The Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) Program is conducting experiments at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory with the goal of igniting a propagating thermonuclear burn wave in DT fuel leading to energy gain (defined as fusion yield/input laser energy >1). To do this the NIF laser delivers up to ~ 2 MJ of energy to a hohlraum (cylindrical cavity) which generates x-rays that implode a ~2 mm diameter spherical capsule filled with a solid layer of cryogenic deuterium-tritium (DT) fuel.
The Multi-Point Thomson Scattering (MPTS) diagnostic system has been providing time dependent Te and ne profile measurements on NSTX for ten years.
Physicist Ahmed Diallo of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has won a highly competitive Early Career Research Program grant sponsored by the DOE’s Office of Science. His $500,000 per year award, which can be renewed for up to five years, will fund research into understandingand controlling the volatile edge of the superhot, charged plasma gas that fuels fusion reactions in devices called tokamaks.
Phil Heitzenroeder, who leads the Mechanical Engineering Division at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and whose advice is sought by engineers around the world, has won the 2013 Fusion Technology Award. The high honor from the Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) recognizes outstanding contributions to research and development in the field of fusion technology.
When the ITER experimental fusion reactor begins operation in the 2020s, over 40 diagnostic tools will provide essential data to researchers seeking to understand plasma behavior and optimize fusion performance. But before the ITER tokamak is built, researchers need to determine an efficient way of fitting all of these tools into a limited number of shielded ports that will protect the delicate diagnostic hardware and other parts of the machine from neutron flux and intense heat.
Ahmed Diallo is leader of the pedestal structure and control topical science group of the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U) and is a recipient of a DOE Early Career award. He is developing a fast burst laser system to investigate the dynamics of the pedestal as well as to control it. He has contributed to the upgrade of the Thomson scattering diagnostic system in preparation for the NSTX-U, and has participated in the operation of the NSTX and the Thomson scattering system prior to their upgrades.
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