In addition, OMEGA has a wide range of experimental diagnostics and can capture data not currently possible on the Z machine. Examples of such diagnostics include: proton radiography of the compressed axial magnetic field, low-yield neutron measurements, and time-resolved x-ray measurements of the liner trajectory. These capabilities offer a solid, scientific foundation to investigate the physics of MagLIF on OMEGA.
A laser-driven equivalent of MagLIF experiments on Z is being developed on the OMEGA Laser System using a target that is roughly 10× smaller in size. To date, OMEGA experiments have focused on preheating to determine the temperature achieved, compress unmagnetized targets without preheat to optimize beam pointing, and measure implosion velocities.2 Future shots on OMEGA will use two magneto-inertial fusion electrical discharge systems (MIFEDS) and new coil designs to achieve magnetic fields twice as high as before, and proton radiography to measure the compression of the magnetic field.
Laser-driven MagLIF experiments could eventually be carried out at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), but the drive energy would still be 10× lower than MagLIF experiments on Z. However, one-dimensional modeling has indicated that the NIF experiments could achieve at least 500× the neutron yield of OMEGA. Additionally, the simulations predict that by using a 30-T initial axial magnetic field, it would be possible to achieve measurable magnetic confinement of charged fusion products.