Plasma-Jet-Driven Magneto-Inertial Fusion (PJMIF) was originally proposed by Dr. Y. C. Francis Thio at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in the late 1990s. Thio initiated PJMIF R&D while at Marshall.
Work on PJMIF ceased temporarily when Thio went to the Department of Energy in 2003; shortly thereafter, plasma-gun technology development for forming the requisite plasma jets was initiated at HyperV Technologies Corp. in 2004 under DOE support. Upon successful competition by Dr. Scott Hsu of Los Alamos National Laboratory (along with HyperV and others) for additional DOE funding in 2009, the hardware as shown above was transferred to Los Alamos in 2010.
Dr. Scott Hsu, second to left above stands next to Tom Tamarkin and Jeremy Tamarkin along with two other LANL employees.
PJMIF is unique among low-cost magneto-inertial-fusion concepts (e.g., compared to General Fusion or Helion) in having both reactor-friendly attributes (i.e., non-destructive liner compression enabling high shot rate and attractive power-plant economics) and high implosion velocity for overcoming plasma-target thermal-loss rates (an Achilles heel in 60+ years of controlled-fusion research).