Plasma kinetics, pre-heat, and the emergence of strong shocks in laser fusion: the hydro-kinetic regime

Lead Research Organisation: STFC - Laboratories
Department Name: Central Laser Facility (CLF)

Abstract

The goal of Laser Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) is to create and ignite a minute star. The energy liberated through thermonuclear fusion can be harnessed, providing mankind with an essentially limitless source of safe, sustainable, secure, carbon-free, electricity. If realised, laser-fusion would not only provide a solution to global warming, but enable the UK to become a net energy exporter, and also create a new market in ultra-high-tech technology exports in areas where the UK is currently world-leading, such as laser and targetry manufacture.

The multi-billion dollar National Ignition Facility (NIF) is currently the only laser which, in principal, has sufficient energy to achieve ignition (where the 'star' burns), although to-date NIF has not achieved ignition. The base-line 'indirect-drive' NIF design uses an array of laser beams to create x-rays in a metallic cylinder (hohlraum), these x-rays in turn ablate the spherical ICF target, driving a convergent implosion. This causes the target to be compressed, creating density and temperature conditions similar to those within the centre of the Sun, thereby igniting the 'star'. While there are some advantages to the indirect-drive approach to ICF, it is extremely inefficient, and it is currently unclear whether it will be possible to achieve indirect drive ignition with the laser energy available on NIF. Alternative ICF schemes exist including 'direct drive' and 'shock ignition'. Here, the lasers directly illuminate the target improving efficiency by a factor of ~5, meaning it should be possible to achieve ignition with NIF's energy. Shock ignition is a recently invented variant of direct drive. Here the implosion velocity can be lower than the minimum required for ignition, instead ignition is initiated by a strong shock launched towards the end of the implosion. Shock ignition has many potential advantages over other ICF schemes; the laser energy requirements for ignition are well within those possible on NIF, as the implosion velocity can be lower, the susceptibility to deleterious fluid instabilities (Rayleigh-Taylor) is also reduced. Importantly, the energy gain (fusion energy out/electrical energy in) should be sufficient for power generation.

Laser-plasma interaction instabilities (LPI) such as Stimulated Raman Scatter, Two Plasmon Decay and Stimulated Brillouin Scatter occur in all ICF schemes. These LPIs alter the temporospatial characteristics of laser absorption and can create significant populations of energetic (or hot) electrons. Determining the characteristics of the LPIs and the associated hot electrons is of critical importance for ICF as they dictate whether the fusion fuel will be heated prior to the fuel being compressed (pre-heat) - potentially precluding ignition - or whether the hot electrons' energy can be harnessed, enhancing shock generation in the shock ignition scheme, potentially leading to fusion energy gains sufficient for energy applications on today's lasers. This crucial area of ICF physics is the focus of this proposal.

New experiments on the Omega laser facility will measure the LPI and hot electron characteristics in the parameter spaces of ignition-scale direct drive and shock ignition. A key outcome will be the encapsulation of the experimental data in innovative new laser-plasma interaction and hot electron simulation models, which will run in-line with the UK's radiation-hydrodynamics code framework: Odin. These will significantly improve our predictive simulation capabilities, providing benchmarked, high-fidelity simulation tools which will be made openly available to the UK academic laser-plasma physics community. This work, with direct involvement and leadership of ICF experiments on large scale facilities, provides a clear route by which the UK community can attain the skills, expertise, and tools to develop next-generation ICF designs for, and execute experiments on, the world's largest largest lasers into the 2020s.

Planned Impact

If laser fusion can be realised, it would provide mankind with an essentially limitless source of safe, sustainable, secure, carbon-free, electricity. It generates no high-level radioactive waste and has no risk of melt-down. Hence laser fusion - and in particular shock ignition - offers the potential for a genuine 'silver-bullet' solution to global warming. If such a solution to global warming is not found, its negative impact on mankind over the coming century will likely be huge. This project will accelerate laser fusion research both through the vital research we will perform, and equally importantly through the international collaborations we will foster and seek to grow.

As well as a clean energy source, laser fusion is a huge potential source of ultra-high-tech wealth creation. Were this technology realised, UK industry would stand to benefit significantly through this project; the fuel - which is extracted from seawater - and targetry can be manufactured within the UK and exported internationally, this contrasts the current UK fossil fuel market which is a net importer. Ultra-high precision targetry and laser drivers - largely developed in the context of laser fusion - already contribute to UK exports; these would almost certainly increase significantly were laser fusion to become a commercial reality. Through this project we will enhance industrial expertise in laser fusion; as our identified target manufacturer (Scitech Precison Ltd.) is based within the UK, this project will further develop the skills and expertise within the UK industrial sector that will be required to manufacture laser fusion targetry. Importantly this will give UK industry a head start in the event that laser fusion energy gain is demonstrated.

Recent innovations emerging from the field of laser-plasma interactions have attracted UK industrial investment in new high-power laser facilities at the Central Laser Facility, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK. Areas of innovation include the development of advanced x-ray light sources, which have potential applications in both healthcare (e.g. in vivo osteoporosis diagnosis) and defence (e.g. mine detection), while laser-generated proton and carbon beams have the potential for healthcare technologies (e.g. proton oncology). This project will directly benefit these innovations by providing the researchers with the cutting-edge simulation tools required to accurately model the underlying physics.

This project will train two PDRAs and three PhD students. Skills learned will include; working within an international collaborative team environment, software engineering, technical training, performance modelling, planning, communication, data analysis and numerical skills. As trained professional scientists they could have a significant impact on the UK's HPC lead industrial and financial sectors. Their scientific programming skills, data analysis skills, and technical training would also make them ideally suited to employment in high tech SMEs.

A direct beneficiary of this work will be the AWE. This project will enable them to evaluate the code developments we incorporate into the Odin framework before deciding whether these are appropriate for their own radiation-hydrodynamics code development plans.

Extensive wiki-style documentation about laser fusion on our collaboration website will provide the general public and students with an educational tool on this exciting area of physics.

Publications

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Boella E (2021) Collisionless shock acceleration in the corona of an inertial confinement fusion pellet with possible application to ion fast ignition. in Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences

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Paddock RW (2021) One-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations of low convergence ratio direct-drive inertial confinement fusion implosions. in Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences

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Rose SJ (2020) Modelling burning thermonuclear plasma. in Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences

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White TG (2019) Supersonic plasma turbulence in the laboratory. in Nature communications

 
Description We have made important discoveries as to the spectrum of energetic electrons generated when a high intensity laser interacts to the plasma conditions expected in the Shock Ignition laser fusion concept. These findings will be used to develop and benchmark models which in turn will be used to better predict future experiments. Ultimately this will enable us to develop ignition designs (where more energy is released by the fusion reactions than is input by the laser) for the laser fusion concept Shock Ignition.

We have also made important discoveries which may explain the current inability to improve the laser fusion implosion performance on the Omega laser facility. We are actively pursuing this work in collaboration with our partners at the Laboratory for Laser energetics.
Exploitation Route They could use our findings to constrain their own simulation models.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy

 
Description Our work has pushed Scitech Precision to develop new ways to manufacture the complex target assemblies we require for our experiments. This inturn benefits them by improving their capabilities and in doing so opening up new markets.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Societal

 
Description Feeding into the Fusion Advisory Board
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
 
Description Plasma kinetics, pre-heat, and the emergence of strong shocks in laser fusion
Amount £1,092,538 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P026796/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2017 
End 06/2020
 
Description Plasma kinetics, pre-heat, and the emergence of strong shocks in laser fusion
Amount £107,841 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P026486/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2017 
End 01/2021
 
Title Python 3D laser ray tracer for simulating laser-plasma interactions 
Description A 3D laser ray tracer for simulating laser-plasma interactions has been developed in Python. This is being used both to train students and to rapidly develop models which will then be incorporated in more sophisticated (and cumbersome) simulation codes. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The 3D laser ray-tracing incorporated in Odin is based on the ray-tracing methodology developed within this code. 
 
Title The development of software which use genetic algorithms to optimise design 
Description Genetic algorithms have been used to optimise laser fusion designs. These algorithms can be used in a multitude of areas and the software has been licensed by the University of Oxford. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Genetic algorithms have been used to optimise laser fusion designs. These algorithms can be used in a multitude of areas and the software has been licensed by the University of Oxford. 
 
Description Access to Omega DT cryogenic implosion database 
Organisation University of Rochester
Department Laboratory for Laser Energetics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I have performed simulations of this large experimental database of Laser Fusion experiments. This has enabled me to gain new insights into the mechanisms which may be preventing current progress. I have conveyed these findings to my collaborators in a number of meetings and video conferences.
Collaborator Contribution I have been given access to a large database of data from laser fusion experiments performed on the Omega laser facility. This data is invaluable for benchmarking simulation codes.
Impact Increased understanding of the physical mechanisms inhibiting progress towards the demonstration of plasma conditions equivalent to those of fusion ignition albeit at a reduced scale. New experimental routes forward for progress in this field.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Adding laser-plasma interaction instability physics to the Odin radiation-hydrodynamics code 
Organisation Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA)
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I have performed a central role in bringing this partnership together. The core theme is centred around further development of the Odin radiation-hydrodynamics code in combination with experiments to benchmark the code developments.
Collaborator Contribution This is a fledging partnership. We are yet to secure funding - this is due to be decided by 8th March 2017 by EPSRC. Our various partners have pledged in-kind contributions subject to this project being funded as outlined below: - Atomic Weapons Establishment (Garbett, Sircombe, Coltman, Williams): Garbett and Sircombe are core members of our collaboration. The AWE has pledged significant additional support: 1) simulation support with their CORVUS code (Coltman/Garbett), 2) by funding the PhD of Williams' (who brings experience developing 3D ray-tracing techniques), supervised by Sircombe and Arber), 3) by funding 50% of a second PhD student at Warwick. The total in-kind value the AWE bring to our proposal is £155.8k. - University of Bordeaux, CELIA (Tikhonchuk, Batani, Ribeyre, Lebel, Casner): The CELIA group has agreed to provide modelling support (Ribeyre, Lebel), experimental design expertise (Batani, Casner), theory support (Tikhonchuk), computational resources and access to invaluable data from 'ignition scale' shock ignition experiments scheduled for 2018 on the LMJ. Their in-kind contributions total £1.9M. - Laboratory for Laser Energetics (R. Betti, W. Theobald): As inventor of the shock ignition concept and leading shock ignition experimentalist respectively, LLE will bring a wealth of experience to our team. They will also contribute manpower of 0.3FTE/annum (totalling ~£200k), computing resources, experimental expertise, and the data from all ~200 prior Omega shock ignition shots, worth £1.6M. £1.8M total. - University of Warwick will fund 50% (£33k) of a PhD student performing large-scale PIC modelling of LPIs. This will refine existing reduced-LPI models for incorporation into hydrocodes. -University of York will fund 50% of an experiment-focused PhD (£43.5k), with the other 50% (£43.5k) funded by the Fusion CDT (York, Liverpool, Durham, Oxford, Manchester).
Impact If funded: further development of the Odin radiation hydrodynamics code. Increase international cooperation in laser fusion research, especially in the field of Shock Ignition. This work would not have been possible without the initial Odin grant.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Adding laser-plasma interaction instability physics to the Odin radiation-hydrodynamics code 
Organisation Atomic Weapons Establishment
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution I have performed a central role in bringing this partnership together. The core theme is centred around further development of the Odin radiation-hydrodynamics code in combination with experiments to benchmark the code developments.
Collaborator Contribution This is a fledging partnership. We are yet to secure funding - this is due to be decided by 8th March 2017 by EPSRC. Our various partners have pledged in-kind contributions subject to this project being funded as outlined below: - Atomic Weapons Establishment (Garbett, Sircombe, Coltman, Williams): Garbett and Sircombe are core members of our collaboration. The AWE has pledged significant additional support: 1) simulation support with their CORVUS code (Coltman/Garbett), 2) by funding the PhD of Williams' (who brings experience developing 3D ray-tracing techniques), supervised by Sircombe and Arber), 3) by funding 50% of a second PhD student at Warwick. The total in-kind value the AWE bring to our proposal is £155.8k. - University of Bordeaux, CELIA (Tikhonchuk, Batani, Ribeyre, Lebel, Casner): The CELIA group has agreed to provide modelling support (Ribeyre, Lebel), experimental design expertise (Batani, Casner), theory support (Tikhonchuk), computational resources and access to invaluable data from 'ignition scale' shock ignition experiments scheduled for 2018 on the LMJ. Their in-kind contributions total £1.9M. - Laboratory for Laser Energetics (R. Betti, W. Theobald): As inventor of the shock ignition concept and leading shock ignition experimentalist respectively, LLE will bring a wealth of experience to our team. They will also contribute manpower of 0.3FTE/annum (totalling ~£200k), computing resources, experimental expertise, and the data from all ~200 prior Omega shock ignition shots, worth £1.6M. £1.8M total. - University of Warwick will fund 50% (£33k) of a PhD student performing large-scale PIC modelling of LPIs. This will refine existing reduced-LPI models for incorporation into hydrocodes. -University of York will fund 50% of an experiment-focused PhD (£43.5k), with the other 50% (£43.5k) funded by the Fusion CDT (York, Liverpool, Durham, Oxford, Manchester).
Impact If funded: further development of the Odin radiation hydrodynamics code. Increase international cooperation in laser fusion research, especially in the field of Shock Ignition. This work would not have been possible without the initial Odin grant.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Adding laser-plasma interaction instability physics to the Odin radiation-hydrodynamics code 
Organisation Imperial College London
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I have performed a central role in bringing this partnership together. The core theme is centred around further development of the Odin radiation-hydrodynamics code in combination with experiments to benchmark the code developments.
Collaborator Contribution This is a fledging partnership. We are yet to secure funding - this is due to be decided by 8th March 2017 by EPSRC. Our various partners have pledged in-kind contributions subject to this project being funded as outlined below: - Atomic Weapons Establishment (Garbett, Sircombe, Coltman, Williams): Garbett and Sircombe are core members of our collaboration. The AWE has pledged significant additional support: 1) simulation support with their CORVUS code (Coltman/Garbett), 2) by funding the PhD of Williams' (who brings experience developing 3D ray-tracing techniques), supervised by Sircombe and Arber), 3) by funding 50% of a second PhD student at Warwick. The total in-kind value the AWE bring to our proposal is £155.8k. - University of Bordeaux, CELIA (Tikhonchuk, Batani, Ribeyre, Lebel, Casner): The CELIA group has agreed to provide modelling support (Ribeyre, Lebel), experimental design expertise (Batani, Casner), theory support (Tikhonchuk), computational resources and access to invaluable data from 'ignition scale' shock ignition experiments scheduled for 2018 on the LMJ. Their in-kind contributions total £1.9M. - Laboratory for Laser Energetics (R. Betti, W. Theobald): As inventor of the shock ignition concept and leading shock ignition experimentalist respectively, LLE will bring a wealth of experience to our team. They will also contribute manpower of 0.3FTE/annum (totalling ~£200k), computing resources, experimental expertise, and the data from all ~200 prior Omega shock ignition shots, worth £1.6M. £1.8M total. - University of Warwick will fund 50% (£33k) of a PhD student performing large-scale PIC modelling of LPIs. This will refine existing reduced-LPI models for incorporation into hydrocodes. -University of York will fund 50% of an experiment-focused PhD (£43.5k), with the other 50% (£43.5k) funded by the Fusion CDT (York, Liverpool, Durham, Oxford, Manchester).
Impact If funded: further development of the Odin radiation hydrodynamics code. Increase international cooperation in laser fusion research, especially in the field of Shock Ignition. This work would not have been possible without the initial Odin grant.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Adding laser-plasma interaction instability physics to the Odin radiation-hydrodynamics code 
Organisation University of Bordeaux
Department Center for Intense Lasers and Applications
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I have performed a central role in bringing this partnership together. The core theme is centred around further development of the Odin radiation-hydrodynamics code in combination with experiments to benchmark the code developments.
Collaborator Contribution This is a fledging partnership. We are yet to secure funding - this is due to be decided by 8th March 2017 by EPSRC. Our various partners have pledged in-kind contributions subject to this project being funded as outlined below: - Atomic Weapons Establishment (Garbett, Sircombe, Coltman, Williams): Garbett and Sircombe are core members of our collaboration. The AWE has pledged significant additional support: 1) simulation support with their CORVUS code (Coltman/Garbett), 2) by funding the PhD of Williams' (who brings experience developing 3D ray-tracing techniques), supervised by Sircombe and Arber), 3) by funding 50% of a second PhD student at Warwick. The total in-kind value the AWE bring to our proposal is £155.8k. - University of Bordeaux, CELIA (Tikhonchuk, Batani, Ribeyre, Lebel, Casner): The CELIA group has agreed to provide modelling support (Ribeyre, Lebel), experimental design expertise (Batani, Casner), theory support (Tikhonchuk), computational resources and access to invaluable data from 'ignition scale' shock ignition experiments scheduled for 2018 on the LMJ. Their in-kind contributions total £1.9M. - Laboratory for Laser Energetics (R. Betti, W. Theobald): As inventor of the shock ignition concept and leading shock ignition experimentalist respectively, LLE will bring a wealth of experience to our team. They will also contribute manpower of 0.3FTE/annum (totalling ~£200k), computing resources, experimental expertise, and the data from all ~200 prior Omega shock ignition shots, worth £1.6M. £1.8M total. - University of Warwick will fund 50% (£33k) of a PhD student performing large-scale PIC modelling of LPIs. This will refine existing reduced-LPI models for incorporation into hydrocodes. -University of York will fund 50% of an experiment-focused PhD (£43.5k), with the other 50% (£43.5k) funded by the Fusion CDT (York, Liverpool, Durham, Oxford, Manchester).
Impact If funded: further development of the Odin radiation hydrodynamics code. Increase international cooperation in laser fusion research, especially in the field of Shock Ignition. This work would not have been possible without the initial Odin grant.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Adding laser-plasma interaction instability physics to the Odin radiation-hydrodynamics code 
Organisation University of Rochester
Department Laboratory for Laser Energetics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I have performed a central role in bringing this partnership together. The core theme is centred around further development of the Odin radiation-hydrodynamics code in combination with experiments to benchmark the code developments.
Collaborator Contribution This is a fledging partnership. We are yet to secure funding - this is due to be decided by 8th March 2017 by EPSRC. Our various partners have pledged in-kind contributions subject to this project being funded as outlined below: - Atomic Weapons Establishment (Garbett, Sircombe, Coltman, Williams): Garbett and Sircombe are core members of our collaboration. The AWE has pledged significant additional support: 1) simulation support with their CORVUS code (Coltman/Garbett), 2) by funding the PhD of Williams' (who brings experience developing 3D ray-tracing techniques), supervised by Sircombe and Arber), 3) by funding 50% of a second PhD student at Warwick. The total in-kind value the AWE bring to our proposal is £155.8k. - University of Bordeaux, CELIA (Tikhonchuk, Batani, Ribeyre, Lebel, Casner): The CELIA group has agreed to provide modelling support (Ribeyre, Lebel), experimental design expertise (Batani, Casner), theory support (Tikhonchuk), computational resources and access to invaluable data from 'ignition scale' shock ignition experiments scheduled for 2018 on the LMJ. Their in-kind contributions total £1.9M. - Laboratory for Laser Energetics (R. Betti, W. Theobald): As inventor of the shock ignition concept and leading shock ignition experimentalist respectively, LLE will bring a wealth of experience to our team. They will also contribute manpower of 0.3FTE/annum (totalling ~£200k), computing resources, experimental expertise, and the data from all ~200 prior Omega shock ignition shots, worth £1.6M. £1.8M total. - University of Warwick will fund 50% (£33k) of a PhD student performing large-scale PIC modelling of LPIs. This will refine existing reduced-LPI models for incorporation into hydrocodes. -University of York will fund 50% of an experiment-focused PhD (£43.5k), with the other 50% (£43.5k) funded by the Fusion CDT (York, Liverpool, Durham, Oxford, Manchester).
Impact If funded: further development of the Odin radiation hydrodynamics code. Increase international cooperation in laser fusion research, especially in the field of Shock Ignition. This work would not have been possible without the initial Odin grant.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Adding laser-plasma interaction instability physics to the Odin radiation-hydrodynamics code 
Organisation University of Warwick
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I have performed a central role in bringing this partnership together. The core theme is centred around further development of the Odin radiation-hydrodynamics code in combination with experiments to benchmark the code developments.
Collaborator Contribution This is a fledging partnership. We are yet to secure funding - this is due to be decided by 8th March 2017 by EPSRC. Our various partners have pledged in-kind contributions subject to this project being funded as outlined below: - Atomic Weapons Establishment (Garbett, Sircombe, Coltman, Williams): Garbett and Sircombe are core members of our collaboration. The AWE has pledged significant additional support: 1) simulation support with their CORVUS code (Coltman/Garbett), 2) by funding the PhD of Williams' (who brings experience developing 3D ray-tracing techniques), supervised by Sircombe and Arber), 3) by funding 50% of a second PhD student at Warwick. The total in-kind value the AWE bring to our proposal is £155.8k. - University of Bordeaux, CELIA (Tikhonchuk, Batani, Ribeyre, Lebel, Casner): The CELIA group has agreed to provide modelling support (Ribeyre, Lebel), experimental design expertise (Batani, Casner), theory support (Tikhonchuk), computational resources and access to invaluable data from 'ignition scale' shock ignition experiments scheduled for 2018 on the LMJ. Their in-kind contributions total £1.9M. - Laboratory for Laser Energetics (R. Betti, W. Theobald): As inventor of the shock ignition concept and leading shock ignition experimentalist respectively, LLE will bring a wealth of experience to our team. They will also contribute manpower of 0.3FTE/annum (totalling ~£200k), computing resources, experimental expertise, and the data from all ~200 prior Omega shock ignition shots, worth £1.6M. £1.8M total. - University of Warwick will fund 50% (£33k) of a PhD student performing large-scale PIC modelling of LPIs. This will refine existing reduced-LPI models for incorporation into hydrocodes. -University of York will fund 50% of an experiment-focused PhD (£43.5k), with the other 50% (£43.5k) funded by the Fusion CDT (York, Liverpool, Durham, Oxford, Manchester).
Impact If funded: further development of the Odin radiation hydrodynamics code. Increase international cooperation in laser fusion research, especially in the field of Shock Ignition. This work would not have been possible without the initial Odin grant.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Adding laser-plasma interaction instability physics to the Odin radiation-hydrodynamics code 
Organisation University of York
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I have performed a central role in bringing this partnership together. The core theme is centred around further development of the Odin radiation-hydrodynamics code in combination with experiments to benchmark the code developments.
Collaborator Contribution This is a fledging partnership. We are yet to secure funding - this is due to be decided by 8th March 2017 by EPSRC. Our various partners have pledged in-kind contributions subject to this project being funded as outlined below: - Atomic Weapons Establishment (Garbett, Sircombe, Coltman, Williams): Garbett and Sircombe are core members of our collaboration. The AWE has pledged significant additional support: 1) simulation support with their CORVUS code (Coltman/Garbett), 2) by funding the PhD of Williams' (who brings experience developing 3D ray-tracing techniques), supervised by Sircombe and Arber), 3) by funding 50% of a second PhD student at Warwick. The total in-kind value the AWE bring to our proposal is £155.8k. - University of Bordeaux, CELIA (Tikhonchuk, Batani, Ribeyre, Lebel, Casner): The CELIA group has agreed to provide modelling support (Ribeyre, Lebel), experimental design expertise (Batani, Casner), theory support (Tikhonchuk), computational resources and access to invaluable data from 'ignition scale' shock ignition experiments scheduled for 2018 on the LMJ. Their in-kind contributions total £1.9M. - Laboratory for Laser Energetics (R. Betti, W. Theobald): As inventor of the shock ignition concept and leading shock ignition experimentalist respectively, LLE will bring a wealth of experience to our team. They will also contribute manpower of 0.3FTE/annum (totalling ~£200k), computing resources, experimental expertise, and the data from all ~200 prior Omega shock ignition shots, worth £1.6M. £1.8M total. - University of Warwick will fund 50% (£33k) of a PhD student performing large-scale PIC modelling of LPIs. This will refine existing reduced-LPI models for incorporation into hydrocodes. -University of York will fund 50% of an experiment-focused PhD (£43.5k), with the other 50% (£43.5k) funded by the Fusion CDT (York, Liverpool, Durham, Oxford, Manchester).
Impact If funded: further development of the Odin radiation hydrodynamics code. Increase international cooperation in laser fusion research, especially in the field of Shock Ignition. This work would not have been possible without the initial Odin grant.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Application for phase contrast imaging experiment on the Omega 60 laser 
Organisation University of Rochester
Department Laboratory for Laser Energetics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is a collaborative application for experimental time on the Omega laser facility to explore the use of phase contrast imaging on Omega laser fusion implosion experiments.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners will submit the application and lead the experimental investigations. They will pay for laser usage and the costs of targets.
Impact The experiment has been performed and the data is under-analysis
Start Year 2020
 
Description Collaborative Shock Ignition experiments on the National Ignition Facility 
Organisation University of Rochester
Department Laboratory for Laser Energetics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the development of the laser pulse shape for three experiments which have been performed on the National Ignition Facility (NIF). Kevin Glize (STFC RAL) is playing a leading role in the interpretation of this data.
Collaborator Contribution Wolfgang Theobald and Mike Rosenberg (Laboratory for Laser energetics (LLE), University of Rochester), lead the design of these experiments and were the principle investigators. LLE also obtained the time on NIF through their cooperative agreement with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Impact 3 experiments on the National Ignition Facility, each of these is worth ~$1M. Excellent experimental data which will be used both to further our understanding of Shock Ignition and also to benchmark the Odin radiation hydrodynamics code.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Collaborative XPCI experiment on the Omega EP laser facility through the Laboratory Basic Science (LBS) scheme 
Organisation University of Rochester
Department Laboratory for Laser Energetics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Our team assisted with the development of the concept for the proposal and with drafting the proposal.
Collaborator Contribution The application has be made by Wolfgang Theobald (Laboratory for Laser Energetics, University of Rochester); only researchers at US labs are able to apply for this facility time. He was the principle investigator on the experiments. The University of Bordeaux have performed simulations of the experiment and our leading the drafting of the proposal.
Impact A successful experiment on the Omega EP laser facility. This will result in a peer reviewed publication.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Deuterium-Tritium cryogenic implosions on the Omega laser facility 
Organisation University of Rochester
Department Laboratory for Laser Energetics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We designed a new laser pulse shape (laser power as a function of time) for the Omega laser facility in order to improve the fusion performance.
Collaborator Contribution The LLE team chose to use our design for their experiment which was performed on the Omega laser facility. This is one of only two facilities globally currently performing DT fusion experiments.
Impact To date this has mainly been in the form of a rich dataset which is still under analysis.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Hydro-kinetics grant collaborations 
Organisation Atomic Weapons Establishment
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We are all performing research in to the direct drive/shock ignition approach to laser inertial fusion. Our research team has developed a close collaboration with our partners. We have been asked to be the lead experiment designers for a joint experiment on the world-leading National Ignition Facility.
Collaborator Contribution AWE: Provision of expertise. Use of internal computing resources. Funding of 2 PhD students to work on this project (jointly with Warwick). Funding of staff time to travel to joint meetings. University of Bordeaux: Use of 1 million hours of CPU-time. 2 persons working for 0.33 FTE for 3 years. Sharing of shot data obtained from the LMJ facility. University of Warwick: 0.5 PhD students's pay + fees. Money towards experimental time on Omega facility + targets. University of York: 1 PhD students's pay + fees. Money towards experimental time on Omega facility + targets. University of Rochester: Access to over 200 shots-worth of data from the Omega laser facility. Joint experimental applications to the National Ignition Facility.
Impact Successful joint applications with the University of Rochester for time on the National Ignition Facility. The financial value of this is approximately $2.5M.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Hydro-kinetics grant collaborations 
Organisation General Atomics
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We are all performing research in to the direct drive/shock ignition approach to laser inertial fusion. Our research team has developed a close collaboration with our partners. We have been asked to be the lead experiment designers for a joint experiment on the world-leading National Ignition Facility.
Collaborator Contribution AWE: Provision of expertise. Use of internal computing resources. Funding of 2 PhD students to work on this project (jointly with Warwick). Funding of staff time to travel to joint meetings. University of Bordeaux: Use of 1 million hours of CPU-time. 2 persons working for 0.33 FTE for 3 years. Sharing of shot data obtained from the LMJ facility. University of Warwick: 0.5 PhD students's pay + fees. Money towards experimental time on Omega facility + targets. University of York: 1 PhD students's pay + fees. Money towards experimental time on Omega facility + targets. University of Rochester: Access to over 200 shots-worth of data from the Omega laser facility. Joint experimental applications to the National Ignition Facility.
Impact Successful joint applications with the University of Rochester for time on the National Ignition Facility. The financial value of this is approximately $2.5M.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Hydro-kinetics grant collaborations 
Organisation Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Department Department of Physics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are all performing research in to the direct drive/shock ignition approach to laser inertial fusion. Our research team has developed a close collaboration with our partners. We have been asked to be the lead experiment designers for a joint experiment on the world-leading National Ignition Facility.
Collaborator Contribution AWE: Provision of expertise. Use of internal computing resources. Funding of 2 PhD students to work on this project (jointly with Warwick). Funding of staff time to travel to joint meetings. University of Bordeaux: Use of 1 million hours of CPU-time. 2 persons working for 0.33 FTE for 3 years. Sharing of shot data obtained from the LMJ facility. University of Warwick: 0.5 PhD students's pay + fees. Money towards experimental time on Omega facility + targets. University of York: 1 PhD students's pay + fees. Money towards experimental time on Omega facility + targets. University of Rochester: Access to over 200 shots-worth of data from the Omega laser facility. Joint experimental applications to the National Ignition Facility.
Impact Successful joint applications with the University of Rochester for time on the National Ignition Facility. The financial value of this is approximately $2.5M.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Hydro-kinetics grant collaborations 
Organisation Sapienza University of Rome
Department Department of Physics
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are all performing research in to the direct drive/shock ignition approach to laser inertial fusion. Our research team has developed a close collaboration with our partners. We have been asked to be the lead experiment designers for a joint experiment on the world-leading National Ignition Facility.
Collaborator Contribution AWE: Provision of expertise. Use of internal computing resources. Funding of 2 PhD students to work on this project (jointly with Warwick). Funding of staff time to travel to joint meetings. University of Bordeaux: Use of 1 million hours of CPU-time. 2 persons working for 0.33 FTE for 3 years. Sharing of shot data obtained from the LMJ facility. University of Warwick: 0.5 PhD students's pay + fees. Money towards experimental time on Omega facility + targets. University of York: 1 PhD students's pay + fees. Money towards experimental time on Omega facility + targets. University of Rochester: Access to over 200 shots-worth of data from the Omega laser facility. Joint experimental applications to the National Ignition Facility.
Impact Successful joint applications with the University of Rochester for time on the National Ignition Facility. The financial value of this is approximately $2.5M.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Hydro-kinetics grant collaborations 
Organisation University of Bordeaux
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are all performing research in to the direct drive/shock ignition approach to laser inertial fusion. Our research team has developed a close collaboration with our partners. We have been asked to be the lead experiment designers for a joint experiment on the world-leading National Ignition Facility.
Collaborator Contribution AWE: Provision of expertise. Use of internal computing resources. Funding of 2 PhD students to work on this project (jointly with Warwick). Funding of staff time to travel to joint meetings. University of Bordeaux: Use of 1 million hours of CPU-time. 2 persons working for 0.33 FTE for 3 years. Sharing of shot data obtained from the LMJ facility. University of Warwick: 0.5 PhD students's pay + fees. Money towards experimental time on Omega facility + targets. University of York: 1 PhD students's pay + fees. Money towards experimental time on Omega facility + targets. University of Rochester: Access to over 200 shots-worth of data from the Omega laser facility. Joint experimental applications to the National Ignition Facility.
Impact Successful joint applications with the University of Rochester for time on the National Ignition Facility. The financial value of this is approximately $2.5M.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Hydro-kinetics grant collaborations 
Organisation University of Rochester
Department Laboratory for Laser Energetics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are all performing research in to the direct drive/shock ignition approach to laser inertial fusion. Our research team has developed a close collaboration with our partners. We have been asked to be the lead experiment designers for a joint experiment on the world-leading National Ignition Facility.
Collaborator Contribution AWE: Provision of expertise. Use of internal computing resources. Funding of 2 PhD students to work on this project (jointly with Warwick). Funding of staff time to travel to joint meetings. University of Bordeaux: Use of 1 million hours of CPU-time. 2 persons working for 0.33 FTE for 3 years. Sharing of shot data obtained from the LMJ facility. University of Warwick: 0.5 PhD students's pay + fees. Money towards experimental time on Omega facility + targets. University of York: 1 PhD students's pay + fees. Money towards experimental time on Omega facility + targets. University of Rochester: Access to over 200 shots-worth of data from the Omega laser facility. Joint experimental applications to the National Ignition Facility.
Impact Successful joint applications with the University of Rochester for time on the National Ignition Facility. The financial value of this is approximately $2.5M.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Hydro-kinetics grant collaborations 
Organisation University of Warwick
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are all performing research in to the direct drive/shock ignition approach to laser inertial fusion. Our research team has developed a close collaboration with our partners. We have been asked to be the lead experiment designers for a joint experiment on the world-leading National Ignition Facility.
Collaborator Contribution AWE: Provision of expertise. Use of internal computing resources. Funding of 2 PhD students to work on this project (jointly with Warwick). Funding of staff time to travel to joint meetings. University of Bordeaux: Use of 1 million hours of CPU-time. 2 persons working for 0.33 FTE for 3 years. Sharing of shot data obtained from the LMJ facility. University of Warwick: 0.5 PhD students's pay + fees. Money towards experimental time on Omega facility + targets. University of York: 1 PhD students's pay + fees. Money towards experimental time on Omega facility + targets. University of Rochester: Access to over 200 shots-worth of data from the Omega laser facility. Joint experimental applications to the National Ignition Facility.
Impact Successful joint applications with the University of Rochester for time on the National Ignition Facility. The financial value of this is approximately $2.5M.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Hydro-kinetics grant collaborations 
Organisation University of York
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are all performing research in to the direct drive/shock ignition approach to laser inertial fusion. Our research team has developed a close collaboration with our partners. We have been asked to be the lead experiment designers for a joint experiment on the world-leading National Ignition Facility.
Collaborator Contribution AWE: Provision of expertise. Use of internal computing resources. Funding of 2 PhD students to work on this project (jointly with Warwick). Funding of staff time to travel to joint meetings. University of Bordeaux: Use of 1 million hours of CPU-time. 2 persons working for 0.33 FTE for 3 years. Sharing of shot data obtained from the LMJ facility. University of Warwick: 0.5 PhD students's pay + fees. Money towards experimental time on Omega facility + targets. University of York: 1 PhD students's pay + fees. Money towards experimental time on Omega facility + targets. University of Rochester: Access to over 200 shots-worth of data from the Omega laser facility. Joint experimental applications to the National Ignition Facility.
Impact Successful joint applications with the University of Rochester for time on the National Ignition Facility. The financial value of this is approximately $2.5M.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Role of Laser Plasma Interactions in the Shock Ignition regime 
Organisation Intense Laser Irradiation Laboratory
Country Italy 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Design, planning and running of an experimental campaign on STFC Vulcan TAWest. We provided expertise, helped run the experiment, take data and involved in data analysis.
Collaborator Contribution Principal Investigators.
Impact Completed experiment.
Start Year 2018
 
Title Odin code 
Description Odin is a radiation-hydrodynamics code written specifically to simulate laser fusion implosions. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2018 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact This will enable us to perform simulations of laser fusion experiments, in turn enabling us to perform experiments on international laser facilities. 
 
Description Article in Laserlab Europe newsletter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An article was published detailing the Shock Ignition research activities which are going on within the scope of the Plasma kinetics, pre-heat, and the emergence of strong shocks in laser fusion: the hydro-kinetic regime grant.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description In brief article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I co-wrote an article on this project for the STFC's "In Brief" web based magazine. This is electronically distributed to ~2000 scientists and engineers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk at International Direct Drive meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I gave a talk outlining our project plans and current activities. The objective of this exercise was to explore scope for further research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description UK Laser Fusion Consortium 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A UK Laser Fusion Consortium has been formed in order to discuss ways in which the UK laser fusion community can work together, increase its impact within the international community and gain access to international facilities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019,2020,2021
 
Description Uk Inertial Fusion Roadmap 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A panel of experts has written a Roadmap for UK laser fusion research, chaired by myself. This is currently being circulated within the research community for their comment and signatures.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020,2021