section of the reactor forming two contiguous rings at a small radius (rL ~ 0.1 m) that are separated by roughly a Helmholz spacing. Just prior to the macron merging, a high mass FRC is formed and positioned axially between and radially inside the two liner rings. As the macrons merge to form conducting, flux preserving rings, the FRC becomes trapped and is subsequently compressed both radially and axially to fusion gain conditions. With the momentum flux being delivered by an array low mass, but high velocity macrons, many of the difficulties encountered with the implosion power technology are eliminated. The Macron Formed Liner (MFL) thus presents a solution to several of the major challenges facing magneto-inertial fusion. Specifically, it provides for a compression method that can very efficiently and repetitively generate the kinetic liner energy required to reach fusion gain, and it allows for both the target plasma and liner energy to be generated remote from the reactor vessel. This is critical as the reactor environment is likely to be incompatible with the specialized pulse power equipment employed in conventional liner approaches. With the timescale for forming and accelerating the liner now much longer than the time that the energy is thermalized in the implosion, the need for the very high voltages required to produce multi-Megampere compression currents are also avoided. In fact the voltage requirement for the MFL is well within the range of currently available solid state devices. Testing for the MFL concept has recently begun focusing on the critical elements required for the macron launching structures, as well as performing numerical simulations of the nonlinear 3D behavior of the macron arrays as they merge, deform and self compress. Initial results from these efforts will also be presented.

Characterization: D


Princeton University

Innovative Confinement Concepts Workshop
February 16-19, 2010
Princeton, New Jersey

ICC 2010