Development of Spectral and Atomic Models for Diagnosing Energetic Particle Characteristics in Fast Ignition Experiments

Period of Performance: 01/01/2005 - 12/31/2005

$100K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Prism Computational Sciences, Inc.
455 Science Drive Suite 140
Madison, WI 53711
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Nevada, Reno
University of Nevada, Reno Mailstop 325
Reno, NV 89557
Institution POC

Abstract

797870 In the fast ignition concept for inertial fusion energy, high-intensity short-pulse lasers are used to create energetic particles (protons and relativistic electrons) that propagate to the fuel within a compressed capsule. The efficient transport of these energetic particles to the fuel is a key issue in fast ignition research. A combination of well-diagnosed experiments and well-tested simulation tools are needed in order to achieve a good understanding of energetic particle transport through dense plasmas, which is a prerequisite for fast ignition to become a viable option for inertial fusion. This project will develop and apply spectral and atomic physics models, to be used in concert with a state-of-the-art particle-in-cell code, to simulate diagnostic signatures associated with energetic particle transport in short-pulse laser experiments. The developed models will be applied to fast ignition-related short-pulse laser experiments to characterize the properties of energetic protons and electrons. A multi-dimensional collisional-radiative code will be used to compute images and spectra that can be directly compared with experimental measurements. In Phase I proton-impact ionization/excitation models will be added to a spectral radiation package; atomic modeling module will be designed for use within particle-in-cell codes; and proof-of-principal simulations, relevant to fast ignitor experiments, will be performed. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The computational tools should be capable of simulating in detail the radiative and atomic processes in laser-produced plasmas. Their user-friendly features, along with their capability to provide for direct comparison between simulation and experimental measurements, should make these plasma simulation tools well-suited for use in university research projects, industrial research and development, and government laboratory applications. The software also should be applicable to radiation sources for extreme ultraviolet and x-ray lithography, plasma radiation sources used in defense research, magnetic fusion energy plasma diagnostics, and radiation sources developed for medical physics research and instrumentation.