LLE Annual Report

2001

Annual Report 2001

The LLE 2001 Annual Report is a summary of the Laboratory's work during fiscal year 2001 in support of direct-drive inertial fusion research, participation in the Department of Energy's Stewardship Science Program (SSP), operation of the National Laser Users' Facility (NLUF), and programs involving education of high school, undergraduate, and graduate students.

Highlights of this year's effort include significant improvements in direct-drive capsule implosion performance with full beam smoothing on OMEGA; measurements to assess the effects of shock heating on the stability of direct-drive inertial fusion capsules; the development of a measurement-based model of the stagnated core and fuel-pusher mix; the development of a model, including hot-spot dynamics, to predict the minimum drive-energy requirements to achieve direct-drive ignition on the NIF; the measurement of the highest combination of electron density and temperature in Ar-doped deuterium-filled gas capsules; test of the feasibility of using extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) to characterize the properties of solid materials shocked at pressures up to a few Mbar; multibeam laser-plasma interaction experiments designed to resemble future direct-drive laser fusion implosions on the NIF; and the development of improved plasma diagnostic capabilities for OMEGA and for future NIF experiments including the implementation of an improved-spatial-resolution neutron imaging system on OMEGA in collaboration with Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique (CEA) of France and scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

In addition, this annual report includes a summary of experiments conducted on OMEGA by teams from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, LANL, Sandia National Laboratory (SNL), CEA, and teams from several universities and private industry under the NLUF Program. Also included are LLE's laser and optical materials research and development activities, i.e., the development of a UV fiber-optic beam delivery system for OMEGA beam diagnostics; preliminary work on NIF's 2-D SSD beam smoothing system; and the modeling of the beam-smoothing performance of ultrafast picket-fence pulses for the NIF.

Finally, this report summarizes LLE's education programs, which range from high school summer internships to graduate student research. As the only major university participant in the National ICF Program, education continues to be an important mission for the Laboratory.

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