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Title: Characterization and application of a laser-driven intense pulsed neutron source using Trident

Abstract

A team of Los Alamos researchers supported a final campaign to use the Trident laser to produce neutrons, contributed their multidisciplinary expertise to experimentally assess if laser-driven neutron sources can be useful for MaRIE. MaRIE is the Laboratory’s proposed experimental facility for the study of matter-radiation interactions in extremes. Neutrons provide a radiographic probe that is complementary to x-rays and protons, and can address imaging challenges not amenable to those beams. The team's efforts characterize the Laboratory’s responsiveness, flexibility, and ability to apply diverse expertise where needed to perform successful complex experiments.

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1312633
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-16-26533
TRN: US1601824
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
43 PARTICLE ACCELERATORS; TRIDENT FACILITY; NEUTRON SOURCES; LASERS; PULSES; PLANNING; PROPOSALS

Citation Formats

Vogel, Sven C. Characterization and application of a laser-driven intense pulsed neutron source using Trident. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1312633.
Vogel, Sven C. Characterization and application of a laser-driven intense pulsed neutron source using Trident. United States. doi:10.2172/1312633.
Vogel, Sven C. 2016. "Characterization and application of a laser-driven intense pulsed neutron source using Trident". United States. doi:10.2172/1312633. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1312633.
@article{osti_1312633,
title = {Characterization and application of a laser-driven intense pulsed neutron source using Trident},
author = {Vogel, Sven C.},
abstractNote = {A team of Los Alamos researchers supported a final campaign to use the Trident laser to produce neutrons, contributed their multidisciplinary expertise to experimentally assess if laser-driven neutron sources can be useful for MaRIE. MaRIE is the Laboratory’s proposed experimental facility for the study of matter-radiation interactions in extremes. Neutrons provide a radiographic probe that is complementary to x-rays and protons, and can address imaging challenges not amenable to those beams. The team's efforts characterize the Laboratory’s responsiveness, flexibility, and ability to apply diverse expertise where needed to perform successful complex experiments.},
doi = {10.2172/1312633},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 8
}

Technical Report:

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  • Images of the R2DTO resolution target were obtained during laser-driven-radiography experiments performed at the TRIDENT laser facility, and analysis of these images using the Bayesian Inference Engine (BIE) determines a most probable full-width half maximum (FWHM) spot size of 78 μm. However, significant uncertainty prevails due to variation in the measured detector blur. Propagating this uncertainty in detector blur through the forward model results in an interval of probabilistic ambiguity spanning approximately 35-195 μm when the laser energy impinges on a thick (1 mm) tantalum target. In other phases of the experiment, laser energy is deposited on a thin (~100more » nm) aluminum target placed 250 μm ahead of the tantalum converter. When the energetic electron beam is generated in this manner, upstream from the bremsstrahlung converter, the inferred spot size shifts to a range of much larger values, approximately 270-600 μm FWHM. This report discusses methods applied to obtain these intervals as well as concepts necessary for interpreting the result within a context of probabilistic quantitative inference.« less
  • An analytic and a computer generated simulation of the production of Ultra-Cold Neutrons (UCN) is presented using Bragg scattering from a moving crystal to Doppler shift higher velocity neutrons into the UCN region. The calculation was carried out with a view toward its application at the Intense Pulsed Neutron Source (IPNS) now under construction at Argonne National Laboratory. This method for the production of UCN appears well matched to a pulsed source, and we show that the UCN can be stored in a neutron bottle at the peak flux which can potentially be much higher than at the present highmore » flux reactors. The predicted density of stored UCN indicates that a highly precise measurement of the neutron electric dipole moment (EDM) will be possible within the next few years.« less
  • A variety of opportunities for characterization of fresh nuclear fuels using thermal (~25meV) and epithermal (~10eV) neutrons have been documented at Los Alamos National Laboratory. They include spatially resolved non-destructive characterization of features, isotopic enrichment, chemical heterogeneity and stoichiometry. The LANSCE spallation neutron source is well suited in neutron fluence and temporal characteristics for studies of fuels. However, recent advances in high power short pulse lasers suggest that compact neutron sources might, over the next decade, become viable at a price point that would permit their consideration for poolside characterization on site at irradiation facilities. In a laser-driven neutron sourcemore » the laser is used to accelerate deuterium ions into a beryllium target where neutrons are produced. At this time, the technology is new and their total neutron production is approximately four orders of magnitude less than a facility like LANSCE. However, recent measurements on a sub-optimized system demonstrated >10 10 neutrons in sub-nanosecond pulses in predominantly forward direction. The compactness of the target system compared to a spallation target may allow exchanging the target during a measurement to e.g. characterize a highly radioactive sample with thermal, epithermal, and fast neutrons as well as hard X-rays, thus avoiding sample handling. At this time several groups are working on laser-driven neutron production and are advancing concepts for lasers, laser targets, and optimized neutron target/moderator systems. Advances in performance sufficient to enable poolside fuels characterization with LANSCE-like fluence on sample within a decade may be possible. This report describes the underlying physics and state-of-the-art of the laser-driven neutron production process from the perspective of the DOE/NE mission. It also discusses the development and understanding that will be necessary to provide customized capability for characterization of irradiated fuels. Potential operational advantages compared to a spallation neutron source include reduced shielding complexity, reduced energy requirements, and a production target free of fission products. Contributors to this report include experts in laser-driven neutron production (Roth, Fernandez), laser design (Haefner, Siders, Leemans), laser target design (Glenzer), spallation target/moderator design (Mocko), neutron instrumentation and characterization applications (Vogel, Bourke).« less