Los Alamos National Labs Plasma Liner Experiment; a first step in demonstrable Plasma Jet Magneto Inertial Fusion (PJMIF)

Dec. 1, 2016

This is a brief update with photos of the Plasma Liner Experiment (PLX) at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). This is the first step in the critical path of the proposed Plasma Jet Magneto Inertial Fusion (PJMIF) project proposed by Dr. Scott Hsu and his colleagues.

The current team of HyperV and Los Alamos National Labs has been working very hard fabricating, assembling and installing HyperV’s Alpha class coaxial plasma guns on the PLX spherical chamber. To date, the first three plasma guns (of a planned 60) have been installed on the experiment and we are pleased to report that shakedown testing has begun with successful simultaneous firing of all three guns. An additional four guns will be installed in the near future.

(from left to right): John Dunn (LANL engineer), Sam Langendorf (LANL postdoc), Sam Brockington (HyperV scientist), and Kevin Yates (University of New Mexico postdoc)

Each Alpha gun assembly weighs approximately 181.4 kg, which includes an integrated capacitor Pulse Forming Network (PFN) and high voltage spark-gap switching. The PFN can produce a current pulse of up to 0.9 mega amps (MA), which is used to accelerate plasma in the gun to over 50 kilometers per second.

The guns are carefully maneuvered into position and mounted on PLX using an overhead crane.

Los Alamos National Labs presentations on the Plasma Liner Experiment can be found here and here