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Physicists Find New Evidence for Helium “Rain” on Saturn

2016: Research scientists Marius Adrien Millot (LLNL) and Stephanie Brygoo (CEA-France) are shown displaying a Science Magazine news article on their research at LLE. They used the OMEGA Laser System to demonstrate possible helium “rain” on Saturn to account for the unexpectedly high brightness for a normally cooling planet. The helium “rain,” occurring at pressures […]

Dynamic Compression Sector Laser

2016: LLE developed a 100-J UV laser and Target Area System for the Dynamic Compression Sector (DCS) at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) located at the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago. This new research facility is operated by Washington State University under sponsorship from the National Nuclear Security Administration. LLE partnered with Logos Technologies to […]

KBframed 16-Image X-Ray Optic

2015: The next-generation Kirkpatrick–Baez (KB) microscope employs new x-ray optics for use on OMEGA cryogenic target implosions. Developed by Senior Scientist Frederic J. Marshall, the 16-image KB optic fits onto an existing OMEGA KB microscope chassis. The optics (seen in the right side of the image) have been arranged so that the individual images fall […]

Multiple-Pulse Driver Line

2015: The multiple-pulse driver line (MPD) provides on-shot co-propagation of two separate pulse shapes in all 60 OMEGA beams. Smoothing by spectral dispersion (SSD) bandwidth is applied to the picket pulse shape (pulse A) generated by the SSD driver. No bandwidth is applied to the pulse generated by the Phoenix (PHX) driver (pulse B). SSD […]

Implosions on OMEGA Exceed 50-Gbar Hot-Spot Pressures

2015: Hot-spot pressures greater than 50 Gbar were achieved in direct-drive layered DT cryogenic implosions on OMEGA. A combination of laser and target improvements on OMEGA, as well as upgraded nuclear and x-ray diagnostics, led to the >50-Gbar observation. These experiments are part of an LLE campaign to demonstrate fuel pressures of 100 Gbar—the pressure […]

Magnetic Liner Inertial Fusion

2015: The Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced a two-year, $3.8 million award for Sandia National Laboratories and the LLE to study the potential of combining two different technologies to further advance their research efforts to produce controlled fusion reactions. The award seeks to build upon the successes of Sandia’s magnetized liner […]

Next-Generation Cryogenic Target

2014: A next-generation cryogenic target was developed that will employ a new mounting stalk that is specifically designed to be insensitive to vibrational energy once aligned to the 60 beams of the OMEGA laser. Referred to as the “Type 1E target mount,” the new stalk was adapted by Mechanical Engineering’s Brian Rice from an original […]

Glancing-Angle Deposition for Distributed Polarization Rotators

2014: The 40-in. coating chamber in the Optical Manufacturing (OMAN) group has been configured to produce coatings by glancing-angle deposition (GLAD). These electron-beam-evaporated coatings condense on the surface of the substrate at a high angle of incidence, forming a birefringent film with an oriented columnar structure. By translating the substrate behind an aperture, the surface […]

Isotope Separation System

2014: The Isotope Separation System (ISS) was created to provide a flexible tritium fuel supply and ensure that the purity of that fuel supply meets LLE’s baseline inertial confinement fusion program requirements. The ISS will recover tritium from existing, unusable spent DT fuel, eliminate the need to ship tritium to/from external cleanup facilities, and provide […]

NIF Polar Drive

2014: In ICF implosions, nonuniformities seeded by both laser-imprint and initial shell-mass perturbations can grow as a result of hydrodynamic instabilities, such as the Richtmyer-Meshkov (RM) and Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) instabilities. This potentially results in a severe degradation of the target compression and neutron yield, and accurate modeling and understanding of nonuniformity growth at ignition-scale conditions […]